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Requirements to Become an Occupational Therapist in

West Virginia

West Virginia is a beautiful state that features the famous Great Smoky Mountains. West Virginia is also an excellent state to become a licensed Occupational Therapist in. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has data demonstrating that West Virginia had roughly 580 licensed Occupational Therapists during the year 2010. The BLS is also projecting that the Occupational Therapy sector will grow at a rate 33% faster than the average career during the decade of 2010 to 2020. The BLS also found information in the 2010 census that showed that Occupational Therapists in West Virginia had a mean yearly salary of $78,110.

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

West Virginia Physical Therapy Requirements

West Virginia 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 a criminal background check.
  • You must complete a Supervisory Statement form which you can find here.
  • Pass the National Board of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) COTA examination.
  • To renew a license, you must complete 24 Continuing Competency hours during the licensure period.
  • You can find the application form for the Occupational Therapy Assistant here.

West Virginia 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 a criminal background check.
  • Pass the NBCOT OTR examination.
  • To renew a license, you must complete 24 Continuing Competency hours during the licensure period.
  • You can find the application form to become an Occupational Therapist here.


For more information about how to become an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant in West Virginia, please read the following steps.

Step 1: Obtain an Occupational Therapy Degree

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

To practice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in West Virginia, you must possess at least an Associate’s degree from an Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) certified degree program. There is currently one school in West Virginia with this accreditation:

  • Mountain State University

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

You must possess a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an ACOTE certified school to practice as a Licensed Occupational Therapist in West Virginia. West Virginia has one school with this accreditation:

  • West Virginia University

Step 2: Complete an Internship or Practicum

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must complete at least two months of supervised clinical occupational therapy work under the direction of a Licensed Occupational Therapist prior to licensure.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

If you wish to practice as a Licensed Occupational Therapist in West Virginia, you must first complete at least six months of clinical occupational therapy work under the tutelage of a Licensed Occupational Therapist.

Step 3: Pass the National Certification Exam

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

National certification is required prior to state licensing for OTAs. You must take 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 to become nationally certified.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

To become nationally certified as an 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 in the 70th percentile.

Step 4: Apply for a West Virginia State License

You must complete the following steps to obtain a West Virginia Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant license.

  • Submit a signed, completed application
  • Provide a money order or check for the licensing fee; this is $150 for Occupational Therapists, and $100 for Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Submit Supervisory Statements from clinical occupational therapy supervisors
  • Request that the NBCOT forward a score report or Verification of Certification to the West Virginia Board of Occupational Therapy
  • Request that all attended schools forward an official transcript to the licensing board
  • Request that all states where you have previously practiced forward a Verification of Licensure

Please allow up to eight weeks for the licensing board to review your qualifications and issue you a license.

Step 5: Maintain Licensure

Occupational Therapy Assistant:

You must complete at least 24 continuing competency hours prior to the expiration of you license to qualify for OTA license renewal.

Licensed Occupational Therapist:

A minimum of 24 continuing competency hours must be completed before you can qualify for license renewal.

If you would like additional information about the occupational therapy profession in West Virginia, please visit the following websites: