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.




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