How do I get Occupational Therapy Certification?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2019
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In order to function as an occupational therapist, or OT, in most countries, it is necessary to obtain certification from a national or local government agency that is empowered to grant credentials of this type. While the certification process varies somewhat from one country to another, there is a core group of requirements that tend to remain the same everywhere. If you are serious about obtaining your occupational therapy certification, here are a few facts you must know.

Before you can ever begin the process of securing your occupational therapy certification, it is important to successfully complete all required courses of study and obtain a degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. Depending on the type of credentials required, the successful candidate must possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Increasingly, countries all over the world are requiring potential therapists to hold a master’s degree associated with a select program or programs that are recognized and recommended by the governing agency.

Students who are currently pursuing a course of study with an aim toward becoming a certified occupational therapist should double check with the proper government agency to ensure that the courses are approved and will meet the educational requirements currently in place. Don’t assume that your program is approved, as not all are associated with accredited universities or colleges. This will allow you to make any changes in your selection of occupational therapy courses necessary before you waste a great deal of time and money.


After obtaining your occupation therapy degree, your next step is to make a formal application to take the certification exam. Often, the occupational therapy school issuing your degree can help with the application process. Keep in mind that that many jurisdictions only offer the exam at certain times during the year. By beginning the application process as soon as possible, you will help minimize any possible delay in taking the exam and obtaining your occupational therapy certification.

While you wait for the scheduling of your occupational therapy certification exam, take the time to look over any preparatory materials that may be available. This will help you focus on and review aspects of your occupational therapy training that are likely to figure prominently on the exam. However, make sure you are fully proficient with all current information on your chosen career. Jurisdictions frequently update their exams to reflect the latest treatment methods and other essentials as they are developed. Make sure you remain up to date on what is happening in the field so you can obtain as high a certification rating as possible.

Should you not pass the occupational therapy certification exam on the first try, don’t become discouraged. Review the sections where you did not perform well, and assess any reasons why you did not pass. Learn from the experience and use what you learned to prepare for the next available examination. While many jurisdictions only allow candidates to take the exam once in a given period of time, there is a good chance you will be able to try again in less than one calendar year.


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Post 3

@raynbow- While it is true that many employers look for people with degrees from universities, community colleges also offer quality education that is more recognized now than ever.

I think that if your cousin wants to stay close to home while he pursues his occupational therapy certification, he should choose the community college. Not only will he save money on his tuition, but he will also save money on gas. He will also get a good education that will make him employable in this field.

Post 2

@raynbow- I think that your cousin should go the extra distance to pursue the occupational therapy university program. An occupational therapy certificate from this type of institution may help him get a job faster when the time to search for one comes.

Post 1

My cousin is trying to choose between two different occupational therapy programs. One is offered by a community college in his area, and the other by a larger university that is a little further away.

My cousin likes the idea of studying close to home, but he also feels like he can get a better education at the university. What advice can I give him to help him make the right decision?

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