How To Become An Occupational Therapy Assistant


The job of an occupational therapy assistant may be much easier compared to an occupational therapists job but here are training and certifications needed. Occupational therapy assistants assist occupational therapists in treating patients through the different occupational therapy rehabilitation programs. Do you want to become an occupational therapy assistant?

The baby boomer population has reached the retirement age and the elders are greatly increasing in numbers. The elderly needs assistance in maintaining their independence to perform daily activities and self-care tasks. The elderly are not only physically fragile but their emotions and mind are fragile too. An occupational therapist tackles every aspect of the patient in order to help him or her gain that independence. With the aging population rising, there is more need for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.

How Do You Become An Occupational Therapy Assistant?

You will need proper training and certification to become an occupational therapy assistant. Occupational therapy schools offer certificate programs to students who are interested in become occupational therapy assistants. All these programs abide by the state regulations. However, each state will have a different licensing requirement and it is your job to look it up.

Certificate programs usually last up to 6 months but if you want further education, you may want to pursue an associate degree in occupational therapy. This will take around 2 years to complete but it will be easier to earn a bachelor’s degree if you take this. Once you have completed the training, you should pursue the national certification in order to become a certified occupational therapy assistant or COTA. You will need this certification to be able to work.

How Will You Be Eligible For The COTA Certification?

Students should complete a 1-year occupational therapy assistant certification program and it should be accredited. Students can also complete a 2-year associate degree in occupational therapy to be eligible for the national certification. Moreover, students are required to complete supervised clinical work hours before they can be eligible in taking the COTA certification exam. The COTA national certification exam is given by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

How To Become Registered Occupational Therapists?

A certified occupational therapy assistant can become a registered occupational therapist by simply completing an accredited occupational therapy bachelor’s degree and passing the National Registration Exam. Becoming an occupational therapist assistant will be a good stepping-stone to start a career in occupational therapy. In case you want to pursue becoming an occupational therapist, do not worry because your subjects will be credited once you enroll in a bachelor’s degree program.


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