Physiotherapy / Occupational Therapy / Rehabilitation

What to expect from a career as an Occupational or Physiotherapist Assistant and more

Occupational therapy and physiotherapy professionals are in higher demand than ever before, helping an aging population live full and healthy lives, and working to help those with injuries recover their range of motion or those with physical disabilities. Occupational therapy, physiotherapy and rehabilitation programs at Ontario colleges prepare students for careers as assistants in these industries, providing the theory and hands-on lab training necessary for a successful career.

If you’re interested in helping people improve their lives through rehabilitation and physical therapy, here’s what you need to know.

Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Courses

Occupational therapy and physiotherapy are very similar, and many programs will cover the fundamentals of both these areas. Courses in occupational and physiotherapy programs typically fall into three categories:

  • Theory. Anatomy, physiology and courses on the science of movement give students a broad understanding of the body and how it works, with emphasis on rehabilitative techniques and practices.
  • Practical. Students have the opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice in field placements and time spent in the lab, practicing with electromagnetic, thermal and mechanical rehabilitative equipment and more.
  • Social. Social skills are necessary in any health care field and occupational and physiotherapy is no exception. Students study human relationships, ethics and professionalism and will also examine trends and issues that develop in rehabilitative patient care.

Recreational therapy (also known as therapeutic recreation or recreational rehabilitation) programs offer a different view on rehabilitation and therapy. These programs prepare students to organize and implement leisure activity programs for people with disabilities or impairments that prevent them from accessing traditional recreation and leisure programs in their communities.

Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Program Requirements

Ontario college occupational therapy, physiotherapy and rehabilitation programs typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit. Additional credits will vary, but may include a senior biology or a senior physics credit.

Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Jobs and Salaries

Opportunities for occupational therapists, physiotherapy assistants and recreation therapy assistants or program coordinators exist in a number of facilities and organizations, including (but not limited to):

  • Nursing homes and seniors’ residences
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Schools
  • Community care agencies
  • Long-term care facilities

Starting salaries in the field are typically in the low- to mid-$30,000 range, but will vary by individual position.

Ontario Colleges Offering Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and rehabilitation programs at Ontario colleges. 

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