Occupational Therapy Schools in Florida - FL

Florida is prime real estate for Occupational Therapists: it is one of the most popular states in the country for senior citizens, and it has a high population of active people. With a steady concentration of these populations in 23 major cities, low job stress, and a steady job growth rate, aspiring Occupational Therapists can be assured that they will find financial and emotional wealth in this profession. In Florida, occupational therapy schools prepare graduates for an extraordinarily rewarding and uniquely challenging career.

Steps to Become an Occupational Therapist in Florida

  1. Take National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. This is the first step for many after completing all educational requirements and having earned a degree through one of the accredited online or campus based Florida occupational therapy schools.  The NBCOT exam determines whether an occupational therapist can practice without supervision. Candidates who take the exam must have at least six months of supervised experience in an establishment recognized and approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association. NBCOT offers the exam two times each year, and grants a full certificate, score, and wallet card to students who meet its minimum requirements.
  1. Get licensed through the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy (Florida Department of Health). The Florida Board of Occupational Therapy regulates and defines who can be certified as an Occupational Therapist in the State of Florida. According to the FBOT, an applicant must have the following to become certified:
  • A good moral character
  • A Master's of Science in Occupational Therapy from an institution approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association
  • A minimum of six (6) months of supervised fieldwork experience completed with an accredited health care institution, educational institution, or training facility
  • A passing score on an examination conducted or adopted by NBCOT
  • Two hours of academic study devoted to the prevention of medical errors. Applicants who are being certified for the first time must take this course through an accredited occupational therapy continuing education program
  • 50 continuing education units and a proof of those credits (for Occupational Therapists who have been out of work for over five years)

The Florida Board of Occupational Therapy has three different applications, which cater to applicants who are awaiting to sit the NBCOT exam, applicants who have taken the exam and are waiving their current NBCOT certification, and applicants who are already certified by NBCOT.

  • Licensure by examination. This form of licensure is for applicants who are waiting to take the NBCOT exam. Applicants must pay $180 to the State of Florida for his or her initial certification in addition to the NBCOT exam fee and furnish the State with the following:
    • An official transcript with the graduation date conferred and listed (new graduates only)
    • A program completion letter from his or her former academic institution (new graduates only)
    • A letter verifying eligibility for the NBCOT exam (foreign applicants only)
    • An English translation of all foreign documents (foreign applicants only)
    • A2x2 photo taken in the last year, their NBCOT examination date
    • Proof of completion of the Preventing Medical Errors course
  • Licensure by exam with waiver. This application is for registered Occupational Therapists or Occupational Therapy Assistants who have already taken the NBCOT exam, but want to waive their current certification. These applicants must pay the NBCOT exam fee and the $180 due to the State of Florida, and provide the State with the following:
  • Certified English translations (foreign applicants only)
  • Verification letter from NBCOT stating their passage of the exam
  • Proof of other state licenses
  • A 2x2 photo taken within the last 6 months
  • Proof of completion of the Preventing Medical Errors course
  • Licensure by endorsement. This form of licensure is for applicants who have already taken the NBCOT exam and received certification. Applicants who have taken the exam must pay $180 to the State, and provide the State of Florida with the following:
  • Certified English translations for any documents not written in English
  • Current NBCOT certification submitted by NBCOT
  • All expired, pending, and current State licenses held by the applicant
  • A 2x2 photo taken within the last 6 months
  • Proof of completion of the Preventing Medical Errors course
  1. Join the Florida Occupational Therapy Association. The Florida Occupational Therapy Association offers resources on community events, networking events, continuing education requirements, jobs, and occupational therapy programs. It also helps practitioners stay current with industry news, practice changes, scholarship information, and other occupational therapy-specific matters.
Through campus based and online programs, aspiring Occupational Therapists in Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando, Florida may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including Baptist Medical Center, Florida Hospital Orlando, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Memorial Regional Hospital.

Occupational Therapy Schools

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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
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            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
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            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
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            South University , West Palm Beach
            • Began in 1899 as Draughon’s Practical Business College.
            • Features campuses that are heavily engaged in their respective communities, providing professional service from students and faculty.
            • Offers financial aid, scholarships, and counseling for both active and post-duty military students.
            • Has 15 campuses across the United States, as well as 4 art institutes in North Carolina and Texas.
            • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
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            •        Ranked #4 among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.

            •        Designated as 2015 Military Friendly School by U.S. News & World Report.

            •        Student to faculty ratio of 12:1, with an average class size of 21.

            •        85% of faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree in their field.

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