Occupational Therapy Assistant

The OTA program at Amarillo College is a 4 long semester (fall I, spring I, fall II and spring II) program consisting of both classroom instruction and clinical experience. The program consists of students who have met the application requirements, completed the application process, have been notified of program acceptance and have formally accepted a position in the current class.

Thinking of becoming an OTA?? TAKE THIS ON LINE QUIZ


Tell me 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. 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.Once students are accepted and enroll into the OTA program, they experience a high rate of success.

Students say they've worked harder in the OTA program than they did for their bachelors degree or in other college courses they have taken. Students are viewed by the faculty as life long active learners. As adult learners, students in the OTA program are responsible to come to class prepared to apply what has been learned through pre-class preparation, study, reading and activities. If you are an OTA student, plan to study and prepare 3 hours outside of class for every hour in class. Each semester is typically 20 clock hours in the classroom so a student will need to spend 60 hours in study, reading, writing, preparing assignments, and outside learning each week.

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


Check out these links :  

AOTA information on the career of OTA  


What OT personnel do daily at work













What's "fieldwork?"

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 imbedded fulltime one week clinical experiences. After a student completes pediatric classroom instruction, the student is placed in a pediatric site for a week of fulltime fieldwork experience. The student may need to take vacation time if working in order to attend fieldwork each for the first 3 semesters.

Level II  fieldwork courses are seven to nine weeks each, for a total of 16 weeks as 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. The successful OTA student does not work during Level II fieldwork.

Level I and Level II Fieldwork WILL NOT ALL TAKE PLACE IN AMARILLO because of the number of students in the program and the number of clinical fieldwork educators available in Amarillo. Amarillo College can not guarentee placement in Amarillo for ANY Level I or Level II experience.

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.

NOTE: A felony conviction may affect your ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or get a state license to practice OT. A graduate who is not allowed by NBCOT to take the certification exam because of a felony conviction will probably not be able to get Texas license as an OTA. Assistance with a felony conviction can be obtained through NBCOT  at http://www.nbcot.org/ and ECPTOTE at http://www.ptot.texas.gov/page/home

What happens after I graduate?

Amarillo College OTA students shine when it comes to getting through the program, passing the cert exam and getting jobs.

GRADUATION YEAR Students entering/graduating Graduation rate    
2013 16/15 94%    
2014 19/20 105%    
2015 15/14 93%  


TOTAL 50/49 97%  


The direct link for NBCOT results for Amarillo College OTA graduate data is https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx

OTA employment and 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. Employment opportunities in Amarillo vary year to year for OTAs. Fewer jobs have been open locally in the past couple of years for new graduates. In May 2015 one third of the OTA graduates found full time employment IMMEDIATELY UPON GRADUATION OUTSIDE OF AMARILLO. 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.


Amarillo College's OTA program is accredited by Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of The American Occupational Therapy Association(AOTA). AOTA is locate at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE offices are housed within the AOTA building. ACOTE'S phone number in care of AOTA is 301-652-AOTA and the web address is www.acoteonline.org.