Home Modification Careers For Occupational Therapy and Assistants

home modifications occupational therapist assistant occupational therapy physical therapist assistant physical therapy Nov 13, 2023
Home Modifications for Occupational Therapy

Home Modification Careers and Business For Occupational Therapy and Assistants

As an occupational therapist or assistant, I hope you are finding out that your profession has provided you with the skills not just to do OT but to do so much more - including Home Modifications! Your knowledge can allow you to do Home Modifications as a career track (like working for a hospital or the Veterans Affairs' in this capacity) or to start your business/side hustle. We have 2 examples of OT's doing this and rocking it right here:

In this article, you'll learn:

  • What is Home Modifications
  • How OTs and COTAs can enter the Home Modifications field
  • Best Certifications for Home Modification Careers and Business
  • And tips from current Home Modification experts and Occupational Therapists

(I do want to point out that PTs, PTAs or SLPS can do this as well!)

***We have an amazing certification that is in partnership with Lowes Pros and NAHB called CAPS or Certified Aging in Place Specialist that not only comes with a certification that organizations like AARP look highly on, but we have included a business course, grant handout, marketing templates and a website template all as free bonuses here: 


What are home modifications?

Home modifications can be performed by any number of people – there are contractors, realtors, therapists and assistants who perform home modifications on a daily basis.

Home modifications are, as defined by the AOTA, “Home modifications are changes made to adapt living spaces to increase usage, safety, security, and independence.”

There are many modifications to one’s home, usually it’s because of a movement disability, a memory impairment such as worsening Dementia or Alzheimer’s, or preparation ahead for one of these things in the future.

The home modification process can be any combination of:

  • Evaluation of the home for what’s often termed “aging in place” or living longer and safer in the home.
  • Education and training on the below equipment to prevent falls and aid in improved independence at home.
  • Recommending equipment or modifications that may include:
    • Ramps
    • Stair glides
    • VPLs
    • Raised toilet seats
    • Hoyer lifts, sara stand lifts
    • Rolling walkers, rollators, canes, quad canes, hemiwalkers
    • Grab bars
    • Motion censored lighting, Alexa products for voice navigated lighting.

What can OTs and COTAs and even PTs, PTAs and SLPs do within the home modification field?

There are several routes you can take once you have received an home modification certification (like this one:

  1. You can perform home modifications as part of your work duties
  2. You can get hired to perform home modifications as your sole work duty
  3. You can perform home modifications as a side hustle or as your own business.

I will say that finding roles where you are only doing home modifications as a career option are more rare. Not to say they don’t exist and you shouldn’t look – always look! But, usually you’ll find this career track as a blend with your therapy duties where you are performing both therapist/assistant roles and also home modification visits, education, follow-up and management.

What companies could potentially hire you for this role?

  • Hospitals – for example, I’m in New Jersey and Atlantic Health recently bought a home modification company (previously owned by an OT and PT couple) and are expanding their services to this.
  • The Veterans Health Administration
  • Individual home modification companies in your area

This is just a few examples 😊

We’ll talk about the business side in a moment.


What education do I need to enter the home modification field?

The great thing is that you are already ahead of many with your therapy degree! We know anatomy, fall prevention, exercises, assistive devices and many home modification keys already.

So it’s more about getting a certification for marketing and exposure, as well as knowing the nuances of the trade.

There are 2 main certifications:

  1. Certified Aging In Place Specialist by NAHB -
  2. USC’s Online Executive Certificate in Home Modifications – this is more expensive than CAPS and also takes much more time to complete, as a result we often recommend taking the CAPS first as it’s the easier and quicker route to get started in this career or business route.

Why choose CAPS as the most recommended Home Modification Certification?

  1. It’s cheapest, it’s $750
  2. It’s easiest – just 3 days, you can do all on line now although it is live
  3. You get NAHB profile for networking
  4. NAHB provides information on contractors and builders to aid in your ideas

 The bonus of the CAPS program is that once you take it, you get to have your profile listed under the NAHB which will help you get found and get clients organically. Our CAPS trainers here are OT business owners and our CAPS program comes with additional free marketing templates, website template, and business course valued at $500!  Go here to learn more:

How to start your Home Modifications Side Hustle as an OT/COTA or PT/PTA?

Aging population and rising medical costs are leading to a growing demand within the community to try to keep mom or dad home as long as possible….or maybe even have mom or dad live with you!

You can have a side hustle after work or on the weekends or grow this into a full time business – and yes it’s possible! Just see 2 OT’s doing great things here: and

Here are the general steps: to starting a home modifications business:

Step 1: Get the education

Step 2; Get your website and marketing set up

Step 3: Start networking and getting clients

Step 4 Perform your 1st home modification visit!


Okay, let’s break down each of these for you:

Step 1: Get the education

While your therapy degree is an amazing tool, there are some nuances including specific rules and regulations you must follow when performing home modifications. That’s why it is important to take the time to get some additional education. Not only will you feel more confident performing home modifications but it will also you help find patients and charge more as a result. We recommend the CAPS or Certified Aging in Place Specialist program here -  it comes with a price match guarantee, business course, website template, and marketing templates, but you can also look into the USC Online Executive Certificate in Home Modifications.

