Summary. We reviewed real candidate profiles to learn the best path to become an occupational therapy aide. We'll guide you through the education, experiences, and skills hiring managers look for in an occupational therapy aide.

  • Most companies require a occupational therapy aide to have a bachelor's degree degree in a related field, such as occupational therapy or psychology.

  • It's important to have relevant work experience, with typical job requirements ranging from 6-12 months in related fields.

  • The Occupational Therapy Assistant license requirements vary by state. 37 states require barbers to have licensure for their work.

  • Common job titles before becoming an occupational therapy aide include occupational therapist, volunteer, and internship.

  • Hiring managers expect an occupational therapy aide to have soft skills such as detail oriented, physical strength, and compassion.

  • Once you have all the required skills and experience, it takes an average of less than 1 month of job training to become an occupational therapy aide.

  • Getting a certification as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) will help you to earn more as an occupational therapy aide.

How to become an Occupational Therapy Aide in 6 steps:

  • Step 1: Explore occupational therapy aide education
  • Step 2: Develop occupational therapy aide skills
  • Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
  • Step 4: Obtain the necessary licensing
  • Step 5: Research occupational therapy aide duties
  • Step 6: Prepare your resume

Key Steps To Become an Occupational Therapy Aide

  1. Explore Occupational Therapy Aide Education

    If you're interested in becoming an occupational therapy aide, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 65.0% of occupational therapy aides have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 15.3% of occupational therapy aides have master's degrees. Even though most occupational therapy aides have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

    Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an occupational therapy aide. When we researched the most common majors for an occupational therapy aide, we found that they most commonly have occupational therapy, psychology and kinesiology.

    Occupational Therapy Aide Degrees


    65.0 %


    15.3 %


    11.8 %

    Occupational Therapy Aide MajorPercentages
    Occupational Therapy29.40%
    Health Sciences And Services5.40%
    Other Degrees30.40%

  2. Develop Occupational Therapy Aide Skills

    It'll be a good idea to develop occupational therapy aide skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in occupational therapy aide job descriptions:

    Patient Care6.56%
    Occupational Therapy4.64%

  3. Complete Relevent Training/Internship

    Occupational therapy aides spend an average of Less than 1 month on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new occupational therapy aides learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as an occupational therapy aide based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real occupational therapy aide resumes.

    Average Amount Of Time At Training


    Less than 1 month

    1-3 months

    3-6 months

    6-12 months

    2-4 years

  4. Obtain The Necessary Licensing

    Becoming an licensed occupational therapy aide usually require a college degree. However, you need to pass an exam to become a licensed occupational therapy aide in most of states. 37 states require occupational therapy aides to have license for their work. You can see the list of states below.

    StateEducationExamLicense Url
    Alabama--Licensed Occupational Therapist Assistant
    AlaskaDegree requiredThird-party exam requiredOccupational Therapy Assistant
    ArkansasSpecific course requiredState exam requiredOccupational Therapist Assistant (OTA)
    CaliforniaDegree requiredThird-party exam requiredOccupational Therapy Assistant
    ColoradoDegree requiredThird-party exam requiredOccupational Therapy Assistant

  5. Research Occupational Therapy Aide Duties

    When you decide to become an occupational therapy aide, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most occupational therapy aide jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:

    • Achieve advance clinical competency in UE splinting.
    • Observe occupational therapy sessions in inpatient dementia, pediatric, geriatric ward; outpatient ward; and senior rehabilitation center
    • Integrate theory into evaluation, intervention and discharge planning in outpatient rehabilitation for adults with orthopedic and neurological conditions.
    • Assist occupational and physical therapists with maximum assistance transfers, adaptive equipment use and prevent falls of patients during strenuous activities.
    • Plan and conduct individualized occupational therapy programs to help patients develop, regain, or maintain ability to perform daily activities.
    • Assist clients with their ADL's, strengthening, splinting and motor skills.

  6. Prepare Your Resume

    Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Occupational Therapy Aide Resume templates

    Build a professional Occupational Therapy Aide resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Occupational Therapy Aide resume.

    Occupational Therapy Aide Resume
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    Occupational Therapy Aide Resume

  7. Apply For an Occupational Therapy Aide Job

    With your ready resume, it's time to start searching for a new job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

    1. Browse job boards for relevant postings
    2. Consult your professional network
    3. Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
    4. Watch out for job scams

    Occupational Therapy Aide Jobs

  8. How To Become an Occupational Therapy Aide
    How To Become an Occupational Therapy Aide Career Overview