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How to Become an Occupational Therapist in Delaware

While one of the tiniest states in the union, Delaware has a very large median salary for its Occupational Therapists. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics anticipates that the sector should increase about 33% faster than the average for the US economy between 2010 and 2020. The BLS features information on average salaries showing that Occupational Therapists in Delaware had a 2010 median yearly salary of $75,160.

In Delaware the state Board of Occupational Therapy Practice licenses Occupational Therapy Assistants and Registered Occupational Therapists. While you are waiting to sit for your examination you can apply for a temporary license to practice at either level.

If you want to become an Occupational Therapist in Delaware, or an Occupational Therapy Assistant you will need to fulfill the following steps:

Delaware Physical Therapy Certification

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

  • You must earn an Associate’s degree or higher in Occupational Therapy from an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) or the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (AOTE) certified school.
  • Submit proof of at least 16 weeks of occupational therapy supervised field experience as part of a practicum developed by your school or as paid work experience.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the National Board of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) COTA examination.
  • To renew your license, you must complete 20 hours of CEU during every two year licensure period.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapy Assistant here.

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 20 hours of CEU during every two year licensure period.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapist here.

The exact procedures to practice occupational therapy in Delaware are as follows.

Step 1: Obtain a Degree from an Accredited School

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

If you would like to serve as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must obtain at least an Associate’s degree from a college with an NBCOT recognized OT program. Delaware has two colleges with ACOTE accreditation:

  • Delaware Technical and Community College-Wilmington
  • Delaware Technical and Community College-Owens

Registered Occupational Therapist:

In order to serve as a Registered Occupational Therapist, you must possess a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an ACOTE accredited school. Although Delaware does not have any universities with ACOTE accreditation, there are a number of such schools in nearby Maryland and Virginia.

Step 2: Complete Supervised Field Work

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must have completed at least 16 weeks of supervised occupational therapy work prior to applying for a license and provide documentation certified by your supervising Occupational Therapist.

Registered Occupational Therapist:

Prior to applying for an Occupational Therapist license, you must have completed 24 weeks of supervised occupational therapy work and provide documentation attesting to that.

Step 3: Pass the National Certification Examination

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) offers the national certification exams for OT professionals. These exams are available in paper or digital form; the fee for the paper version is $540, while the fee for the online exam is $500. You may retake the exam as many times as necessary to pass, but you must wait 45 days between sittings.

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must pass the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) exam to serve as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in the United States.
Registered Occupational Therapist:

You must take and successfully complete the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam in order to serve as a

Registered Occupational Therapist anywhere in the country.

Step 4: Apply for a Delaware State License

Whether you are seeking an Occupational Therapy Assistant license or an Occupational Therapist license, you must complete the following procedure:

  • Submit a completed, signed application
  • Enclose a check or money order for the license fee; Occupational Therapist licenses are $171 and Occupational Therapy Assistant licenses are $60
  • Request that the NBCOT send an official score report to the Board of Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Request Verification of Licensure be sent from past jurisdictions you have served
  • Request official transcripts from schools you have obtained your occupational therapy education
  • It may take several weeks or months before a license can be issued, depending on the speed the required documents arrive.

Step 5: Renew Your License

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

The licensure period for an Occupational Therapy Assistant is two years. During this period, you must complete at least 20 hours of continuing education units prior to renewing your license.

Registered Occupational Therapist:

During the two year licensure period for Occupational Therapists, you must obtain 24 continuing education credits in order to qualify for license renewal.

You may wish to contact the following associations to obtain more information: