Occupational Therapy Assistant

Daily living made easier, independence made possible

Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) support and enable their patients'/clients' participation in the activities of everyday life. In collaboration with licensed Occupational Therapists, OTAs work with patients'/clients' who are recovering from serious injury and may have a physical, emotional, social or a developmental disability. They help patients'/clients' of all ages full-fill educational, vocational and leisure skills. Demand is on the rise for well-trained graduates and OTAs enjoy competitive salaries and career options in a wide range of settings. ACC offers a nationally accredited Associate of Applied Science degree. Students also receive preparation for the national certification exam.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have not already completed the ACC admissions process, please visit the Future Students page. At the financial aid page you can check your eligibility and submit an application.

This program has specific program requirements and prerequisite courses. Acceptance to ACC does not guarantee admission to this program.

What skills can I gain?

Students build a solid educational foundation in areas of general academics while focusing on specialized Occupational Therapy Assistant training. Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) students learn to promote and maintain function when patients experience injury, disease, or disability. They practice observing, carrying out treatments, and assisting with patient evaluations. OTA students also engage clients in therapeutic activities and occupations that enhance participation in various activities and document the client's progress. Teaching clients how to compensate for lost skills helping individuals with disabilities increase their independence are also skills taught in the program.

An OTA may perform any of the following activities:

  • Teach a boy with cerebral palsy learn to hold a crayon with his hands
  • Help a woman with arthritis adapt her kitchen
  • Show a worker how to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Assist a senior in learning to use public transportation
  • Help someone relearn how to dress and bathe independently
  • Work on ways to manage stress, plan meals, balance a checkbook, or use a computer

Students receive focused preparation for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) credentialing exam.

NBCOT (301) 990.7979, 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150

Where can I work with this education?

Graduates can be eligible to work with children, adolescents, adults, or geriatric clients in the following settings: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, mental health facilities, private physician practices, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, community centers, and outpatient clinics. In schools, OTAs work with students who have learning disabilities, behavioral problems, cerebral palsy, or Down syndrome. OTAs often work with adults with traumatic injuries, the effects of a stroke, Alzheimer's disease, or mental health problems.

Accreditation information

The occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program will be eligible 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, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.