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Requirements For Occupational Therapy Career in South Carolina

South Carolina is a beautiful state in the middle of the American South and also an excellent choice for a state to become an Occupational Therapist in. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the 2010 census contained data to show that South Carolina had 1,270 licensed Occupational Therapists employed within the state that year. The BLS is additionally expecting that the Occupational Therapy will continue to grow at a rate 33% higher than the average for all economic sectors. The BLS also pulled information from the 2010 census that allowed the BLS to conclude that an Occupational Therapist in South Carolina had a median yearly salary of $71,340.

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

South Carolina Physical Therapy License Requirements

SC Occupational Therapy Assistant:

  • 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.
  • Submit proof satisfactory to the Board that you are in good standing with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) or another Board-approved certification program.
  • Pass the National Board of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) COTA examination.
  • To renew a license, you must complete 32 Continuing Education hours during the licensure period.
  • You can find the application to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant here.

SC 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.
  • Submit proof satisfactory to the Board that you are in good standing with the National Board for Certification in Occupational
  • Therapy (NBCOT) or another Board-approved certification program.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass the NBCOT OTR examination.
  • To renew a license, you must complete 32 Continuing Education hours during the licensure period.
  • You can find the application to become an Occupational Therapist here.


To learn more about how to become an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant in South Carolina, please examine the following steps.

Step 1: Graduate from an ACOTE Accredited Degree Program

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

In order to obtain licensure as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in South Carolina, you must have graduated from an ACOTE certified degree program. There are three schools in South Carolina with the appropriate degree programs:

  • Trident Technical College
  • Greenville Technical College, Greer
  • Brown Mackie College-Greenville

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

You must possess a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an ACOTE accredited degree program to practice as a Licensed Occupational Therapist in South Carolina. South Carolina is the home of one such accredited school:

  • Medical University of South Carolina

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 supervised occupational therapy work under the direction of a Licensed Occupational Therapist.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

South Carolina stipulates that you must practice at least six months of occupational therapy work under the direct supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist prior to licensure.

Step 3: Pass the National Certification Exam

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

Before you can obtain South Carolina licensure, you must obtain national certification as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. To become nationally certified 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.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

In order to obtain national certification as a 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.

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

Prior to OT or OTA licensure, you must take the online Jurisprudence Exam and pass it.

To apply for a South Carolina license for an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must complete the following procedure:

  • Submit a completed and signed application
  • Provide a check or money order for the licensing fee; Occupational Therapist licenses are $135, while Occupational Therapy Assistant licenses are $115
  • Request all attended schools forward an official transcript to the Board of Occupational Therapy
  • Request that the NBCOT forward a score report or Verification of Certification to the Board of Occupational Therapy
  • Request that all prior states where you have practiced forward a Verification of Licensure to the Board of Occupational Therapy

Allow four to six weeks for the Board of Occupational Therapy to review your documents and issue a license.

Step 5: Maintain Licensure

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

If you wish to renew your license as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must perform at least 32 continuing education hours during the licensure cycle.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

You must complete 32 continuing education hours prior to the expiration of your current license, in order to qualify for license renewal.

If you desire additional information or resources, please visit the following websites:

South Carolina Occupational Therapy Association