An occupational therapist is defined as a medical professional that assists patients with mental, physical, or social disabilities in order to help increase their quality of life. occupational therapists can expect patients of all types and ages who suffer from medical issues that stem from accidents, birth, illness, aging, or lifestyle. In order to get into occupational therapy (OT) in Washington, you must become aware of the licensing requirements. The Occupational Therapy Practice Board facilitates licensure. The Occupational Therapy Practice Board works alongside the Department of Health and the Health Systems Quality Assurance Division to mandate the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers. In order to become a licensed occupational therapist in the state of Washington you must go through the following steps:
- Enroll and graduate from an accredited program (typically spans 3 to 4 years) through the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) or the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE);
- Execute (at minimum) six months of on-the-job interning under a licensed Occupational Therapist;
- Pass a criminal background check;
- Complete seven hours of HIV & AIDS precautionary training;
- Pass the Washington Jurisprudence Examination;
- Pass the National Certification Exam;
- Apply for Washington licensure online.
All required initial application documentation and fees should be sent via mail to:
Washington Department of Public Health
P.O. Box 1099
Olympia, WA 98507-1099
All additional documentation not sent alongside initial application should be sent via mail to:
Occupational Therapy Credentialing
P.O. Box 47877
Olympia, WA 98504-7877
For any additional issues that may arise:
Phone: (360) 236-4501
Email feedback form
In Washington, the average salary for an occupational therapist is $84,270, with a median hourly pay of $40.51. This is right on par with the average occupational therapy salary in the USA. OT pay in Washington is also notably higher than in neighboring Idaho, where the average hourly rate is only $32.50.
The job outlook for occupational therapy in Washington is 18%, which is much higher than the national average. In 2018, Washington had a total of 133,000 occupational therapists. That number is projected to grow 23,700 by 2028.
Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Washington
The importance of accreditation is to recognize and validate a program or institution that meets — or goes beyond — the minimum standards of quality. Accredited programs help create parallel standards to follow in order to ensure a high standard of education. In Washington, there are three accredited occupational therapy programs.
Eastern Washington University
University of Puget Sound
University of Washington
Accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs in Washington
Becoming an occupational therapy assistant is an alternative to — or a stepping stone towards — occupational therapy that takes generally only takes two years of full-time academics and 16 weeks of fieldwork. There are five accredited occupational therapy assistant programs throughout the state of Washington.