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Requirements to Become an Occupational Therapist in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a state with a rich and varied history and also an excellent state to become an Occupational Therapist. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the 2010 census showed that Oklahoma had 1,050 licensed Occupational Therapists working in the state. While this amount in itself may not seem high, it is fairly average throughout the country and it is worth considering that the BLS is anticipating growth for the Occupational Therapy to accelerate at a rate 33% faster than the average for the economy. The BLS also has data from the 2010 census revealing that an Occupational Therapist in Oklahoma had a median yearly salary of $64,660.

The Oklahoma Occupational Therapists Committee is responsible for regulating and licensing the occupational therapy profession in this state. There are two levels of licensure in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma, or an Occupational Therapy Assistant you will need to follow these steps:

Oklahoma Physical Therapy Certificate and License Requirements

Occupational Therapy Assistant in OK:

  • 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 a criminal background check.
  • Pass the National Board of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) COTA examination.
  • To renew a license, you must complete 20 Continuing Education hours during the licensure period.
  • You can apply to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant here.

Occupational Therapist Requirements in OK

  • 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 may also choose to not take the NBCOT exam if you have been working as an OT for the past three years and have accumulated 1000 hours of professional practice per year.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the NBCOT OTR examination.
  • To renew a license, you must complete 20 Continuing Education hours during the licensure period.
  • You can apply to become an Occupational Therapist here.


If you would like to learn more about how to become an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant in Oklahoma, please continue reading.

Step 1: Graduate from an ACOTE Certified School

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must have graduated from an ACOTE certified degree program with at least an Associate’s degree to serve as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in Oklahoma. There are five schools in Oklahoma with the appropriate accreditation:

  • Brown Mackie College-Tulsa
  • Caddo-Kiowa Tech Center-Southwest Oklahoma State University
  • Murray State College
  • Oklahoma City Community College
  • Tulsa Community College, Metro

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

In order to obtain licensure as an Occupational Therapist, you must have graduated from an ACOTE certified degree program with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Oklahoma is the home of two such certified schools:

  • University of Oklahoma at Schusterman Health Sciences Center
  • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center-Oklahoma City

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 direct supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

You must complete at least six months of clinical occupational therapy work under the supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist, in order to qualify for licensure.

Step 3: Pass the National Certification Exam

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

Before you can be state licensed, you must take and pass the national certification exam for Occupational Therapy Assistants. You must pass 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.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

Prior to obtaining an Oklahoma state license, you must take and pass the national certification exam. You must take Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and score at least in the 70th percentile to become nationally certified.

Step 4: Apply for an Oklahoma State License

You must complete the following steps in order to obtain an Oklahoma OT or OTA license:

  • Submit a signed and completed application
  • Provide a check or money order for the $120 license fee
  • Request the NBCOT forward a verification of certification to the licensing board
  • Request all attended colleges forward an official transcript
  • Request that states where you have practiced forward a verification of licensure

You may need to wait up to two months for the licensing board to review your documentation and issue you a license.

Step 5: Maintain Professional Credentials

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

In order to qualify for license renewal at the end of the one year license cycle, you must have completed at least 20 continuing education hours before expiration of your current license.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

You must complete 20 continuing education hours prior to the end of the one year licensure period, in order to qualify for license renewal.

If you require additional information, you may wish to visit the following websites:

Oklahoma Occupational Therapy Association