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Occupational Therapist Assistant Schools and Training Programs

Improve the quality of life of your patients as you help rehabilitate those with physical, mental, or developmental impairments by pursuing a job as an occupational therapy assistant, or occupational therapist assistant (OTA).

Occupational Therapy Assistant Careers

Working side-by-side with an occupational therapist, the assistant helps clients with rehabilitation exercises and other therapy in accordance with a treatment plan. These may include stretches or re-teaching normal body movements such as walking. Occupational therapy assistants help develop treatment plans for patients and help to monitor their patients' activities to ensure they are performed correctly. They keep track of the client's progress and document billing.

An occupational therapist aide differs slightly in that an aide handles more clerical tasks such as scheduling appointments, answering the phone, preparing materials, and assembling equipment.

An OTA's working conditions can vary depending on whether they work full- or part-time, and the type of institution in which they work. They will often have to work evenings and weekends to accommodate their patients' schedules. In addition, they need to be relatively strong in order to physically assist patients.

Training to Become an Occupational Therapist Assistant

According to bls.gov, to become an occupational therapy assistant, most candidates must earn an associate degree in the field. There were about 300 accredited OTA programs in 2010, most of them at community colleges and technical schools (bls.gov). Such programs introduce basic anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology, and most require at least 16 weeks of supervised field work prior to graduation. Most states also require that OTAs be licensed, registered or certified.

COTA Certification

Certification is voluntary in most states, and carried out by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Those who pass its national certifying exam are awarded the title Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. This meets the requirement for regulation in some states; other states have their own licensing exam.

Occupational therapist aides usually receive most of their training on the job. They tend to make less money than assistants.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Outlook

Jobs for occupational therapist assistants are expected to grow much faster than the national average: 41 percent from 2010 to 2020 (bls.gov, 2011). The reasons for this growth include a growing elderly population that requires therapeutic services; advances in medicine that allow a greater number of trauma patients to survive, who then need therapy; and, overall, greater demand for occupational therapy services that results in spillover to assistants and aides.

Salary for Occupational Therapist Assistants and Aides

Occupational therapy assistants made an average of $51,010 per year in 2010, and occupational therapy aides made an average of $27,430 a year. With occupational therapy training and a helping personality, you could be on your way to a good career in the vibrant healthcare industry.

Additional Information for Individuals Seeking to Enroll in OTA Schools Found on Health-Care-Careers.org
Physical Therapy Assistant Degrees
Occupational Therapy Assistant Career Information

Additional Resources for Occupational Therapy Assistant Professionals:
American Occupational Therapy Association
Bureau of Labor Statistics Data for Occupational Therapist Assistants and Aides

Campus and Online Occupational Therapy Schools

 
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Ashworth College

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Norcross
Programs:
  • Occupational Therapy Aide
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Substance Abuse
Quick Summary: Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

Grand Canyon University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Phoenix
Programs:
  • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Prevention
  • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Grief and Bereavement
  • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Christian Ministry
  • More
Quick Summary: Does psychology interest you? See if Grand Canyon University could be a good fit for your journey in discovering the human mind!

California University of Pennsylvania

[Campus]
Locations:
  • California
Programs:
  • Rehabilitation Sciences (Master of Science) - Online
  • Rehabilitation Sciences (Certificate) - Online
  • Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online
  • More
Quick Summary:

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.


Post University Online

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Waterbury
Programs:
  • B.S. in Human Services / Counseling
Quick Summary:

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.


Capella University

[Online]
Programs:
  • MS - Mental Health Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
  • MS - Clinical Counseling
  • PhD - Counselor Education and Supervision (CACREP-accredited)
  • More
Quick Summary: As an accredited university with online degree programs in five schools, Capella University is committed to helping you accomplish your goals through a high-caliber educational experience.

Intercoast Colleges

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
  • Online Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
Quick Summary: Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.

New England College

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Henniker
Programs:
  • BA in Psychology Clinical Psychology
  • BA in Psychology/Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • BA in Psychology/Addiction and Substance Abuse
Quick Summary:

Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.


Northcentral University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • San Diego
Programs:
  • Health Psychology - PhD of Psychology
Quick Summary:

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.


Liberty University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Lynchburg
Programs:
  • MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
Quick Summary:

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.


Southern California Health Institute

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Reseda
Programs:
  • Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
Quick Summary: Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

[Campus]
Programs:
  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization
  • Psy.D. Clinical Psychology
  • More
Quick Summary: Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.

University of the Southwest

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Hobbs
Programs:
  • MSEd: Mental Health Counseling
Quick Summary:

Pursue your MBA or MSEd online.


Bradley University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Peoria
Programs:
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional School Counseling (PSC)
Quick Summary:

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.


Argosy University

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Counseling Psychology (EdD)
  • Counseling Psychology (MA)
  • Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
Quick Summary:

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.


Stratford Career Institute

[Online]
Programs:
  • Relaxation Therapist
  • Drug & Alcohol Treatment Specialist
Quick Summary: Earn Your Diploma from Home!

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