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How To Become an Occupational Therapist in Idaho

Idaho is a state that provides many opportunities and is a great state to become an Occupational Therapist in. Idaho has over 400 active OT licenses. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics believes that the Occupational Therapy sector should grow at a rate that is 33% faster than the average for the US economy during the decade of 2010 to 2020. The BLS features information on average salaries which show that Occupational Therapists in Idaho can expect a median yearly salary of at least $63,870.

In Idaho, the State Occupational Therapy Licensure Board is responsible for registering OT professionals. There are two levels of licensure in Idaho the Occupational Therapy Assistant and the Occupational Therapist. 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 Idaho, or an Occupational Therapy Assistant you will need to fulfill the following steps:

ID, 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.
  • Performed at least 4 months of occupational therapy work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed Occupational therapist.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the National Board of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) COTA examination.
  • To renew your license, you must complete 2 CEU’s during every two year licensure period as well as 10 Professional Development Units.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapy Assistant here.

Occupational Therapist Requirements

  • 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 6 months of occupational therapy work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed Occupational therapist.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the NBCOT OTR examination.
  • To renew your license, you must complete 2 CEU’s during every two year licensure period as well as 10 Professional Development Units.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapist here.

The exact details as to how to obtain a license to practice occupational therapy in Idaho is as follows.

Step 1: Obtain an Occupational Therapy Degree

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

In order to practice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in Idaho, you must first complete your post-secondary education at an ACOTE accredited school and receive your Associate’s degree. There is one school in Idaho that has the approved curriculum:

  • Brown Mackie College-Boise

Registered Occupational Therapist:

You must graduate from an ACOTE certified occupational therapy degree program with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in order to serve as a Registered Occupational Therapist. Idaho currently has one university that has received certification from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education:

  • Idaho State University

Step 2: Fulfill Supervised Occupational Therapy Work Requirements

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

In order to qualify for an Occupational Therapy Assistant license in Idaho, you must first complete at least four months of occupational therapy work under the supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist.

Registered Occupational Therapist:

You must complete at least six months of occupational therapy work under the supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist in order to qualify for a license as a Registered Occupational Therapist in Idaho.

Step 3: Pass the National Certification Exam

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy is the national licensing body for occupational therapy professionals. The certification exams offered by the NBCOT are available in a hard copy or digital format; while the paper version is $540, the online version is $500.

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

If you would like to be certified as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must take the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) exam and score at least a 70.

Registered Occupational Therapist:

To serve as a Registered Occupation Therapist in the U.S., you must take the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam and score at least a 70.

Step 4: Apply for an Idaho State License

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

  • Submit a completed, signed application
  • Provide a check or money order for $85
  • Request a certificate of graduation from the school you obtained your qualifying education
  • Request a verification of certification from the NBCOT
  • Request verification of licensure from any states where you previously practiced

Registered Occupational Therapist:

  • Submit a completed, signed application
  • Provide a check or money order for $115
  • Request a certificate of graduation from the school you obtained your qualifying education
  • Request a verification of certification from the NBCOT
  • Request verification of licensure from any states where you previously practiced

Allow several weeks or months for the board to review the documentation and issue a license.

Step 5: Maintain Professional Credentials

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You are expected to complete two continuing education units in addition to ten professional development units within each two year licensure cycle in order to qualify for license renewal.

Registered Occupational Therapist:

You must complete two continuing education units and ten professional development units during each two year licensure period in order to renew your license after expiration.

You may find additional information about the occupational therapy profession in Idaho at these associations: