Other Technical Workers in Therapy and Assessment

Occupation:Other Therapy and Assessment Technicians

About the job

Nature of work:

This group includes workers, not elsewhere classified, who perform various technical therapy and assessment functions. Some may assist professionals such as audiologists, speech-language pathologists, ophthalmologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. They are employed in hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, educational institutions, and in the private practices of the professionals they assist.

Job duties:
The following is a summary of the main duties for some jobs in this group:
  • Hearing instrument practitioners examine adult clients to assess hearing loss using diagnostic evaluation and electro acoustic testing; recommend and dispense appropriate type of hearing instrument; take earmold impressions for use in the manufacture of hearing devices; fit, adjust and make minor modifications to hearing instruments; educate clients in appropriate use, care and maintenance of hearing instruments and perform follow-up examinations and readjustments.
  • Audiometric technicians, under the supervision of audiologists, administer tests such as pure tone hearing screening, impedance tests and noise level measurements using equipment such as audiometers and sound level meters to determine hearing thresholds of patients; instruct patients on test procedures and record results; monitor, check and calibrate auditory equipment; may take earmold impressions and fit and adjust hearing instruments.
  • Communicative disorders assistants and speech-language pathology assistants assist speech-language pathologists during assessment of patients; carry out treatment programs and develop materials for use with patients, under the supervision of speech-language pathologists; document patient rehabilitation progress; and check and maintain therapeutic equipment and materials.
  • Ophthalmic medical assistants operate ophthalmic testing and measuring instruments to aid ophthalmologists in assessing patients' vision; record test results; assist ophthalmologists in office surgery; administer eye drops, ointments and medications as directed by ophthalmologists; clean and maintain instruments and equipment used during examinations; take patients' general medical and ophthalmic history; and perform various administrative duties.
  • Physiotherapy assistants and occupational therapy assistants, under the direction of physiotherapists and/or occupational therapists, carry out treatment programs such as thermotherapy, traction, hydrotherapy and electrotherapeutic techniques to rehabilitate patients with various injuries or disabilities to maximize their ability to independently manage daily activities.
Sample job titles:
  • audiology technician
  • audiometrist
  • hearing aid practitioner
  • hearing assessment technician
  • occupational therapy technician
  • ophthalmic assistant
  • physical therapist assistant (PTA)
  • physiotherapist assistant (PTA)
  • speech therapy aide
  • speech-language pathology assistant

You must be able to communicate effectively with people and demonstrate a strong sense of responsibility, good judgement, patience, and self-discipline. Therapists must be creative and unique in their approach to each client. The ability to inspire confidence and to motivate clients is important. A strong sense of responsibility, good judgement, and communication skills are also necessary. Massage therapists also require physical stamina.

Job requirements:
  • Hearing instrument practitioners require completion of a three-year college diploma in a hearing instrument specialist program, including a period of supervised training.
  • Licensure with a regulatory body is required for hearing instrument practitioners in Nova Scotia. Hearing instrument practitioners can prescribe and dispense hearing instruments in Nova Scotia.
  • Audiometric technicians and communicative disorders and speech-language pathology assistants require completion of a 12- to 18-month college program in communicative disorders or some post-secondary education and on-the-job training.
  • Ophthalmic medical assistants require completion of a one- to two-year college program or a two-year hospital-based training program in ophthalmic medical technology or a minimum of one year of supervised practical training under an ophthalmologist and completion of an approved ophthalmic assistant home study program.
  • Physiotherapy assistants require completion of a two- to three-year college program in physical rehabilitation therapy or a two-year physical therapy assistant (PTA) program and supervised practical training.
  • Occupational therapy assistants require completion of a two-year occupational therapy assistant (OTA) college program.
Other considerations:

Those not employed with public institutions or agencies are often self-employed in a private or group practice. Currently, the qualifications of physical rehabilitation technicians are recognized only in the province of Quebec. In most provinces occupational therapy assistants (OTA) and physiotherapy assistants (PTA) receive training through a single OTA/PTA program in community colleges.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Other Therapy and Assessment Technicians most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 51% of Other Therapy and Assessment Technicians who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $44,507. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Other Technical Workers in Therapy and Assessment345Moderate growth30Low
Minimum: $14.50
Median: $20.00
Maximum: $30.00
Minimum: $7,599
Median: $34,216
Maximum: $50,394
Occupations in Health36,515Strong growth4,385Low
Minimum: $16.38
Median: $25.50
Maximum: $41.00
Minimum: $10,740
Median: $43,853
Maximum: $88,944
Other Technical Workers in Therapy and AssessmentCompared to: Occupations in Health
Percent employed full-time77%77%
Percent self-employed3%10%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentOther Technical Workers in Therapy and AssessmentCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton13%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley9%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeOther Technical Workers in Therapy and AssessmentCompared to: All Health
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4844
GenderOther Technical Workers in Therapy and AssessmentCompared to: Occupations in Health
% Employed% Employed
EducationOther Technical Workers in Therapy and AssessmentCompared to: All Health
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolN/Ax1.1%$27,581
High school10.7%x6.9%$24,119
Trades certificate5.3%$18,9885.0%$31,728
College certificate or diploma49.3%$24,39539.4%$36,693
University certificate or diploma5.3%$28,0204.8%$50,769
Bachelor's degree22.7%$23,29927.6%$57,186
University advanced certificate or diploma2.7%x2.3%$61,833
Master's degreeN/Ax5.1%$87,808
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax7.2%$83,000
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

Hearing Aid Practitioner
Right to Practice:This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.
Regulating body:
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
Mail Room, 8 South, Maritime Centre 1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3K5
(800) 670-4357
(902) 424-0720
Useful contacts:
Hearing Aid Society of Nova Scotia
1464 Martello Street, Suite 114
Halifax, NS B3H 4L4
Tel: (902) 422-4327
Fax: (902) 446-3994
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
380 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
Tel: (902) 461-0871
Fax: (902) 461-9572
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
610-1525 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R9
Tel: (613) 729-6779
Fax: (613) 729-7209

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Kinesiology and exercise science
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any scientific program that focuses on the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and biophysics of human movement, and applications to exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation. These programs include courses in biomechanics, motor behaviour, motor development and coordination, motor neurophysiology, performance research, rehabilitative therapies, the development of diagnostic and rehabilitative methods and equipment, and related analytical methods and procedures in applied exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
Program Name:Occupational therapist assistant
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals, under the supervision of occupational therapists, to direct patient participation in skill-enhancing, learning, and motivational tasks; correct or diminish pathologies; and to provide direct health education and promotion services. These programs include courses in human lifespan development, occupational therapy principles and practice skills, treatment planning and implementation, record-keeping and documentation, patient education and intervention, activity and program direction, and assistive services management.
See all institutions providing this program+
Eastern College - Halifax
6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111
Halifax, NS B3L 0B7
(902) 423-3933
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Program Name:Optometric technician/assistant
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to assist optometrists in providing patient care, administering examinations and treatments, and performing office administrative functions. These programs include courses in applied anatomy and physiology of the eye, visual testing, patient communication, patient preparation, medications and administration, dispensing and fitting of eyeglasses and contact lenses, record-keeping, and office management skills.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Additional resources: