Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment (NOC 3237)

About this job

This occupational group includes workers, not classified elsewhere, who perform various technical therapy and assessment functions.

People in this occupation:

  • may assist professionals, such as audiologists (hearing specialists), ophthalmologists (eye physicians or eye surgeons), speech-language pathologists and physiotherapists
  • work in hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, educational institutions and in the private practices of the professionals they assist
  • should have strong interpersonal skills and must be able to communicate well with a variety of clients and other health-care professionals
  • should also be able to work independently, follow instructions, have good organizational and critical thinking skills
  • should enjoy precise work
Common job titles
  • audiometric aide / technician
  • communication aide / assistant
  • hearing aid assistant / consultant
  • PTA (physiotherapist assistant)
  • speech aide / correctionist
  • speech-language pathology assistant
  • audiometric aide / technician
  • communication aide / assistant
  • hearing aid assistant / consultant
  • hearing instrument dispenser / specialist
  • kinesitherapist
  • practitioner, hearing instrument

Duties

 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
  • 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.

Work environment

Workers in these occupations typically work a regular 35- to 40-hour week. Work hours generally depend on the business hours of health-care practices. For example, some workers may be required to work evenings and weekends to accommodate the needs of patients, while others work part-time. Emergencies can also arise, although less often than in other health-care fields.

Working conditions vary for individuals in this group, depending on the specific occupation. The work of massage therapists and physical rehabilitation technicians can be physically demanding since these workers use their arms and hands for massaging and stand for long periods of time. The work is relatively light and comfortable, however, for communication assistants, audiometric assistants, ophthalmic assistants and hearing instrument practitioners.

Workers in these groups are increasingly required to use computers.

Insights from industry

Jobs will come from new job creation and the need to replace retiring workers.

Demand for these workers is expected to increase as B.C.'s growing and aging population requires more vision and hearing testing, rehabilitation therapy and other services in therapy and assessment.

Massage therapists account for more than half of those working in this occupational group. An increased number of spas have created a demand for these workers, as have regulatory changes that allow patients to visit registered massage therapists without a referral from a physician. Since massage therapy and other rehabilitation services are optional expenses, they are expected to increase along with the overall growth of the provincial economy. Demand for massage therapists is expected to be greatest in rural and isolated areas in central and northern B.C.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Ophthalmic medical assistants may progress to higher levels of certification with additional training and experience.

Additional resources