Occupational Therapy Assistant

Transform Lives with Therapeutic Techniques for Rehabilitation and Recovery

Occupational Therapy Assistant playing with young boy on swing

Program Overview

Are you drawn to a career that makes a difference? College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Occupational Therapist Assistant program is designed for individuals like you who are passionate about helping others achieve their fullest potential. In this program, you will learn how to support patients recovering from injuries, dealing with disabilities, or facing long-term health issues. You will gain the skills to assist in therapeutic activities, help with rehabilitation, and make a meaningful impact in the lives of your patients.

The Occupational Therapist Assistant program blends theoretical knowledge with practical, hands-on training. You will learn from experienced healthcare professionals and engage in clinical experiences that prepare you for real-world scenarios. Whether you are beginning your career journey or transitioning to a new path in healthcare, our program is your stepping stone to becoming a compassionate, skilled Occupational Therapist Assistant.

Degree or Certificate Type

Associate of Applied Science

Time to Complete

2 years

Primary Location

Occupational Therapy Assistant student working with young girl on climbing wall

Learning Opportunities

  • Patient Care Skills: Learn to support patients with diverse needs, enhancing their daily living and working abilities.
  • Therapeutic Techniques: Master a variety of therapeutic techniques to assist in patient rehabilitation and recovery.
  • Clinical Practice: Gain practical experience in healthcare settings, applying your skills under professional supervision.
  • Comprehensive Knowledge: Develop a deep understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and occupational therapy principles.
  • Empathy & Communication: Cultivate strong interpersonal skills, learning to connect with patients and healthcare teams effectively.

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Occupational Therapy Assistant – Associate of Applied Science

Occupational Therapist working with young boy in a virtual headset

Career Opportunities

  • Occupational Therapy Assistants

    Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with state laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

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*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.


Admission into the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is competitive and requires a supplemental application process. Learn more about this process by attending a Healthcare Information Session.


  • Apply to CWI.
  • Choose Occupational Therapy Assistant as your major.


  • Review the Occupational Therapy Assistant Application Steps which includes details on:
    • prerequisite and corequisite classes
    • medical terminology competency
    • unofficial transcripts
    • professional references
    • cover letter requirements
    • and a panel interview.


  • Complete the supplemental application process by the deadline.

Fall 2024 Application Deadlines

  • Tuesday, April 30
  • Priority Deadline: Monday, April 1

Academic Calendar New Student Checklist

Program Accreditation

The Occupational Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science program is accredited by Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929

Graduates of the Occupational Therapist Assistant program will be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, individuals will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). All states require licensure in order to practice. State licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification exam or attain state licensure.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the total cost of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program?

    The total cost of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is approximately $12,650.

    • The costs below are representative of four (4) semesters between Fall 2021 and Spring 2023. 
    • Costs are subject to change without notice.
    Semester Tuition Fees Books & Supplies Total
    Prerequisite Classes $2,780 N/A $1,548 $4,328
    Semester 1 $1,668 $155 $355 $2,178
    Semester 2 $1,668 $55 $205 $1,928
    Semester 3 $1,668 $130 $200 $1,998
    Semester 4 $1,668 $560 N/A $2,228
    Total $9,452 $900 $2,298 $12,650

    Cost & Aid

  • What are the student outcomes for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program?

    Below are the student outcomes for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at College of Western Idaho. 

    Graduation Year 2021 2022 2023
    Students Entering 0 0 14
    Graduates 0 0 12
    Graduation Rate 0 0 85.70%
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Thanks to instructors and resources at CWI, Occupational Therapy Assistant student, Kaila Boeck, is on her way to pursuing her passion of helping others.

Read more about From Teaching to Healing

Occupational Therapy Assistant student, Michelle Wooton, is learning the tools and skills to impact lives around her — even in the most unlikely of places.

Read more about Learning Skills to Help Those Around Her

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program students and sisters, Kim Shores and Leslee Tate, are gaining the skills and training to graduate CWI’s healthcare program and make a difference in people...

Read more about Working Together to Find Their Calling in Life

Applications are now being accepted for College of Western Idaho’s Health Science programs.

Read more about Health Programs 2023 Application Deadlines

Occupational Therapy Assistant students spent the day talking to Idaho lawmakers and learning about their industry’s advocation to improve access to services in the state.

Read more about OTA Students Advocate to Improve Client Access at State Capitol

Students with College of Western Idaho's Occupational Therapy Assistant program helped put on a Halloween themed obstacle course for Boise students last Friday.

Read more about OTA Students Help Boise Students Get in Halloween Spirit

College of Western Idaho invites anyone interested in or thinking about pursuing a career in healthcare to attend the 2022 Health Professions Open House Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Read more about 2022 Fall Health Professions Open House

College of Western Idaho’s Occupational Therapy Assistant students were able to provide information and screenings to senior citizens about fall prevention and risk reduction. 

Read more about CWI’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Students Help Seniors Live Healthy Lives

In partnership with TRICA, Occupational Therapy Assistant students put their knowledge to work with the creation of a week-long, all-inclusive dance camp for children in the community.

Read more about OTA Students Finish Semester “en Pointe” with Children’s Dance Camp

It didn’t take long for College of Western Idaho occupational therapy assistant students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it to real-world situations.

Read more about OTA Students Host Halloween-themed Sensory Night at YMCA

Occupational Therapy Assistant students kick off the semester with a meaningful, hands-on learning activity.

Read more about What do Pancakes Have to do with Occupational Therapy? EVERYTHING!

CWI's Occupational Therapy Assistant program is collaborating with the Treasure Valley Institute of Children’s Arts (TRICA), to provide an adaptive dance camp for children.

Read more about Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Partners with Community Group for Children's Dance Camp
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