The Ultimate Guide for Continuing Education for OTs & OTAs

Jun 18, 2019
2 min read

This guide is designed as a supplement for practicing occupational therapists and OT assistants to research the continuing education requirements in their state of practice.

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The following is meant to serve as a guide to help practicing occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants to obtain information pertaining to the successful completion of continuing education courses required for the renewal of their occupational therapy license based on state.

Continuing education (CE) is an essential part of being an effective and well-rounded occupational therapist. CE offers busy occupational therapists the opportunity to engage with the profession outside of seeing patients and offer practicing physicians the chance to advance their education and expand their horizons. Since each state has unique CE requirements, exemptions, acceptable courses, and a variety of other rules and regulations, we've compiled a list of occupational therapy continuing education requirements by state to make finding your state's requirements easy.

States and organizations including the NBCOT and AOTA express occupational therapy continuing education requirements in a few ways. Some places refer to them as continuing competency requirements, others refer specifically to Continuing Education Units (CEUs) as a measurement whereas others designate Professional Development Units (PDUs) or Contact Hours. To simplify the language here, we are referring to state requirements as Professional Development Units to share language with the NBCOT. If your state uses other language within their regulations, you can see the conversion rates as outlined by the NBCOT below:

  • 1 contact hour (not to include meals or breaks) = 1 PDU
  • 1 clock hour (not to include meals or breaks) = 1 PDU
  • 0.1 Continuing Education Units (CEU) = 1 PDU

Each state also provides OTs a list of courses, events, and other forms of education related-programs which will count toward earning PDUs. These lists are attached below. You can also find continuing education courses offered through the AOTA.

Before you dive in, we would also like to encourage you to conduct further research for the purposes of clarification and remind you to speak with official representatives of your state Board of Occupational Therapy for any questions or concerns regarding your specific state requirements. While we have conducted thorough research here, we cannot guarantee that this article replaces the need to work directly with your state board. Please conduct your own research at the links provided to ensure accuracy. This guide was updated on 06/18/19. Any changes to state licensure requirements occurring after this date may not be accounted for.

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About Dominic Lloyd-Randolfi, OTD, OTR/L

Dominic is a practicing OT and the Occupational Therapy Publication Director for CovalentCareers Resources.