Occupational Therapy VS Physical Therapy

There is often confusion between OT and PT,This will be a quick run down of the differences.


OT: To maintain, recover, or develop skills of people with physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities. Focusing on improving a persons daily abilities and improving life skills.

PT: The treatment of a disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise. Evaluating and diagnosing movement dysfunctions.

Daily Roles:

OT: An OT works with people of all ages, helping with anything from handwriting with an elderly person to calm down techniques with a child. An OT’s patients vary from an elderly person who experienced a stroke, to a young child with autism.

PT: A PT works with people of all ages. Focusing on strengthening a certain muscle that could have been damaged due to injury or a birth deformity. A PT techniques are different from an OT, A PT works with exercise and massage to correct an injury.


OT: Typically, if you talk to someone about OT they have no clue what you’re talking about. It is not a very well known job. It is also hard to explain to someone who has never heard of it.

PT: Almost everyone knows what a PT is, because chances are that some point in everyone’s life, you are going to need PT. It is a very well known job and understood easily.

Salary Differences: 

OT: median $78,810

PT: median $82,390

a difference of just over $3,500  


OT: Bachelors in practically anything, but must include certain courses. Masters in OT.

PT: Bachelors and masters. Some PT’s hold a doctorate.


OT: National Occupational Certification Examination

PT: National, Physical Therapist Examination