Should you pursue an assistive technology career? What you can expect to make in this industry depends on your job and experience.
Assistive technology career: What you can expect to make
Assistive technology is an industry with rich career opportunities. The job is highly satisfying because you help people live better lives. Plus, you can make a decent amount of money as an assistive technology professional (ATP).
This article will tell you just how much you can expect to earn as an ATP.
Starting a career in assistive technology – Pros and cons
ATPs are healthcare professionals helping individuals with disabilities improve their lives through adaptive equipment. They work with all age groups, allowing people to cope with their sensory, physical, and cognitive abilities.
To become an ATP, you need a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or other higher education certification and one or two years of experience. There are several jobs you can do before you enter this industry to improve your chances of employment. The following are just a few examples:
Special education teacher
In addition, you may need to pass certain tests to obtain a certification. The examination usually assesses your ability to analyze individual needs and develop programs that meet them best.
Hiring managers typically expect you to have specific credentials and soft skills, including:
Lastly, your employer expects you to master the use of the following equipment:
Screen reading programs
Text to speech systems
Car adaptations and devices
Wheelchairs, ramps, and cushions
Smartphones with oversized buttons
The pros of being an ATP
There are many benefits of being an ATP, such as:
Ability to work remotely and in hybrid working environments.
Little-to-no physical labor.
Helping people cope with their cost of living and be more independent.
You can hold onto any medical degrees and job titles.
Transitioning from healthcare careers is simple, and the pay is similar to most clinical salaries.
Mastering assistive technologies is fun, and you can contribute to the development of new equipment.
The cons of being an ATP
Like with any other profession, there are also certain downsides to being an ATP. For example:
You need to be comfortable working remotely, taking initiative, and solving problems with assistive technology devices.
Your caregiver role might not always be salaried. More specifically, project managers and other managers may hire you under a salary-plus-commission arrangement. You could end up making more than healthcare professionals, but there’s also a risk of making less money.
The job can get quite salesy at times, especially when persuading individuals with disorders to use certain equipment.
Types of assistive technology careers and their earnings
Another excellent part of this industry is that you can choose from multiple assistive technology jobs. Assistive technology specialist salaries are generally high. Here are the most common positions.
Assistive technology technician
One of the most popular roles you can pursue in this industry is the assistive technology technician. The average salary for a full-time provider ranges from around $41,000 (25th percentile) to $77,000 (75th percentile) per year. Part-time and entry-level employees receive much lower earnings.
A large number of companies look for these professionals. In fact, there are usually more than 10,000 open online positions at any time.
Assistive technology trainer
The position of an assisted technology trainer isn’t as desired as that of an assisted technology technician, but the earnings are still exceptional. In most cases, the salary for this position ranges from $41,500 (25th percentile) to $79,500 (75th percentile) per year.
If you want to become an assistive technology trainer, you’ll need to have certain qualifications and certifications to teach others how to use assistive technology. You’ll also need a deep understanding of information technology to support people with disabilities.
Assistive technology consultant
You can also pursue a career in assistive technology consulting. Professionals in this field conduct assessments, research and develop assistive technology, and recommend equipment for individuals with disabilities.
The earnings are higher than with the previous two roles. The annual pay ranges from $43,500 (25th percentile) to $93,000 (75th percentile).
Assistive technology instructor
Assistive technology instructors and trainers do pretty much the same jobs. The salaries are also similar, ranging between $39,500 (25th percentile) and $65,000 (75th percentile).
Assistive technology sales
An assistive technology sales professional provides sales and product or service demonstrations to persons with disabilities. The salary ranges from approximately $38,500 (25th percentile) to $73,000 (75th percentile) per year.
RESNA stands for the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. Members of this organization promote the well-being and health of persons with disabilities through easier access to technology.
On average, RESNA professionals make between $31,000 (25th percentile) and $63,000 (75th percentile) per year. While the pay is good, finding employment in the organization is hard since there are just around 20 open positions.
Unlicensed assistive personnel
Unlicensed assistive personnel are paraprofessionals helping persons with mental impairments and physical disabilities without a formal license. Instead, they provide their services under the supervision of healthcare professionals, licensed practical nurses, or registered nurses.
As they’re less qualified than other assistive technology technicians, unlicensed assistive personnel don’t make as much money. The salary ranges from about $21,500 (25th percentile) to $33,000 (75th percentile) annually.
Master another assistive technology type with Speechify
This software helps people with reading problems understand text without focusing on the written word. Instead, it narrates the content aloud using AI-generated voices. It also lets you customize the speed, tone, and other features for an immersive experience.
What are the 7 common applications for assistive technology?
The seven most common applications for assistive technology include wheelchairs, stair lifts, visual aids, hearing aids, sensory impairment software, video conferencing equipment, and therapeutic intervention.
How do students benefit from assistive technology?
Students who use assistive technology can improve reading comprehension, listening skills, and other language areas.
What are the challenges of assistive technology?
The main challenge of assistive technology is that there’s not enough staff. Furthermore, adapting to new technologies is hard.
What is the role of assistive technology in the daily life of persons with disabilities?
Assistive technology helps people walk, learn, and communicate without major issues.
What assistive technology covers the most disabilities?
Assistive technology tools are specific, so they rarely address multiple disabilities. For instance, Speechify helps address vision problems, whereas hearing aids tackle hearing issues.
What is rehabilitation engineering?
Rehabilitation engineering is the application of engineering principles to create technological solutions to help persons with disabilities.
What are some resources available to assistive technology professionals?
Whether you live in New York or Los Angeles, you can access many resources as an ATP. The list includes the Assistive Technology Exchange Center, Center for Accessible Technology, and Empowertech.