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Occupational Therapy Assistant, A.A.A.S.

Work as an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) under the supervision of registered occupational therapists. You will help rehabilitate patients who are physically or mentally disabled by developing and implementing programs of educational, vocational and recreational activities.

Those programs will help a patient strengthen muscle power, increase motion and coordination and develop self sufficiency in overcoming disabilities.

Throughout your course work, you will learn to handle the emotional demands of your future work environment and to interact effectively with a variety of people. Successful occupational therapy assistants are able to set aside personal feelings and deal with patients who will depend on them for emotional and psychological support during therapy.

Plan to take prep courses in biological and behavioral sciences -- such as anatomy, physiology, and psychology -- before you begin courses required for the Occupational Therapy Assistant, A.A.A.S. Degree.

National certification exam

Graduates of the program will be able to sit for the national certification examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam you will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

The OTA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. The phone number is (301) 652-AOTA. www.acoteonline.org. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or state registration. For further information on limitations, you can contact NBCOT at 12 South Summit Ave, Gaitherburg, MD 20877; (301) 990-7979.

Career advancement

The State of Michigan requires licensure for therapists to practice. There are several professional-level education programs directed toward providing specific career advancement for certified occupational therapy assistants. To become a registered occupational therapist, a bachelor's degree will be required. Assistants may apply to other professional programs, but their previous training does not automatically include a transfer of credits or eligibility.

Additional Information

Transfer