Step 2; Get your website and marketing set up

This is easy as we have marketing flyers templates and website templates within our CAPS program here that you can literally install in 1 click to get your business going -


Step 3: Start networking and getting clients

One of the best ways to find clients is to find local chapters organizations that perform home rebuilds, that donate equipment, or other charitable endeavors. Such an example is Habitat for Humanity or your local Fire or Police Department.

Another method is to network with relators. If you’ve bought a house, contact your relator. If not, see what realty groups are around and connect with them. They often have a folder you get when you move into your home, and if you could get your flyer in that folder it would be huge for marketing!

Local assisted living centers or medical centers are another great way to network and promote your business.

Joining the AOTA and APTA also may help as they have forums here that may help you connect with others pursing the same route as you: and Making a House an Accessible Home: The Role of PTs | APTA

There is of course SEO where hopefully people find you directly through your website. We highly recommend you sign up for the free Google My Business Account as this will really help you be found as most of clients will be finding you via LOCAL SEO which means much less competition.

You can market to social media groups and on social media pages, podcasts, Instagram, etc.

And of course there are paid ads, but I’ve made over $100,000 per year and all of that is without ads!  So I definitely think you do not need to start with this method.

Now one question you may get is why would I choose you?

And I feel like this is a really simple answer – you can talk to them about the hundreds if not thousands of patient’s you’ve seen with mobility deficits, all the assistive device recommendations you’ve made over the years as a therapist or assistant, the special education that’s not just a certification but legit YEARS of education (often a doctorate too!), medical knowledge, ability to converse with medical team and collaborate, your holistic approach and much more!

Step 4 Perform your 1st home modification visit!

What, I’m going to see someone – I do I do and say??

It’s going to be very much like that therapy evaluation. Sit down, ask them about their medical history, their issues in their home, fall history, goals, needs and family support.

I would perform a strength, balance, walking, standing, transfers assessment and watch them in the particular things that they mentioned they are struggling with – for example, if it’s getting out the tub then lets see you get out of the tub.

From there, make verbal recommendations on:

  1. Exercises
  2. On equipment
  3. On home adjustments

You’ll also make a formal write up and depending on the package the client purchased, you could then also connect with contractors and get the ball moving with the modifications to your client’s home.

Common Home Modification Recommendations:

There are many things you can assess and recommend on – really the sky and your creativity are the limit! But here is a little cheat sheet:

  1. Walking assistive devices – this could be rollators, walkers, canes, hemi walkers, quad canes, hurricane, wheelchairs, upright walker etc.
  2. Home entrance devices: You could make recommendations on how one could more easily enter their home. This could be recommending ramps, lifts, widening doorways, handrails, grab bars, stair glides to aid in entering and exiting the home and preventing falls.
  3. Bathroom modifications: Where do most falls happen? One of the most common places is the bathroom. Perhaps a raised toilet seat, shower chair or bench, grab bars, non-slip flooring, different fixtures, roll in showers, Hoyer lifts may be of help.
  4. Kitchen modifications: It’s so important for one to be able to feed and cook for themselves safely. It’s not just about reaching things but what about preventing a fire if someone has memory deficits. Items like accessible appliances or utensils, different handles on facets, adjusting the height or placement of furniture.
  5. Car transfer devices: Many people forget how important car transfers are. Could be recommend putting a cushion on the seat, or sitting in the front vs back of the car, car handles may be help to a client.
  6. Bed room and the rest of the home: From hallway width, motion censored lights, doorway width, type of flooring, cords in the way, bed rails or grab bars, transfer devices that fit under the mattress, sit to stand devices to aid in transfers can all be of great help.
  7. Outside hazards (such as patio): Many of us don’t realize how important getting outside is. It helps with sleep and wake cycles as well as overall health. We want to make sure we have good lightening inside and space inside but also how to exit to the patio, solar lights on the patio, ramp for the patio etc.


Tips for being a successful OT/COTA/PT/PTA in Home Modifications:

  1. Involve the client and family in the process – Check in frequently with the client as construction is going on. Include everyone and identify any areas of concern and have clear goals and budgets. Establish clear goals -taking into consideration physical, cognitive, sensory and environmental factors.
  2. Document: Write out your recommendations clearly and also in order of importance as not all will have the budget to perform all your recommendations. Get the dimensions of each room and layout to aid in specifics. Use standardized measures such as the Home Fast or customized assessments to track progress and inform future interventions.

I like to take video too as that helps with visualizing changes before and after.

  1. Collect payment upfront – you do not want to be chasing patients for payment.
  2. Follow up – Monitor progress of modifications and perform ongoing support. You can make several packages so that this is included in your time.
  3. Collect reviews on Google to grow your business and keep in contact with old patients
  4. Evaluate your outcomes and collect feedback throughout the process that way you can really see the increase in independence that the patient now has.
  5. Learn from every mistake or bad review and make changes.


Want to start your home modification business? Get our CAPS program here and get expert advise from our OT home modification business experts, get live online training, get marketing materials, a bonus business course and even a website template!



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