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Occupational Therapist Certification Maryland


Just a few miles from the capital of our country, Maryland is a place near greatness and a great place to live. Maryland also happens to be an excellent in which to become a licensed Occupational Therapist. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has compiled data from the 2010 census that shows Maryland having employed roughly 2,350 Occupational Therapists in that year. The BLS is currently forecasting rapid growth for the Occupational Therapy sector, which is expected to expand 33% faster than the average, during the 2010 to 2020 timeframe. The BLS compiled salary data from the 2010 census showing that an Occupational Therapist in Maryland can expect a median salary of $80,560 per year.

Occupational therapy professionals may obtain or renew licenses through the Board of Occupational Therapy Practice. There are two levels of licensure in Maryland 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 Maryland, or an Occupational Therapy Assistant you will need to fulfill the following steps:

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 (ACOTE) 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 two professional references 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 12 Continuing Education contact hours per year during the licensure period.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapy Assistant here.

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 (ACOTE) 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 two professional references 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 12 Continuing Education contact hours per year during the licensure period.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapist here.


For more detailed information about how to practice occupational therapy in Maryland, please continue reading.

Step 1: Complete Your Education at an ACOTE Approved School

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

If you wish to serve as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in Maryland, you must first graduate from an ACOTE accredited school with at least an Associate’s degree in an occupational therapy related field. Maryland has two schools with the required accreditation:

  • Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville
  • Alleghany College of Maryland

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

Maryland state law requires that Licensed Occupational Therapists possess a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an ACOTE accredited school prior to licensure. Maryland is the home of one school with the appropriate accreditation:

  • Towson University

Step 2: Complete an Internship or Practicum

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

Prior to licensure as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must complete at least two months of clinical occupational therapy work under the supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

In order to obtain your license as an Occupational Therapist in Maryland, you must perform at least six months of clinical occupational therapy work under the supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist.

Step 3: Acquire National Certification

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

Prior to obtaining a state license, you must first become nationally certified as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. You must take the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and score at least in the 70th percentile to become nationally certified.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

To become nationally certified as an Occupational Therapist, you must take the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam which is offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and score at least in the 70th percentile.

Step 4: Pass the State Exam and Apply for a License

Maryland requires that you take the Jurisprudence Examination and pass with a score of 100 percent prior to licensure. This is an open book exam and counts as one continuing competency contact hour.

In order to obtain state licensure, you must complete the following steps:

  • Submit a completed and signed application
  • Provide a check or money order for the $200 licensing fee
  • Forward letters of verification from prior jurisdictions where you have practiced
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Forward transcripts from all attended colleges and universities
  • Request the NBCOT send Verification of Certifications to the board

The review of qualifying documentation and issuance of licenses may take several weeks or months.

Step 5: Maintain License

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

If you wish to maintain your Occupational Therapy Assistant license, you must complete 12 continuing education contact hours per year.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

In order to renew your license as an Occupational Therapist at the end of the two year licensure period, you must complete 12 continuing education contact hours per year.

For additional information, please visit the following organizations: