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Online Occupational Therapy Assistant Certification Info

Occupational therapy assistants have two primary professional certification options. Certification exams can be completed partially or entirely online, after an applicant has met all requirements of certifying organizations.

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Occupational Therapy Assistant Online Certification Options

Occupational therapy assistants must be licensed by the state in which they will practice. In some states, certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), which provides the primary professional certification for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, may be enough to satisfy state licensure requirements. However, some states require additional state licensing exams.

The NBCOT certification exam relies on the Internet for most of the application process and the test; however, the exam utilizes proctored testing at specific centers. The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) also offers certification for occupational therapy assistants. The AOTA certifications are specialty certifications that examine only a particular competency area of an occupational therapy assistant's capabilities, and are not full professional certifications.

Certification Requirements for Occupational Therapy Assistants

NBCOT Certification Requirements

In order to be certified with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, occupational therapy assistants must fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • Graduation from an occupational therapy assistant associate's degree program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • Completion of all fieldwork requirements
  • Successful passage of the NBCOT exam
  • Agree to abide by the NBCOT candidate code of conduct

AOTA Certification Requirements

The AOTA offers specialty certification to occupational therapy assistants to show their competence in particular areas, including providing occupational therapy in community mobility; feeding, eating and swallowing; environmental modification and low vision. Requirements for AOTA certification are as follows:

  • Technical or professional degree for occupational therapy assistants
  • Certification or licensure from a credentialing or regulatory organization
  • Experience that includes a minimum of 2,000 hours work in occupational therapy, and 600 hours working specifically in the specialty area in which they wish to be certified.
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