Occupational Therapy is the use everyday activities as the means of helping people achieve independence. Occupational therapy assistants, under the supervision of registered occupational therapists, help people of all ages to lead productive satisfying lives.
Individuals who are licensed Occupational Therapy Assistants are eligible to work in hospitals, schools, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, mental health facilities, home health agencies, assisted living centers, and community programs. Occupational therapy clinics operate primarily in the day hours, but evening and weekend hours are available in some settings. There are opportunities for full and part time work.
Salary ranges for occupational therapy assistants will vary according to experience and the type of employment setting. A new graduate occupational therapy assistant will make approximately $34,000- $37,000 per year. Experienced occupational therapy assistants will make up to $45,000 per year.
Occupational therapy assistants are required to graduate from an accredited program to be able to apply for licensure. The individual who successfully completes these courses at CCRI receives an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree and is eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapy assistants. An individual must successfully pass the certification examination in order to apply for licensure to practice as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant in the State of Rhode Island. State licensure requirements may vary state to state.
Interested high school students should enroll in a math and science curriculum, including algebra, biology, and physics or chemistry. The student will need good reading and communication skills.
The occupational therapy assistant program is a 2 year program that integrates classroom preparation and clinical practice.; General education courses such as English Composition, Oral Communication, Anatomy, Physiology, Algebra, and Psychology enhance the occupational therapy assistant core courses. There courses include laboratory sessions to learn and practice hands on skills required to be an occupational therapy assistant. The students have fieldwork experiences in various occupational therapy settings to practice skills learned in the clinic under the supervision of an occupational therapist or certified occupational therapy assistant.
The total cost of the 15 month occupational therapy assistant program including tuition, fees, and books is approximately $5800. This does not include the costs for general education prerequisites. For up-to-date costs go to the CCRI Bursar's Tuition & Fees page.
All students completing the prerequisite courses with a “C” or better and maintaining a GPA of at least 2.0 will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. At this time there is not a waiting list for the occupational therapy assistant program.
Additional information about occupational therapy is available through the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) website.