Licensure and Certification

To practice in most states occupational therapists must pass the national certification examination to become certified, and apply for a license to practice occupational therapy in the state or states where they intend to work. These are two separate processes and organizations.


The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) administers the certification program and can be contacted at:

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877-4150
Telephone: 301-990-7979


State licensure varies in each state. In New York, licensure is administered by the New York State Education Department (NYSED):

New York State Education Department
89 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY12234
Voice Response Phone Number: 518-474-3852

Licensure and certification exist to protect the public. When you apply to take the NBCOT exam or apply for a license you will be asked whether you have a criminal record. This can prevent you from becoming a practicing occupational therapist. If you have concerns about this you may contact these agencies for a preliminary review prior to enrolling in the program.

Taking the NBCOT Exam

The NBCOT exam can be individually scheduled for you once you have completed all degree requirements, including fieldwork, and the thesis if applicable.

Careers in Occupational Therapy

Job postings are primarily managed by The Office of Career Services. Career Services can also also assist you in creating a professional resume, drafting personal statements, and preparing for interviews.