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How to Become an Occupational Therapist in Connecticut

Connecticut is a state with tremendous history as well as incredible opportunity for Occupational Therapists. In 2010, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics used census data to show that the state of Connecticut as a whole employed 1,770 Occupational Therapists. The BLS is also anticipating that the Occupational Therapy sector will expand roughly 33% faster than the average for the US economy during the 2010 to 2020 decade which is great news for Occupational Therapists. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that in Connecticut the median yearly salary for an Occupational Therapists was $83,640 in the year 2010.

The Connecticut Department of Health is the licensing body for OT professionals. There are two levels of licensure in Connecticut for Registered Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapy Assistant. While you are waiting to sit for your examination you can apply for a temporary license to practice.

If you want to become an Occupational Therapist in Connecticut you will need to fulfill the following steps:

Registered Occupational Therapist

  • You must earn a Bachelor or Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) or the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (AOTE) certified school.
  • Performed at least 24 weeks of occupational therapy work experience.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the NBCOT OTR examination.
  • To renew your license, you must complete a total of 24 Continuing Education Units during every two year licensure period.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapist here.

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

  • You must earn an Associate’s degree in in Occupational Therapy from an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) or the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (AOTE) certified school.
  • Complete eight weeks of supervised occupational therapy field work.
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Pass the NBCOT COTA examination
  • You must complete nine continuing education units during the two year licensure period to renew your license
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapy Assistant here.
Connecticut Physical Therapy Certification

The following details the exact requirements to practice occupational therapy in Connecticut.

Step 1: Complete a Program of Study at an Accredited School

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must obtain at least an Associate’s degree from a college that has an occupational therapy program accredited by Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) to qualify for an Occupational Therapy Assistant license. Connecticut has four colleges that offer degrees for Occupational Therapy Assistants:

  • Goodwin College
  • Lincoln College of New England
  • Housatonic Community College
  • Manchester Community College

Registered Occupational Therapist:

You must graduate from a college or university accredited by Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in order to obtain an Occupational Therapist license. Connecticut offers two schools with the necessary accreditation:

  • Sacred Heart University
  • Quinnipiac University

Step 2: Complete the Required Field Work

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must provide documentation that you have completed at least eight weeks of supervised field work to qualify for an OTA license.

Registered Occupational Therapist:

You must present documentation that you have completed 24 weeks of supervised field work to obtain an Occupational Therapist license.

Step 3: Pass the National Certification Exam

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must take and pass the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) exam with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

Registered Occupational Therapist:

In order to obtain national certification, you must successfully complete the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

Step 4: Apply for a State License

You must complete the following steps to obtain a Connecticut license.

  • You must submit a complete, notarized application for Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant.
  • You must provide a check or money order for the $200 license fee
  • You must request that the NBCOT send an official report score to the Connecticut Department of Health.
  • Submit transcripts evidencing qualifications

Allow several weeks for the board to review documentation and issue your license.

Step 5: Maintain Good Standing

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

If you are an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must complete at least 18 hours of continued competency units during the two year licensure period in order to qualify for license renewal.

Registered Occupational Therapist:

If you are a Registered Occupational Therapist, you must complete 24 hours of continued competency units within the two year period prior to license renewal.

New OT professionals may find further information with these professional associations: