Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate Degree

Occupational therapy assistants work with occupational therapists in creating and implementing rehabilitation plans for patients with illnesses, injuries or disabilities. Learn about associate's degree programs in occupational therapy assisting, and find out career info for graduates. Schools offering Occupational Therapy Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate's Degree Programs Are Available?

You are likely to find 2-year occupational therapy assistant programs that can result in an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degree. These programs are commonly found through community and technical colleges.

You won't be able to find any schools offering distance education programs for this field. Hands-on experience may be required and can be obtained through fieldwork. Your hands-on training can provide experience following therapist directions, treating patients of all ages and working in various environments.

What Courses Can I Expect?

Your program may teach you different exercise techniques, disability types, rehabilitation routines and treatment plans. You can expect your program to feature courses in human growth and development, anatomy, physiology, medical conditions, developmental disabilities and psychosocial dysfunction. Your program may also require you to complete general education courses in general psychology, English composition, general sociology, humanities and mathematics.

What Can I Do With My Education?

An associate's degree in this field will qualify you for a career as an occupational therapy assistant. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to earn licensure. Although you aren't required to earn certification, you may be more likely to be hired after earning the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) designation offered by the National Board for Certifying Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). If your state of employment doesn't offer a licensing exam, the COTA exam may fulfill state licensure exam requirements.

What Is My Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupational therapy assistant job openings are expected to increase 30% between 2008 and 2018. This growth in available positions may be caused by an aging population and their increased potential for strokes or heart attacks. As of May 2010, the BLS also estimated that those in this career field earned a median salary of $51,010.

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