• Find Occupational Therapy Schools

Occupational Therapist Requirements in Nevada

Nevada is famous for its independent lifestyle and the glitz and glamour of Vegas and Reno. Nevada is also a state with many options for its licensed Occupational Therapists to find quality employment. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has sifted through the data available in the 2010 census to show information stating that Nevada employed roughly 800 Occupational Therapists in 2010. The BLS is currently anticipating strong growth in the Occupational Therapy sector which is poised to grow at a rate that is 33% faster than the average economic sector. The BLS has also shown that the 2010 census has data showing Occupational Therapists in 2010 had a median yearly salary of $105,290 per year making it one of the most lucrative states in the Union in which to be an Occupational Therapist.

The Nevada Board of Occupational Therapy is responsible issuing licenses to Occupational Therapists in the state. There are two levels of licensure in Nevada 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. Temporary licenses require that you work under the direct supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist who has a minimum of one year of licensure with the state.

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

Nevada Physical Therapy Certificate and License Requirements

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 16 weeks 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 20 Continuing Competency contact hours 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 24 weeks of occupational therapy work experience as part of an internship under a licensed Occupational Therapist.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the NBCOT OTR examination.
  • To renew your license, you must complete 20 Continuing Competency contact hours during the licensure period.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapist here.


For further information about the requirements for OT professionals in Nevada, please continue reading.

Step 1: Graduate from an ACOTE Certified School

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

In Nevada, only graduates of ACOTE certified schools with at least an Associate’s degree can be licensed as Occupational Therapy Assistants. Nevada has one school with the necessary accreditation:

  • College of Southern Nevada

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

In order to practice as a Licensed Occupational Therapist in Nevada, you must have graduated from an ACOTE certified school with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. There is one school in Nevada that possesses the necessary accreditation:

  • Touro University-Nevada

Step 2: Complete the Clinical Field Work

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must complete at least 16 weeks of clinical occupational therapy work under the supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist prior to licensure as an Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

Before you can qualify for a license as an Occupational Therapist in Nevada, you must first complete at least 24 weeks of clinical OT work under the supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist.

Step 3: Pass the National Certification Exam

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

In order to become nationally certified to practice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must first take the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and score at least 450.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

You must take the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and score at least 450 to become nationally certified.

Step 4: Apply for a Nevada State License

If you wish to serve as an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant in Nevada, you must complete the following licensure procedure:

  • Complete, sign and submit an application
  • Provide the license fee in the form of a check or money order; the fees are dependent upon the month of the year
  • Submit official transcripts from past post-secondary schools
  • Request that the NBCOT send a verification of Certification to the licensing board
  • Request Verifications of Licensure from prior states in which you have practiced

It usually takes four to six weeks for the licensing board to collect the necessary documents and review your qualifications before issuing a license.

Step 5: Maintain Professional Licensure

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must complete at least 20 continuing competency contact hours prior to the expiration of your two licensure period, in order to qualify for renewal of your Occupational Therapy Assistant license.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

If you intend to renew your Occupational Therapy license at the end of the two year licensure period, you must complete at least 20 continuing competency contact hours prior to the expiration of your current license.

If you are new to the occupational therapy profession or the state of Nevada, you may find additional information or resources at the following websites: