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Fieldwork Opportunities at AOTA

Fieldwork experience at the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA's) headquarters is available to occupational therapy student members who will have completed their academic course work prior to an AOTA fieldwork experience. (Special exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.) Occupational therapy assistant (OTA) students may apply for an OTA fieldwork opportunity as an optional third fieldwork.

Fieldwork at AOTA headquarters offers students the opportunity to gain and strengthen their analytical, organizational, communications, and advocacy skills while increasing their knowledge of AOTA. In addition, students will have the opportunity to meet national volunteer leaders. Finally, students may be involved in national projects and activities in the following areas:

  • Practice (e.g., pediatrics, driving, ethics, etc.)
  • Evidence-Based Practice (e.g., help create and communicate EBP resources)
  • Research Dissemination and Advocacy (e.g., assist with creating resources, writing comments to NIH, etc.)
  • Annual Conference & Expo Planning
  • Professional Development (continuing education)
  • Federal Affairs* (assist with monitoring legislation, advocacy, AOTPAC)
  • Reimbursement and Regulatory Policy*
  • State Policy*

* Requires 12 weeks minimum

How To Apply

Interested candidates should contact AOTA's Academic Affairs for an application packet via e-mail at slin@aota.org. A fieldwork agreement will need to be established between the student's academic program and AOTA before the student starts fieldwork.

  1. The candidate completes the application, selecting a first and second preference for placement among the selections and indicating the desired time frame for the placement. [Note that AOTA cannot guarantee that the student will be placed in the preferred selections.] Two reference letters from academic or clinical instructors are to be included with the application.
  2. The student writes and submits an essay describing his or her interests; a description of prior (or anticipated) fieldwork experiences; information about related projects or activities; and the rationale for requesting an AOTA fieldwork experience, as well as expectations and objectives for the experience.
  3. The potential supervisors will review the application and essay. A telephone interview will be scheduled.
  4. A letter of acceptance or denial will be sent to the student and his or her academic fieldwork coordinator. If the student is accepted, the notification will include confirmation of dates, information about AOTA work policies, and instructions for the first day. On receipt of this packet, the student should contact his or her designated contact person to discuss objectives and expectations.

Students are responsible for arranging their own housing. AOTA headquarters is accessible to Metro, which is the subway system of metropolitan Washington, DC.