Occupational Therapy Assistant

Associate Degree in Applied Arts

Program number: 105141


Occupational therapy assistants (OTA) work with individuals across the lifespan, whose ability to participate in everyday activities is complicated by developmental disability, physical and/or emotional illness, injury or aging.  

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Madison College will train you to work with occupational therapists in helping individuals improve functionality, quality of life and independence.

Please note that after acceptance to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, you will be required to complete a background check and provide documentation of current required immunizations and current Healthcare Provider CPR certification. Further information about these requirements will be shared at program orientation.

Madison College students report 100 percent satisfaction with our two-year Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program.

  • "The OTA classes are very relevant and instructors are very experienced."
  •  "We get practical information and see the full scope of OT."
  •  "This program is flexible, practical, and gets you where you want to go."
  •  "We see OT in practice in a wide variety of settings from pediatric to geriatric."
  •  "The Health Education Center at the Truax campus is beautiful and state-of- the-art."

Program Details

Wisconsin law requires background checks for persons who provide care for others or have access to people who receive care. This law applies to students in many School of Health Education programs. Please review the Caregiver Background Check information on the School of Health Education Forms and Policies.

Students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program can attend full or part time. 

Courses are offered Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. - 3:20 p.m. 

Occupational Therapy Assistant classes may be offered at these Madison College campuses:

  • Madison - Truax

Explore financial aid eligibility for this program. 

All courses for this program are offered in person. Most courses also have online requirements.
Occupational Therapy Assistant

Your Advantages at Madison College

  • Study in our state-of-the-art Health Education Center, including a simulated patient home where students practice teaching everyday skills.
  • Learn with top faculty for personalized attention and real-world learning.
  • Benefit from a series of on-site clinical practicums at local health facilities.
  • Spend less than $13,000 for total tuition and program costs for your Madison College degree.

To Apply

Students need to complete the petition process to get into core-program classes for this program. Before submitting an application, it’s important to review the Petition Process webpage which also includes estimated wait times for each program.

After Acceptance

Once you have been accepted in a pre-program status, your next step is to complete the Occupational Therapy Assistant Petition Requirements.

Fall 2019 and Spring 2020                 Fall 2020 and Spring 2021     


Contact Enrollment Services at EnrollmentServices@madisoncollege.edu or (608) 246-6210.


Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2019-2020 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

Current program students (including newly admitted), go directly to your Degree Progress Report (also referred to as an Advising Report or Academic Requirements) to view:

  • Progress toward your specific requirements
  • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

If you have questions after reviewing your report, please see Advising Services.


After completing the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate professional behaviors, ethical standards, values and attitudes of the occupational therapy profession.
  • Practice within the distinct role and responsibility of the occupational therapy assistant.
  • Advocate for the profession, services and consumers.
  • Value lifelong learning and the need to keep current with best practices.
  • Apply occupational therapy principles and intervention tools to achieve expected outcomes
  • Serve a diverse population in a variety of systems that are consistent with entry-level practice.
  • Serve individuals across the life span whose ability to participate in everyday occupations is complicated by developmental disability, physical and/or emotional illness, injury or aging. Occupations are the activities of daily life that have value to individuals and help them be contributing members of their communities.
  • Use purposeful activities to improve the physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills needed to function.
  • Offer alternative approaches and adaptations to compensate when needed.
  • Promote the balance of self-care, work and leisure activities that results in the quality of life and level of independence valued by the individual.
  • Collaborate with occupational therapists.
  • Work in community settings providing mental health, residential care and home health and work-related services as well as in nursing homes, hospitals and schools.


This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number, is (301) 652-AOTA. Visit them online for details. 

Credentialing as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) is separate from Madison College graduation.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be a COTA. In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination.

A felony conviction may affect a graduates’ ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

The total number of graduates from the Madison Area Technical College Occupational Therapy Assistant program from 2016-2018 was 54, with an overall graduation rate of 78%. 


Graduates of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program experience 85% job placement within six months of graduation. OT assistants are employed in community settings providing mental health, residential care and home health, and work-related services as well as in nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. The average monthly wage for Occupational Therapy Assistant program graduates working full-time is $2,983.

