We all know quality occupational therapy CEUs can come with a hefty price tag. And unfortunately, we sometimes have fork over a good chunk of money to keep up with our CEUs for license renewal.
But this doesn’t have to be the case! Thankfully, there are FREE occupational therapy CEUs available that you can use towards your state license and NBCOT renewals.
We’ve rounded up these great options for free occupational therapy CEUs, current as of October 2022. We will update this as needed, so be sure to let us know if you notice any changes when perusing these options.
And as with any continuing education, be sure to check with your individual state’s licensing board to be sure they will accept these credits.
Without further ado, here are 8 totally free OT CEU options for you to check out:
1. The NBCOT Navigator
The NBCOT Navigator is a fantastic option for free quality continuing education. If you’re certified through NBCOT as an OTR or COTA, you have free access to up to 14 units per renewal period, which they call competency assessment units.
The Navigator includes case simulations, management challenges, practice quizzes, evidence-based research, an orthotic builder, an OT knowledge library and a physical agent modalities tool. They are also going to launch an app version this year so you can earn credits easily on your phone.
To learn more about the Navigator and to see if your state also accepts these CAUs for state licensing, be sure to check out their platform here.
2. AOTA’s Free Webinars
AOTA has been offering free webinarsin which you can earn up to 12 continuing education contact hours free, with each webinar equaling one contact hour.
Just a few examples of these interesting webinar topics include:
- Tech Talk: Potential of Everyday Technology for OT
- Health Through Horticulture: Gardening as an OT Intervention
- Identifying and Preventing Burnout in Occupational Therapy Practice
Typically, these CE opportunities are reserved for AOTA members but in 2020, AOTA began offering a free virtual series for both members and non-members. The free series covers COVID-19 and OT, with topics including:
- What OTs Need to Know About Starting Medicare Home Health Cases
- OT in Hospitals and Inpatient Care: Responding to a Pandemic
- OT and Telehealth
You can find the full list of this free series here.
Note: Some of these webinars are now available as past recordings as of 2022, but they are still free to non-members.
3. OccupationalTherapy.com’s One Free Course
OccupationalTherapy.com offers one free 1-hour course of your choice for new users. Just enter their code 1FREECOURSE at checkout.
If you enjoy their online platform and want unlimited online courses after that, you can purchase an annual membership for $99. I have not used OccupationalTherapy.com myself but have heard from other OTs that they feel they get a pretty good value for the $99/year price tag.
4. UIC Engage IL’s Free Interprofessional Geriatrics Courses
The University of Illinois at Chicago has created this great resource for multiple healthcare professions (OTs included). Their Online Accredited Learning in Interprofessional Geriatrics program currently offer 24 modules related to the care of older adults.
The courses are developed, written and vetted by interprofessional geriatric content experts and are AOTA-approved (#10173).
A few course examples include:
- Preventing Falls Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults
- Driving Safety of the Older Adult
- Medication Management in Older Adults
- Sexuality and the Older Adult
- The Older Adult with Visual, Hearing, and Cognitive Impairment
There are so many more course options to choose from, so be sure to check out their entire course catalogue here.
Thanks so much to My OT Spot reader Stephanie Thomas for sharing this great organization!
5. Montana Geriatric Education Center’s Two Free Courses
The Montana Geriatric Education Center (MTGEC) – affiliated with the University of Montana – offers three free 2-hour online courses on cognitive impairment. The courses are created for healthcare professionals.
The three courses are:
- Cognitive Decline and Dementia in Older Adults
- Screening for Cognitive Impairment
- Patients as Partners
The courses are offered for free as part of their Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program. If you ever work with older adults, this is a great option that is well worth your time.
To get credit, you’ll just have to register and pass the exam at the end of the courses with a 70% or higher.
Update: As of Feb. 2022, these courses are only free to Montana residents, however out-of-state residents can take any course for just $25 (which is not a bad deal for two-hour courses!)
6. Saebo’s Free Online Continuing Ed Courses
Saebo offers multiple free online evidence-based continuing education courses, which are all approved by AOTA. These are great options if you’re working with neurological populations and/or hand therapy, since Saebo specializes in stroke rehab products related to the upper extremity.
