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How to Become an Occupational Therapist in Kansas

Kansas sits at the center of the United States being the bread basket of that nation. In addition, to being a key part of the country Kansas offers tremendous individual opportunity for Occupational Therapists. As reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics the 2010 census showed that Kansas employs 1,100 Occupational Therapists. Based on aggregate economic data as well as the individual metrics of the sector, the BLS is currently anticipating robust growth in the sector of 33% faster than the average for the US economy during the current decade. The BLS collected information from the 2010 census that showed an Occupational Therapist in Kansas can expect a median yearly salary of $77,400.

The licensing body for Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants in Kansas is the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts. There are two levels of licensure in Kansas 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 Kansas, or an Occupational Therapy Assistant you will need to fulfill the following steps:

Kansas 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.
  • Performed at least 2 months of occupational therapy work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed Occupational therapist.
  • You must have at least one professional reference to present to the board.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the National Board of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) COTA examination on which you must score a minimum score of 450.
  • To renew your license, you must complete 40 Continuing Education contact hours during every two year licensure period.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapy Assistant here.

Occupational Therapist in KS

  • 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 as part of an internship under a licensed Occupational Therapist.
  • You must have at least one professional reference to present to the board.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the NBCOT OTR examination on which you must score a minimum score of 450.
  • To renew your license, you must complete 40 Continuing Education contact hours during every two year licensure period.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapist here.

You will find the exact details as to how to become an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant below.

Step 1: Complete Your Education at an ACOTE Accredited School

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must attend an ACOTE accredited college and graduate with at least an Associate’s degree in an OT related program to qualify for an OTA license in Kansas. Kansas is the home of five ACOTE approved schools for Occupational Therapy Assistants:

  • Brown Mackie College-Salina
  • Brown Mackie College-Kansas City
  • Newman University
  • Neosho County Community College, Ottawa
  • Washburn University

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

You must graduate from an ACOTE certified program with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in order to obtain a license as an Occupational Therapist in Kansas. Kansas has one ACOTE accredited school for Occupational Therapists:

  • University of Kansas Medical Center

Step 2: Complete Supervised Field Work Requirement

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must complete at least two months of occupational therapy work in a clinical setting under the supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist in order to qualify for an OTA license.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

In order to obtain licensure as an Occupational Therapist, you must first complete at least six months of occupational therapy work under the supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist.

Step 3: Obtain National Certification

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

If you are seeking licensure as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must first take the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) exam which is offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and score at least a 70 percent.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

You must take the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam which is offered by the NBCOT and score at least a 70 percent in order to become nationally certified.

Step 4: Apply for a Kansas State License

To obtain licensure as an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant you must fulfill these steps:

  • Submit a completed and signed application
  • Submit a fee of $80 in the form of a check, money order or credit card authorization to Kansas State Board of Healing Arts
  • Request that NBCOT send official score reports to the licensing board
  • Request transcripts from all post-secondary schools be sent to the licensing board
  • Request licensure verifications from prior states in which you have practiced be sent to the licensing board

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts typically takes six to eight weeks to review documents and issue a license, but this may be delayed if all documentation does not arrive promptly.

Step 5: Maintain Professional Licensure

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

During the two year licensure period for Occupational Therapy Assistants, you must complete 40 continuing education units, in order to qualify for license renewal.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

In order to qualify for license renewal at the end of the two year licensure period, you must complete 40 continuing education units.

You may wish to contact the following organizations to obtain further information:

Kansas Occupational Therapy Association
American Occupational Therapy Association
American Occupational Therapy Foundation