Occupational Therapy Assistant Certificate Program Overviews

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

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.

Prerequisites to enter an associate's program include a high school degree or GED. Students must also have CPR certification and completion of certain math and science classes.

Associate's Degree in Occupational Therapy Assistance

Core courses in an associate's degree program in occupational therapy assistance 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 43% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov. 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 $58,340 in 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Occupational therapy assistants wishing to advance in the occupational therapy field 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.

To enter the field of occupational therapy, students will need a minimum of an associate's degree. Such a degree will give aspiring assistants the skills and hands-on experience needed to fill entry-level positions.

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