• Find Occupational Therapy Schools

Occupational Therapist Licensure New Mexico

New Mexico is part of the Border States in South Western United States and home to the largest land locked population of any state. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has selected information from the 2010 census that shows New Mexico as having had roughly 740 licensed Occupational Therapists in 2010. The BLS is currently anticipating an increase in overall demand for the Occupational Therapy sector which it expects will grow at a rate that is 33% faster than the average for the US economy in 2010 to 2020. The BLS also found data in the 2010 census that shows that in 2010 an Occupational Therapist in New Mexico had a median yearly salary of $71,520.

The New Mexico Board of Examiners for Occupational Therapy is responsible for licensing and regulating OT professionals in the state. There are two levels of licensure in New Mexico 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 New Mexico, or an Occupational Therapy Assistant you will need to follow these steps:

New Mexico Physical Therapy Certificate and License Requirements

NM, Occupational Therapy Assistant Requirements:

  • You must earn an Associate’s degree or higher in Occupational Therapy Assistant program 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.
  • Pass the New Mexico Jurisprudence examination which you can find here.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the National Board of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) COTA examination.
  • To reactivate a lapsed license, you must complete 20 Continuing Competency contact hours for each year of lapse in your licensure.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapy Assistant here.

NM, 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 (ACOTE) certified school.
  • Performed at least 6 months of occupational therapy work experience as part of an internship under a licensed Occupational Therapist.
  • Pass the New Mexico Jurisprudence examination which you can find here.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the NBCOT OTR examination.
  • To reactivate a lapsed license, you must complete 20 Continuing Competency contact hours for each year of lapse in your licensure.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapist here.

To learn more about how to practice occupational therapy in the state of New Mexico, please read the following steps.

Step 1: Graduate from an ACOTE Accredited University

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

In order to obtain licensure as an OTA in New Mexico, you must possess at least an Associate’s degree from an ACOTE accredited school. New Mexico has three schools with the necessary curriculum:

  • Western New Mexico University
  • Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell
  • Brown Mackie College-Albuquerque

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

If you are seeking a license as an Occupational Therapist in New Mexico, you must graduate from an ACOTE certified school with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. New Mexico has two schools with the appropriate accreditation:

  • Western New Mexico University
  • University of New Mexico

Step 2: Fulfill the Clinical Work Requirement

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

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

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

Before you can begin practicing as a Licensed Occupational Therapist, you must first serve for six months in an occupational therapy clinic under the tutelage of a Licensed Occupational Therapist.

Step 3: Obtain National Accreditation

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

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

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

If you wish to practice as an Occupational Therapist in the United States, you must take the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and score at least 450.

Step 4: Take the State Jurisprudence Exam and Apply for a New Mexico License

Prior to licensure, all OT professionals must take the jurisprudence exam. This is an open book, ten question exam that must be passed in order to obtain licensure.

Following the exam, you must complete the following steps to obtain a New Mexico state license:

  • Submit a signed, completed application
  • Provide a check or money order made payable to New Mexico Board of Examiners for Occupational Therapy; this is $110 for
  • OT applications and $100 for OTA applications
  • Provide transcripts from all attended colleges
  • Forward a Verification of Certification from the NBCOT
  • Forward Verifications of Licensure from past jurisdictions in which you have practiced

Allow several weeks for the licensing board to review qualifications and issue a license.

Step 5: Maintain Professional Credentials

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must complete at least 20 continuing education contact hours each year of licensure as an OTA in order to qualify for license renewal.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

You must complete at least 20 continuing education contact hours each year of licensure as a Licensed Occupational Therapist in order to qualify for license renewal.

If you have any further questions, you may find additional information at the following websites: