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OTA to OT advice?

123365123365 81 replies44 threads Junior Member
Is it possible to become an occupational therapist aide and then to apply to regular occupational therapy graduate programs? I don't care about the age of the people that will be in my potential programs at all.
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Replies to: OTA to OT advice?

  • 123365123365 81 replies44 threads Junior Member
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 31019 replies481 threads Forum Champion
    edited July 12
    Here is some information regarding Occupational Therapist aide vs. Occupational Therapist assistant below.

    Differences Between an Occupational Therapy Aide and an Occupational Therapist Assistant:
    OT aides and assistants differ from one another significantly regarding their educational requirements and job duties. OT aides need only a high school or equivalency diploma while OT assistants must earn an associate degree from an accredited training program. Assistants must be licensed or registered by the state in which they want to work. There is no such requirement for aides.

    Occupational therapist assistants help patients do therapeutic activities under an occupational therapist's supervision. OT aides' are responsible only for tasks that are indirectly related to patient care.


    For an Occupational Therapist, you are looking at a Bachelors degree along with a Masters degree.

    A master’s degree is required to become an occupational therapist. Students can either earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field, like biology or physiology, before advancing to a master’s program, or they can apply for a combined bachelor’s/master’s program. In combined degree programs, students take undergraduate and graduate level courses in occupational therapy and can graduate with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Master’s degree programs combine theory and practice to give students a comprehensive knowledge of occupational therapy. Fieldwork is required and must be completed under the supervision of an occupational therapist. Master’s degree programs in occupational therapy aim to prepare students to sit for the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam.

    My sister is an OT, I would personally look at attending either a 4 year Undegrad program and then apply to OT school or look for a combined BS/MS program.

    My sister did 2 years at a CC, transferred into a 4 year Undergrad program to complete her Bachelors and then did her a 2 year’s Master program. Getting hands on experience as an Aide or Assistant will help but eventually you will need the educational requirements to be fulfilled if you plan on a career as an OT.
    edited July 12
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  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 1160 replies7 threads Senior Member
    edited July 12
    edited July 12
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 31019 replies481 threads Forum Champion
    Aide: Not certified and mainly office/clerical duties
    OTA: OT assistant is certified and requires a AA degree with specific college coursework
    OT: Occupational therapist requires a Master degree with certification.

    Different states may have different requirements, so look up the specific requirements in the state you reside.

    My sister’s Rehab center mainly employs COTA’s (certified occupation therapist assistants) along with OT’s and a minimal office staff with 1 aide.
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  • 2plustrio2plustrio 441 replies7 threads Member
    My sons friend is doing OTA at the tech school which has an agreement with a local 4 year college for her to then be able to enter into the OT program.
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