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Degrees For Occupational Therapist License Massachusetts

With a long and storied history, the state of Massachusetts is a great place to live and also a great state to start one’s career as a licensed Occupational Therapist. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has pored over the data from the 2010 census and discovered that Massachusetts had employed roughly 4,860 Occupational Therapists in that year. The BLS is also predicting very rapid growth for the Occupational Therapy occupation, which is expected to grow at a rate that is 33% faster than the average for the economy over the next seven years. The BLS also looked at salary data from the 2010 census and has demonstrated that Occupational Therapists in Massachusetts could expect a median salary of $74,450 per year in 2010.

The Board of Registration in Allied Health Professionals licenses occupational therapy professionals in Massachusetts. There are two levels of licensure in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts, or an Occupational Therapy Assistant you will need to fulfill the following steps:

MA, 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.
  • To renew your license, you must complete 30 Continuing Education contact hours during the licensure period.
  • You will need to apply with Professional Credential Services Inc. for your license you can find the application here.

MA, 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.
  • To renew your license, you must complete 30 Continuing Education contact hours during the licensure period.
  • You will need to apply with Professional Credential Services Inc. for your license you can find the application here.

For further details about licensing Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants in Massachusetts, please continue reading.

Step 1: Graduate from an ACOTE Accredited University

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

To practice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in Massachusetts, you must first graduate from an ACOTE accredited school with at least an Associate’s degree in an occupational therapy related discipline. Massachusetts has four schools with the requisite accreditation:

  • North Shore Community College
  • Bristol Community College
  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • Quinsigamond Community College

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

Prior to licensure as an Occupational Therapist, you must first obtain a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an ACOTE certified school. There are seven schools in Massachusetts with the appropriate accreditation:

  • American International College
  • Boston University, College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Sargent College
  • Salem State University
  • Tufts University-BSOT
  • Springfield College
  • Worcester State College
  • Bay Path College

Step 2: Fulfill the Clinical Experience Requirement

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

Prior to licensure as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in Massachusetts, you must first complete two months of clinical occupational therapy work under the supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

In order to practice as a Licensed Occupational Therapist in Massachusetts, you must first serve for at least six months in an occupational therapy clinic under the supervision of an L.O.T.

Step 3: Pass the National Certification Exam

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

Prior to obtaining a state license for an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must first obtain national certification. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy offers prospective Occupational Therapy Assistants the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) exam, on which you must score at or above the 70th percentile.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

In order to qualify for a state license for an Occupational Therapist, you must first take the NBCOT’s Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam and score at least in the 70th percentile to obtain national certification as an Occupational Therapist.

Step 4: Apply for a State License

You must complete the following steps to obtain a license in Massachusetts:

  • Provide a signed and completed application
  • Provide a check, money order or credit card authorization for the $195 license fee
  • Provide official transcripts from all attended colleges and universities
  • Request that the NBCOT sent a Verification of Certification to the board
  • Provide official Verifications of Licensure from all previous states where you have practiced

The approval process and issuance may take several weeks or months.

Step 5: Maintain Professional Credentials

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

In order to qualify for license renewal at the end of the two year licensure period for Occupational Therapy Assistants, you must complete 30 continuing education contact hours during this period.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

To remain in good standing and qualify for Occupational Therapist license renewal following the two year license period, you must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education contact hours within this period.

If you have further questions, you may find more information or resources at the following websites: