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West Virginia Occupational Therapist School
By Allison Skoglind, allied health world contributing writer
Published: January, 31 2010
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Steps to Become an Occupational Therapist in West Virginia
The first step to becoming an occupational therapist (OT) in West Virginia is to gain the necessary education and training required for a successful career. Completing 4 years of high school education or the equivalent thereof (GED) is a must. The next step is to get enrolled into a formal program through one of the accredited West Virginia occupational therapy schools. The OT program must be accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) and approved by the West Virginia Board of Occupational Therapy (WVBOT). All programs must comprise of at least 24 weeks of field work experience in a recognized occupational therapy facility. Many employers in West Virginia prefer a master’s degree or doctorate in occupational therapy.
Upon successful completion of an occupational therapy program, students are qualified to sit for a competency examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Students must pass NBCOT examination in order to be licensed in the state of West Virginia.
After passing examination, occupational therapists in West Virginia should visit the WVBOT website and formally request an occupational therapy licensing application. Upon receiving the licensing application, applicants must fill it entirely and get it notarized. In addition, a $30 application fee and $250 licensing fee must be included. Lastly, the WVBOT must receive notification from the NBCOT verifying positive examination results. If the application is accepted, the applicant becomes officially licensed in West Virginia, and is given the title of occupational therapy licensed (OTL) or occupational therapy registered (OTR). West Virginia occupational therapist licenses remain active for one year, after which a renewal application along with an $80 renewal fee must be submitted.Through campus based and online programs, aspiring Occupational Therapists in Charleston, Huntington, Parkersburg and Wheeling, West Virginia 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 Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital, Wheeling Hospital, Saint Mary's Medical Center and Ruby Memorial Hospital.