Program Overview

Occupational Therapy Assistant

student leaning over bed to help other student lift themselves up

*This program is financial aid eligible.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant curriculum prepares individuals to work under the supervision of a registered/licensed occupational therapist in screening, assessing, planning, and implementing treatment and documenting progress for clients receiving occupational therapy services.

Course work includes human growth and development, conditions which interfere with activities of daily living, theory and process of occupational therapy, individual/group treatment activities, therapeutic use of self, activity analysis, and grading/adapting activities and environments.

Graduates may be eligible to take the national certification examination for practice as a certified occupational therapy assistant. Employment opportunities include hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, long-term/extended care facilities, sheltered workshops, schools, home health programs, and community programs.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number, c/o AOTA, is 301-652-AOTA and its web address is

The national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states, including North Carolina, require licensure to practice as a COTA; licensure in North Carolina is based on results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. These processes are separate from the college’s program and graduation requirements. Students are encouraged to contact NBCOT for additional information.

View program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and Durham Tech program outcomes.

Students may become members of the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA).

Students are required to attend an information session prior to applying to the program. View upcoming information sessions listed further down this page.

How to Apply: View the Admissions Checklist. Use the button below to apply to Durham Tech following the Health Technologies Enrollment Steps. You may apply to the College at any time. Once prerequisites are completed, apply to the OTA program. The program application will be posted here in early August and the application deadline is October 15. The Essential Skills Required and Technology Proficiency forms must also be completed for admission into the program.

If you have questions about admissions requirements after reviewing the above information, you may contact Sue Cheng, program director or Donna Alston, admissions counselor.

Next Application Deadline is Oct 15

Estimated Tuition & Fees

Associate Degree

Degree Type


Credit Hours

Main Campus


Program Stats

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Average Salary


Average Class Size


Estimated Completion Time

24 months

Licensure Pass Rate


Upcoming Program Events

Current and Upcoming Course Offerings

Course Number Title Credit Hours
ACA-122 College Transfer Success 1
BIO-168 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIO-169 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
ENG-111 Writing and Inquiry 3
ENG-112 Writing and Research in the Disciplines 3
OTA-130 Assessment Skills 3
OTA-161 Fieldwork I-Placement 1 1
OTA-162 Fieldwork I-Placement 2 1
OTA-170 Physical Conditions 3
OTA-180 Psychosocial Conditions 3
OTA-260 Level II Fieldwork Placement 1 6
OTA-261 Level II Fieldwork Placement 2 6
OTA-280 Professional Transitions 1
PSY-150 General Psychology 3
PSY-241 Developmental Psychology 3
PSY-281 Abnormal Psychology 3

“I moved from Asheville just to come to this program because Durham Tech has one of the best Occupational Therapy Assistant programs in the state. Our instructors stress the fact that the OT field is a very close knit community and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my classmates. The instructors are really incredible. They provide a vast amount of information that you don’t typically see at community colleges.”

—Hanna Robinson