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Occupational Therapy Assistant Certificate Program Overviews

Occupational therapists help ill or injured patients regain basic skills, such as dressing themselves and eating independently. There are no certificate programs for students who are aspiring to become occupational therapy assistants. However, several colleges and universities offer 2-year occupational therapy assistant (OTA) associate's degree programs.

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Essential Information

These programs feature lectures and emphasize hands-on, clinical experience. Students gain a basic understanding of medical terminology, human anatomy and patient care techniques. They are also prepared to sit for the National Occupational Therapy Assistant Certification Examination, given by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

  • Program Levels for Occupational Therapy Assistance: Associate's degree
  • Prerequisites: High school degree or GED
  • Other Requirements: CPR certification, completion of certain math and science classes
  • Experiential Learning: Hands-on work through clinical experience
  • Program Length: 2 years

Associate's Degree in Occupational Therapy Assistance

Core courses in an occupational therapy assistant program might include the following:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Human growth and development
  • Introduction to occupational therapy
  • Occupational therapy skills
  • Occupational therapy and disabilities
  • Occupational therapy and physical dysfunction

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Demand for occupational therapy assistants was forecast to grow by 41 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, This growth was expected to be fueled by an increase in the number of aging baby boomers requiring occupational therapy in the face of degenerative conditions. The mean annual wage of occupational therapy assistants was $57,260 in 2014.

Continuing Education Information

Occupational therapy assistants who aspire to advance in the occupational therapy field will need to continue their education at a 4-year college or university. In general, a master's degree is the minimum educational requirement for employment as an occupational therapist.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics