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Occupational therapy assistant was named one of the top 25 jobs in America in U.S. News & World Report's 100 Best Jobs for 2014. Occupational therapists are expected to employ more assistants to reduce the cost of their services. Once a patient is evaluated and the therapist designs a treatment plan, the OTA can provide many aspects of treatment.

Improved technology is another reason for the higher demand for OTAs. Chronic illnesses that once caused death have better prognosis and treatments. Today we can detect problems in infants and children much earlier and provide early intervention.

Occupational therapy assistants can work with adults who have suffered traumas such as strokes and spinal cord injuries as well as children with disabilities such as Down Syndrome, ADD/ADHD, and autism. In addition, OTAs can choose to work in a hand therapy clinic specializing in hand injuries or consult with manufacturing industries in the prevention of on-the-job injuries.


Many occupational therapist assistants also advance into administration positions. They may manage a large occupational therapy department in a hospital or act as the director for a specific department such as the dementia unit in a nursing home. Some assistants go on to teach classes in accredited occupational therapy assistant academic programs or lead health risk reduction classes for the elderly. Others prefer working in research.

The information below reflects aggregated data from all of the Herzing University campuses that have students enrolled in the specified program in the specified time period. The information does not reflect data regarding individual campuses unless only one campus had students to report. The reporting period used to obtain this data was 7/1/2012-6/30/2013. If there were less than 10 graduates in a program, median loan debt and on-time completion data were not disclosed for that program to protect the privacy of those students. Tuition and length may vary by campus location. Ranges could not be input for tuition and length, therefore tuition and length reported are the highest tuition rates and longest program length to encompass all campuses. For information regarding specific campus tuition please refer to . For a more detailed description of how the data was calculated please refer to the Disclosure Methodology located here .


The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certifies occupational therapy assistants through a national certifying exam. Those who pass the exam are awarded the title Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Once certified, the COTA can apply for a state license in the state he or she chooses to practice in. Not all states require an additional license and requirements vary from state to state. Please check with your state health department for these requirements.


Most states, including Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, regulate the practice of occupational therapist assistants either by licensing, registration, or certification. Eligibility requirements vary by state. Contact your state’s licensing board for specific regulatory requirements of occupational therapy assistants. In Minnesota, the applicant MUST have graduated from an accredited OTA program and passed the NBCOT exam. A fee and background check are also required. For more information go to

Some states have additional requirements for occupational therapy assistants who work in schools or early intervention programs. These requirements may include education-related classes, an education practice certificate, or early intervention certification.

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