Tennessee Occupational Therapist School
By Kathy Foust, allied health world contributing writer
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Steps to Become an Occupational Therapist in Tennessee
Occupational Therapists have their own unique role in the category of Healthcare Practitioner and Healthcare occupations as listed by the United States Census Bureau. They offer a wide range of services and work in multiple venues including, but not limited to schools, hospitals, medical centers and for specific individuals. The method of treatment they use varies from coaching on developing life skills to adaptive equipment training ranging on a variety of levels.
On a national level, the growth of employment opportunities has exceeded .4% over the last 4 years. Out of the 94,000 nationally employed occupational therapists, 5,322 specialty therapists are employed in the state of Tennessee. Tennessee Occupational Therapist’s salaries are above the national average of $93,000, at a rate of $94,000. Though some states require national certification as well as state licensure testing to receive a state license, Tennessee offers a license based on the individual being nationally certified. There are other requirements to be met, but testing is done on a national level.
Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the United State Census Bureau.
Becoming a Licensed Occupational Therapist in Tennessee
Occupational Therapists in Tennessee need to be licensed by the Tennessee Board of Occupational Therapy. This board regulates the standards of the qualifications and practices of occupational therapists in Tennessee.
An individual who wishes to become licensed as an occupational therapist in Tennessee must first obtain a graduate degree in occupational therapy from an institution that is accredited and recognized by the Accrediting Council for Occupational Therapy Education. The requirements for degree completion include academic studies and supervised fieldwork.
Occupational Therapy Licensure Steps in Tennessee
- Individuals should enroll in and complete an online or campus-based Master’s degree program through Tennessee occupational therapy schools as approved by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.
- Upon completion of the Occupational Therapy Master’s program, individuals will pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination. This test is developed and managed by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. This board provides certification on a national level, which may be the only certification required by some states, like Tennessee. Those interested can contact this board at the address listed below.
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
12 South Summit Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
(301) 990 – 7979
Fax (301) 869 - 8492
- Individuals who wish to become certified in the use of physical modalities will need to have proper training on said modalities to be used in the practice of occupational therapy in Tennessee.
- 24 credit hours of learning competency must be completed within 2 years of initial application for licensure prior to the year of requested licensure.
- Those wishing to apply for an Occupational Therapist License in Tennessee need to fill out an application completely, truthfully and in full before submitting it to the Tennessee Board of Occupational Therapy along with the items listed below.
- Letter of recommendation from someone not related to the person.
- Copy of certificate of examination by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.
- $35 license fee
- $10 state regulatory fee
- $40 registration fee
- $25 application fee
- Documented 24 credit hours of learning competency.
- Criminal background check.