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New Jersey Occupational Therapist School

By Susan Maphis, allied health world contributing writer

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How to Become an Occupational Therapist in New Jersey

To be eligible to work in the state of New Jersey, all occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants must be licensed by the New Jersey Occupational Therapy Advisory Council. By following these steps, you can become an Occupational Therapist in New Jersey.

  1. Attend a university and graduate with a Bachelor's degree, preferably in a health care-related field (as a Bachelor's of Occupational Therapy no longer exists). Good choices are Psychology, Education, Biology, Health, Public Health, and Human Development.
  2. Apply to, attend, and graduate from one of the online or campus based New Jersey occupational therapy schools that offersa Master's degree program in Occupational Therapy. The school in which you attend does not necessarily have to be located within the state of New Jersey; however, its program must be recognized by the New Jersey Occupational Therapy Advisory Council when you apply for licensing in the state of New Jersey.
  3. Work as an intern under the supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist in New Jersey for a period of at least 24 weeks.
  4. Pass the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam given by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The exam is administered at Prometric Test Centers. The examination application fee, which must accompany your application to take the exam, is $520. (Information on the exam can be found online at www.nbcot.org/webarticles/articlefiles/FORM_CertificationExaminationHandbook_2009.pdf). 
  5. Apply to become a licensed Occupational Therapist in the state of New Jersey. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. (All official forms can be found online at www.state.nj.us/oag/ca/occup/otpacket.pdf). Your application must include:
  • a notarized passport-sized photo of yourself
  • a non-refundable application fee of $100 in check or money order form payable to the State of N.J. Occupational Therapy Advisory Council
  • college transcripts (forwarded to the council directly by the college/university)
  • documented proof of at least 24 weeks of internship (forwarded to the council directly by  the college/university)
  • certification/scores from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam (NBCOT)
  • two certificates validating your good moral character
  • Certification/Authorization form for a criminal background check ($25 fingerprinting fee)
  • Official Application for Licensure in the state of New Jersey
  • verification of any other state licenses in Occupational Therapy you may hold
  • documentation if you have had a name change (due to marriage, etc).

Through campus based and online programs, aspiring Occupational Therapists in Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison and Woodbridge, New Jersey may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Bergen Regional Medical Center, Atlanticare Regional Medical Center and Hackensack University Medical Center.

Completed applications must be sent to:

New Jersey Occupational Therapy Advisory Council
P.O. Box 45037
Newark, NJ 07101
(973) 504-6570

Occupational Therapy Schools in New jersey


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