What is the difference between an Occupational Therapist (OT) and an Occupational
Therapy Assistant (OTA)? OTs are now required to complete a Master’s degree program, while an OTA completes
a 2-year degree. OTs evaluate and develop intervention plans and are responsible
for supervising OTAs. After being certified and licensed, OTAs may provide OT services
under the supervision of an OT.
What does COTA mean? Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. A person becomes certified after completing an accredited program and sitting
for the NBCOT Certification Examination. (NBCOT = National Board for Certification
in Occupational Therapy)
Where are graduates from Allegany College of Maryland getting jobs? Graduates are employed at facilities such as: hospital systems, school therapy services,
nursing homes, and other various outpatient facilities.
Is the program offered at ACM accredited? Yes. Initial accreditation was given December 1993. Re-accreditation status was
granted August 2014.
How much do graduates from ACM earn? Starting salaries vary depending on the facility and its location. In the immediate Cumberland
area, graduates are earning $12-$14 per hour. In larger cities, graduates can earn
up to $15-$20 starting salary. Salaries can range from $22,000 - $35,000 per year.
If I attend ACM and become a COTA, can I return to school and become an OTR? Several ACM graduates have returned to OT school and are now working as OTRs. You
can choose a traditional Monday through Friday OT program, but most of our OTA graduates
choose the weekend option. This allows the COTA to work full-time or part-time while
earning their degree to become and OTR.
You will need to contact the specific university you would like to attend to be sure
credits will transfer. Most OTA graduates will remain at AC and complete general
education courses before actually transferring to a university for OT school.
If I graduate from a Maryland School such as ACM, can I work in PA or WV? After completing the 2-year program, you will be eligible to sit for the NBCOT Certification
Examination. Once you pass this Examination, you can apply for licensure in any state
in the US as well as in other countries.
What classes do I need to be eligible for ACM’s OTA program? For a list of courses, please view the ACM credit catalog.
If I complete classes at another college or university, will my credits transfer to
ACM? All courses are evaluated to determine if they will transfer. Generally, general
education courses transfer, but you will need to contact the Admissions Office and send official transcripts for the course evaluation.
Is there financial aid available for OTA students? There are several OTA scholarships specifically for OTA students through our Foundation. Students can also apply for grants. Contact our Financial Aid Office for additional financial assistance.
What is the employment outlook for occupational therapy assistants? The U.S. Department of Labor predicts an increase of 40% in employment over the next
ten years, nationwide. This is much faster than the average growth of many other professions.
View more statistics here.