Arizona Occupational Therapist School
Steps to Become an Occupational Therapist in Arizona
To become an Occupational Therapist in Arizona, one must graduate from a nationally accredited Masters program in Occupational Therapy. In order to apply to a Masters program, one must first graduate from an accredited college or university leading to a four-year degree. It does not matter what your bachelor’s degree is, so long as you graduate. Any major is acceptable because the occupational therapy program will teach you the knowledge and skills of the trade. Also, students from different backgrounds and majors add to the diversity of the program. While no specific major is required, specific courses in human development (psychology/biology) anatomy and physiology, statistics, medical terminology, sociology, and abnormal psychology will be required. Expect to take these courses prior to admission. Here are some helpful steps to becoming an occupation therapist in Arizona.
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree (take courses in psychology, statistics, sociology, math, English, and medical terminology)
- If GPA is less than 3.0 take the GRE
- Research Arizona Occupational Therapy schools offering graduate programs (Be sure to speak to admission counselors)
- Take additional coursework that is required for admission
- Send admission application & fee, transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendations, & background check results to the Occupational Therapy program of your choice. Submit materials before the application deadline.
- Receive an acceptance letter from graduate program
- Attend program orientation / enroll in courses
- Join the Arizona Occupational Therapy Association and/or an Occupational Therapy group on campus
- Take courses in Occupational Therapy practice, theory, statistics, etc
- Complete required clinical hours under the supervision of a certified Occupational Therapist
- Graduate the Occupational Therapy program
- Apply to sit for the certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (send transcripts, verification of clinical hours, background check results, application & fee)
- Take and successfully pass the certification exam
- Apply for licensure in the state of Arizona (this includes verification of graduate program completion, verification of clinical hours, licensure application and fee)
Arizona Licensure Requirements for Occupational Therapists
The Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners is the regulatory body for the practice of Occupational Therapy in Arizona. The Board is responsible for administering and renewing licenses to Occupational Therapists in the state. Additionally, the board also verifies licensure and investigates client complaints. In order to receive an Occupational Therapy license in Arizona, one must have a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, complete 928 hours of supervised clinicals in their masters program, pass the National Board Certification of Occupational Therapy examination, pay the license fee and get fingerprinted. Currently, the license application fee is $100 and $300 for the initial license. For additional information contact the Arizona Board at:
Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners
4205 N. 7th Ave. #305
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Through campus based and online programs, aspiring Occupational Therapists in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa and Glendale, Arizona may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Saint Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Maricopa Medical Center, and Tucson Medical Center.