Occupational Therapy Assistant
The OTA program at Amarillo College is a twenty-four month program consisting of both classroom instruction and clinical experience. The last semester is a full time 40 hour per week clinical experience. The program consists of up to twenty four students who have met the application requirements, completed the application process, and have been chosen and accepted a position in the current class.
What are the best things about AC's OTA program?
OTA students say the class schedule works well with their life. Also, the faculty are passionate about OTA and enjoy teaching. The OTA lab is a great environment for learning. Students truly seem to enjoy each other - they sometimes spend time together outside of class. There are lots of opportunities for hands on experience practice of OTA in the Fieldwork experiences.
What is the best thing about occupational therapy?
"I got into OT because I want to make a difference in people's lives. OT can change how well a person with a disease or disability lives life." AC OTA graduate
"When I graduate, I'll have jobs to choose from - I might work with children, adults or elders. OTAs are really in demand all across Texas and the US. I can make $25.00 an hour working in Dallas." AC OTA student
"I didn''t know what OT was until my child needed it. I saw what a benefit OT was in helping do everyday things that had been a struggle - getting dressed, learning in school, playing with others, making friends. Now I want to have a career where I can guide others in improving their independence and satisfaction with life." AC OTA student
Tell me about the courses
General education courses which are required are ENGL 1301, SPCH 1315 or 1318 or 1321, BIOL 2401, BIOL 2402, 3 hours credit MATH course, PSYC 2301, and HITT 1305. A grade of "C" or better is required in each required course.
Occupational Therapy courses are OTHA 1160, 1161, 1305, 1309, 1341, 1349, 1353, 1415, 1419, 2201, 2262, 2266, 2267, 2330, 2331, 2335, 2402.
Fieldwork is clinical practice of the skills learned in class. A licensed OT practitioner supervises fieldwork. There are two levels of fieldwork experience in the OTA program. Level I Fieldwork consists of 3 courses. Level I Fieldwork is a part-time experience for a half day one semester, full days in the summer for 2 to 3 weeks, and 1 full day the second fall semester.
Level II fieldwork courses are seven to nine weeks each, for a total of 16 weeks are required by ACOTE. These two courses consist of advanced direct patient intervention under the supervision of a licensed OT practitioner. The student will be in the clinical site for 40 hours per week for 16 full weeks the last semester of the program.
Level I or Level II Fieldwork may have to be done out of Amarillo because of the number of students and clinic sites available in the Amarillo area.
When I finish the classes and fieldwork, what do I do next?
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 passing this exam, you will be a certified Occupational Therapy Assistant(COTA).
In addition, Texas and most other states require licensure to practice. Texas and many other states use the certification exam results to determine who can be licensed to practice OT. In Texas the application process for a COTA to obtain a license includes an open book test on the legal rules which guide occupational therapy practice.
So how good are AC's OTA program graduates? How many pass the cert exam & get jobs?
Amarillo College graduates shine when it comes to passing the cert exam and getting jobs. Here's AC's OTA program info for the past 3 years:
|YEAR||Number of program graduates||Number of first-time test takers||Number of first-time test takers who passed the exam||Percentage of first-time test takers who passed the exam|
|TOTAL for 3 years||26||26||23||88%|
Amarillo College's OTA program overall average pass rate for the past 3 years is 88%. We are proud of our fine graduates and their success on the certification exams. And, in all three years, 100% who were looking for an OTA job were employed within 4 months of gradutation!
Salaries vary with location, supply and demand as well as type of facility. Locally, a new OTA graduate can expect to earn approximately $41,600 to $52,000 annually, a rate of $20.00 to $25.00 per hour. On-call and per diem rates are higher. The rate of pay is higher in other parts of Texas including some facilities as close as 80 miles from Amarillo. There are many jobs available within the state as well as across the US.