I took BIO 168 more than 5 years ago, but BIO 169 is less than 5 years ago. Do I need to retake BIO 168?  Yes, each class is looked at separately, and each of them must be less than 5 years old.

I have taken BIO 168 and 169 or ENG 111 and ENG 112, 113, or 114. Can I use whichever class I got the higher grade in for the points on my application? No, the points on the application are given for ENG 111 and/or BIO 168, not for higher level classes.

I took a different English, Communications, or Biology course at another college or university, and it was accepted as a substitute for ENG 111, BIO 168, or COM 231. Can I get the points for that class on my application? Yes, if the course substitute was approved by the Program Director.

I want to specialize in a certain area of practice (e.g., environmental modifications, pediatrics). How do I find a program with this specialty?
All entry-level educational programs prepare you to be a generalist. Specializing in one area of practice would be something you would pursue after you graduate and successfully pass the national certification examination. Many practitioners do select a specialty area of practice. Others change their area of practice throughout their careers. Occupational therapy provides a great deal of career flexibility.


What is fieldwork education?
Fieldwork education is a crucial part of your preparation to become an occupational therapy assistant. It provides you an opportunity to carry out practice and other professional responsibilities under supervision and role modeling by an experienced practitioner.


Are there any entry-level occupational therapy assistant educational programs offered online?
There are no accredited entry-level occupational therapy assistant educational programs that are offered in the online format. Some educational programs may offer some courses or parts of courses online (see listings under “Distance Education” on the following Web page: http://www.aota.org/Students/Schools.aspx), but there are no educational programs offered entirely online.


The application requires that I have observation or volunteer experience. Who do I contact to set this up?
It is suggested that you contact local facilities that employ occupational therapists and/or occupational therapy assistants (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, or school systems). You can find these numbers on the internet under Occupational Therapy or Rehabilitation. You can also look for specific settings such as Pediatric Occupational Therapy Clinics. These requests are made quite frequently and you will find most facilities accommodating. Be prepared to discuss your reason for the request and your availability. You are advised to call facilities rather than e-mail them.


What is the difference between an occupational therapy assistant and an occupational therapy aide?
An occupational therapy assistant is a graduate of an accredited occupational therapy assistant educational program and is eligible to sit for the national certification examination. Most states regulate occupational therapy assistants. Occupational therapy aides provide supportive services to the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant. Occupational therapy aides usually receive their training on the job and are not eligible for certification or licensure. Occupational therapy aide programs are not accredited by AOTA's Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and certification of aides is not required. You can contact the North Carolina Board of Occupational Therapy (NCBOT) to determine what services and regulations apply to occupational therapy aides in North Carolina.


I am currently working in another profession. I am considering occupational therapy as a second career. Is this feasible?
A good number of students go back to school to become an occupational therapy assistant. Contact a College Counselor in order to determine what prerequisites you would need to take.


How much will I make as an occupational therapy assistant?
For the most recent salary information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site at http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos166.htm.


Where can I find financial aid information?
You should first start with the Financial Aid office. There is limited information available on the AOTA Web site at http://www.aota.org/featured/area2/index.asp#scholarships.


I know that I need to take a national certification exam when I graduate.  Do I have to take this exam in each state that I would like to practice?
This is a national exam. You can take it anywhere it is offered. Your exam results will be reported to the appropriate state regulatory bodies that you have previously indicated. Once you successfully pass the national certification examination, you can apply for a license in any state.

FAQ’s (some information retrieved from www.aota.org 2.6.12)