How much does an assistive technologist make? Let’s discuss the annual salary of these professionals and their common responsibilities.
How much does an assistive technologist make?
Many fields rely on assistive technology, both in school and in the workplace. However, people can only benefit from this technology if it’s chosen and applied properly. The professionals who make this happen are known as assistive technologists, and this article will tell you how much they make.
What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology is a type of technology used by people with disabilities. It helps them perform functions they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
It can involve software, hardware, and peripherals to help individuals access computers and other forms of information technology. It can also include mobility tools, such as wheelchairs and walkers.
For instance, persons with hand function impairments can use keyboards with large keys or special mice to operate their computers. Blind individuals might use software for reading text from a display through computer-generated voices and special braille keyboards and displays.
The use of assistive technology also makes life easier for people with limited vision. Many platforms can enlarge screen content to promote better comprehension.
Finally, persons with hearing problems can use teletypewriters for easier communication. Likewise, individuals with speech issues can utilize devices that read text aloud as they enter it via their keyboards.
How to become an assistive technologist?
People with disabilities can sometimes access assistive technology on their own. In other cases, they need someone else to help them master the technology. That someone is an assistive technology professional (ATP).
The purpose of assistive technology specialist jobs is to meet the technology needs of persons with disabilities to help them choose and utilize adaptive devices. These professionals work with people of all ages, regardless of their sensory, cognitive, or physical disability.
If you want to become an ATP, you may need to earn a national certificate from the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). This organization helps improve the well-being of individuals with disabilities.
The certification ensures you have the knowledge and qualifications to help people with various disorders. It also verifies you’ve attained specific competence in assisting individuals with disabilities in the effective use of technology.
To obtain the ATP certification, you first need to take an exam. However, you can only take this exam if you meet certain education requirements. You also need adequate experience working in relevant fields. You should be able to sit the exam if you fulfill one of the following criteria:
General education or high school diploma with more than 6,000 hours of experience during a decade and 30 hours of assistive technology training
Associate degree in non-rehabilitation sciences with 4,000 hours of experience over six years and 20 hours of assistive technology training
Associate degree in rehabilitation sciences and 3,000 hours of experience over six years
Bachelor’s degree in non-rehabilitation sciences with 2,000 hours of experience over six years and 10 hours of assistive technology training
Bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation or special education sciences and 1,500 hours of experience over six years
Master’s degree in rehabilitation or special education sciences and 1,000 hours of experience over six years
Taking the ATP exam requires you to go through four-hour, 200-question testing that covers all areas of the assistive technology practice. The exam consists of five parts, and you need to pay a $500 fee.
Here’s what the examination covers:
Professional conduct (RESNA’s standard of practice and ethics code) – 3%
Intervention evaluation (analyzing, reassessing, and addressing needs) – 15%
Intervention implementation (placing and reviewing technology orders, training individuals, educators, family, and care providers) – 30%
Developing intervention strategies (defining intervention strategies, appropriate tools, and training needs) – 27%
Need assessment (interviewing individuals, assessing functional abilities and environmental factors, setting goals, and addressing future needs) – 30%
Some of the technologies you need to excel in to become an ATP include:
Mobility and seating
Alternative and improved means of communication
Computer access (programs like Microsoft Word)
Learning disability technology
How much do assistive technologists make?
The national average assistive technology specialist salary is just over $63,000 per year. This puts the hourly earnings at approximately $30, whereas the weekly and monthly earnings are about $1,200 and $5,200, respectively.
The annual base salaries can be as low as $31,000. Most full-time ATP salaries typically range between around $42,000 (25th percentile) and $62,000 (75th percentile). The highest earners (90th percentile) make about $125,000 per year.
Salary ranges in this career path depend on various factors, including:
Years of experience
Additional skills (communication, collaboration with team members, etc.)
If you meet the above criteria, follow the latest job alerts and apply as soon as possible. The more experienced you are, the better you’ll look in the eyes of the human resources (HR) department of most companies.
Naturally, full-time jobs in high-end school districts or organizations are more remunerative than part-time jobs in non-profit firms.
The benefits and challenges of assistive technology
If you can become a master provider of assistive technology, the recipients of your services unlock tremendous benefits, including:
Enhanced language skills – Effective use of vision and hearing aids can improve language skills. Over time, individuals using assistive technology can unlock more and more education and employment opportunities.
Lower healthcare costs – Manual wheelchairs can also facilitate employment and education access while lowering healthcare costs by reducing muscle soreness and tightness.
Easier life for the elderly – Assistive tools can help older people live at home without major issues and postpone or eliminate the need for nursing homes.
Assisting individuals with diabetes – Therapeutic diabetes footwear reduces the risk of ulcers and other problems, allowing the sufferers to cope with their condition.
You should also be aware of the key challenges facing your job title and the entire industry:
Insufficient staff – A small number of people meet the requirements associated with the ATP job description. Therefore, you may often need to work longer hours.
Mastering technology – Grasping cutting-edge assistive technology takes a lot of your time and is a never-ending process.
Improving care quality – You constantly need to assess the needs of individuals to determine the best solution.
Speechify can help as assistive technology
If you’re looking for intuitive yet robust assistive technology, Speechify’s text to speech (TTS) features are a perfect match.
To use the software, just enter digital or physical text, and it’ll read it aloud using natural-sounding voices to help improve listening comprehension. You can even use celebrity voices, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Snoop Dogg.
How much do MDTs make?
MDT technicians make around $45,000 per year, which can be of massive help when addressing the rising cost of living in Los Angeles, San Mateo, and other cities.
What is the difference between a PT and an OT?
An occupational therapist (OT) helps individuals improve their ability to perform tasks associated with daily living, whereas a physical therapist (PT) helps people move their bodies.
What are the responsibilities of an assistive technology specialist?
An assistive technology specialist provides tools to help people with disabilities cope with their disorders. They also revise and adjust their services whenever necessary.