Signpost directing allied therapists to a healthy life
Career Development August 17, 2012

By Brent Nau

What Is The Difference Between OTA and OT Aide

So you are starting to research the occupational therapy career field and maybe a bit confused with some of the job roles available. In this post, we are going to take a look at the difference between an occupational therapist aide and an occupational therapist assistant (OTA).

Occupational Therapy Aide
  • The occupational therapy aide will provide support services to the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
  • The career requires a high school diploma.
  • The occupational therapy aide will receive their training on the job.
  • Occupational therapy aide programs are not currently accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (AOTA’s ACOTE).
  • There is no eligibility for certification or licensure.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • The title of Occupational Therapy Assistant can be denoted as OTA. This acronym is never used to represent an OT aide.
  • The occupational therapy assistant will provide treatment to patients under supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.
  • The career requires an associate’s degree.
  • The OTA will complete observation and supervised fieldwork during their academic program.
  • OTA academic programs are accredited by AOTA’s ACOTE.
  • The occupational therapy assistant can become licensed and certified.
  • To become a certified occupational therapy assistant you will need to pass the NBCOT COTA certification exam.
  • Once certified the title of Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant can be denoted as COTA.




Contact Us!

We're here to help.

* Indicates Required Fields


By clicking "SUBMIT" I agree to receive emails, automated text messages and phone calls (including calls that contain prerecorded content) from and on behalf of {{site_name}}, its parent, AMN Healthcare, and affiliates. I understand these messages will be to the email or phone number provided, and will be about employment opportunities, positions in which I’ve been placed, and my employment with AMN companies. See privacy policy or cookie policy for more details.

Allied Industry News

Where Allied travelers go for allied news and information, compiled by industry experts at Med Travelers.


Accessing the Full Support of Your Healthcare Staffing Agency

Your healthcare staffing agency can support you more deeply than just pay and employment benefits. Learn about AMN Healthcare’s Employee Assistance Program and how Med Travelers can help you face life’s challenges.

Read Article


Life-Changing Journey to Becoming a Travel SLP

A Travel SLP shares her process of becoming a traveler and answers common questions about traveling therapy. New to travel therapy? Get all your travel therapy questions answered.

Read Article


3 Ways to Accelerate Your Therapy Documentation

Therapy documentation can be a tedious undertaking, but it’s a crucial step toward patient progress. Here are three tips to simplify and improve your therapy documentation.

Read Article