Earning your associate degree in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Madison Area Technical College prepares you for a range of professional positions in the field of occupational therapy, including:    

  • Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
  • Adult day care coordinator
  • Activities coordinator
  • Community support worker
  • Life skills trainer
  • Durable medical equipment coordinator
  • Job coach
  • Family support worker
  • Supported employment specialist 

With additional education and/or work experience, Occupational Therapy Assistant Program graduates may find employment as:

  • Assisted living program coordinator/ manager
  • Case manager
  • Community-based residential facility manager
  • Assistive technology provider


  • Estimated Program Cost
    # of Credits for Completion
    Materials/Supplemental Costs
    Other Costs
    Total Estimated Program Costs:
    (book costs not included)
  • Graduate Summary
    Graduate Report Summary Overview

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Program Graduates 18 18 18
    Number of Surveys Sent 18 18 18
    Number of Surveys Returned 15 15 11
    Percent of Surveys Returned 83.30% 83.30% 61.10%
    Available for Employment 15 15 11
    Percent Available for Employment 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
    Not in Labor Market 0 0 0
    Percent Not in Labor Market 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Available for Employment

    2016 2017 2018
    Graduates Employed 12 11 11
    Percent of Graduates Employed 80.00% 73.30% 100.00%
    Employed in Related Occupation 11 8 8
    Percent Employed in Related Occupation 91.70% 72.70% 72.70%
    Employed in Unrelated Occupation 1 3 3
    Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 8.30% 27.30% 27.30%
    Employed - No Response 0 0 0
    Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Seeking Employment 3 4 0
    Percent Seeking Employment 20.00% 26.70% 0.00%
    Reaction To Training at Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.7 3.6 3.5
    Number of Satisfaction Responses 15 15 11
    Very Satisfied 11 9 5
    Percent Very Satisfied 73.30% 60.00% 45.50%
    Satisfied 4 6 6
    Percent Satisfied 26.70% 40.00% 54.50%
    Unsatisfied 0 0 0
    Percent Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Very Unsatisfied 0 0 0
    Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Primary Reason Responses 15 15 11
    Preparation for Getting a Job 8 4 6
    Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 53.30% 26.70% 54.50%
    Career Change 6 10 3
    Percent Career Change 40.00% 66.70% 27.30%
    Improvement of Existing Skills 0 0 0
    Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Preparation for Further Education 0 0 1
    Percent Preparation for Further Education 0.00% 0.00% 9.10%
    Personal Interest 1 1 0
    Percent Personal Interest 6.70% 6.70% 0.00%
    Other 0 0 1
    Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 9.10%
    When Employment was Obtained

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 12 11 11
    Before Enrollment 1 1 0
    Percent Before Enrollment 8.30% 9.10% 0.00%
    While Attending the College 0 1 1
    Percent While Attending the College 0.00% 9.10% 9.10%
    After Training at the College 11 9 10
    Percent After Training at the College 91.70% 81.80% 90.90%
    Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Employment Location Responses 12 11 11
    In College District 6 6 10
    Percent In College District 50.00% 54.50% 90.90%
    In Wisconsin, Not in District 3 4 1
    Percent of In Wisconsin 25.00% 36.40% 9.10%
    Outside of Wisconsin 3 1 0
    Percent Outside Wisconsin 25.00% 9.10% 0.00%
    Employer Location Unknown 0 0 0
    Percent Location Unknown 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Salary Trend
    Salary Trend 2016 2017 2018
    Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 6 5 6
    Average Monthly Wage $3,448 $3,101 $2,953
    Average Hourly Wage $20.04 $18.03 $17.17
    Average Work Hours per Week 39.2 39.2 39.1
    Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 5 3 1
    Average Hourly Wage $23.41 $19.73 $20.00
    Average Work Hours per Week 16.6 22.3 18
  • Graduate Employers
    Total Positions Open for academic year: 2018
    Wisconsin TechConnectTM Jobs* Madison Non-Madison
    Number of Full Time Positions Open 10 17
    Number of Part Time Positions Open 44 25
    Total Jobs 54 42
    Graduate Employers for academic year: 2018
    Employer(s) Job Title City** State*** Positions
    Aegis Therapies Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Wyocena
    Artisan Dementia Care Specialist Middleton
    CI Pediatric Therapy Centers Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
    CI Pediatric Therapy Centers Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Sun Prairie
    CI Pediatric Therapy Centers Occupational Therapy Assistant Verona
    Divine Savior Healthcare Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Portage
    Gio's Garden Respite Care Specialist/Family Care Assistant Middleton

    * - Wisconsin TechConnectTM jobs are posted through a statewide consortium operated and funded by all 16 of the technical colleges in Wisconsin.

    ** - Only cities outside of Madison will display.

    *** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.

    **** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at techconnect@madisoncollege.edu