- Saebo Self-Study Certification: Get Certified to Fit the SaeboFlex and SaeboReach (8 CEU hours)
- Introduction to Electrotherapy: Learn the Basics of Electrical Stimulation (1.5 CEU hours)
- SaeboGlove: Grasping Functional Recovery (.5 CEU hours)
- SaeboStretch: A Dynamic Resting Hand Splint for Neurophysiological Changes (.5 CEU hours)
- SaeboFlex and SaeboReach: Improving Upper Extremity Motor Recovery (.5 CEU hours)
- SaeboMAS and SaeboMAS Mini: Unweight Your Arm and Explore Life
- SaeboStim Micro: Boost Hand and Arm Recovery (.5 CEU hours)
- SaeboStim One and SaeboStim Pro: Overcome Weakness and Improve Function (.75 CEU hours)
- Fostering Patient Compliance While at Home (1 CEU hour)
As you can see above, there are many options to choose from which will give you a huge chunk of free hours. The courses are all self-study and can be taken 24 hours a day.
7. OnlineCE.com’s One Free Course
Similar to OT.com above, OnlineCE.com also offers an introductory free 1-hour course of your choice from their collection of OT CEUs. To get the free course, you’ll click the “Try it Free” to register for your free course.
The course can also be done any time of day, and has a vast library of options. Some course topics include driver rehabilitation, pain management in OT, and hand therapy treatment activities.
8. Wild Iris’s Free CEU Option
Wild Iris Medical Education is an online continuing education company known for it’s super low cost CEU options that are approved by AOTA and the NBCOT. Most of their paid courses run between $10 and $65, with many of them in the $20-$30 range.
Along with their super low-cost courses, they’re currently offering a free COVID-19 course titled The Impact of a Pandemic on Mental Health: Providing Mental Health Interventions for Patients and Healthcare Workers, which is definitely worth checking out. The course is 1.5 credits.
9. OT Mastery’s Vision Deficits and Occupation Course
Coming from a new continuing education provider, OT Mastery’s AOTA-approved course, Vision Deficits and Occupation, offers 1.25 hours of online continuing education.
The course objectives for this introductory course on low vision include: “Explain how major vision concerns impact a person’s function, identify the major visual impairments and eye conditions that OTs can provide treatment for, [and] describe the difference between vision rehabilitation and low vision treatment as part of occupational therapy.”
The course also offers visual system anatomy, prevalence of vision concerns and disorders, low vision evaluation and treatment as well as case studies along the way.
Bonus Courses (May Not Quality for Licensing)
AbleNet University’s Free Courses
At the time of this post’s update, AbleNet’s courses are not AOTA-approved but are still really helpful for anyone interested in learning more about assistive technology (especially since these courses are free!)
AbleNet is an assistive technology company that not only manufactures assistive tech for individuals with disabilities but also provides free live webinars and recorded webinars (available 24/7) through their AbleNet University.
They currently offer over 250 hours of free CE content, with many of the courses taught by OTs. A few course examples include:
- Working with Students Using Switches
- How Do I Develop Readiness for Power Mobility?
- Managing Behavior in a Technology Rich Environment
Still Need More CEUs?
If you’re still on the hook for more continuing education hours and don’t want to splurge on a $500 weekend course, I use and highly recommend MedBridge Continuing Education for the highest quality and unlimited online continuing ed courses.
While MedBridge is not free, you can get a year of unlimited CEUs and webinars that count towards live courses for just $225 with our promo code MYOTSPOT (the yearly price is normally $375/year). If you’re still on the fence or want to learn more, be sure to check out my in-depth MedBridge review here.
And there you have it! Let us know if you’ve discovered any other great free occupational therapy CEUs. We’d love to add them to this list.
This post was originally published on May 24, 2020 and updated on February 3, 2022 and October 31, 2022.
Why is the NBCOT exam so hard? ›
Part of what makes the NBCOT exam such a bear is that it covers so much material. The process of doing occupational therapy, standards and practices, human development, various conditions and approaches to evaluating and treating them…all wrapped up in 170 multiple choice questions and three clinical simulations.Is OccupationalTherapy com NBCOT approved? ›
OccupationalTherapy.com is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education and an NBCOT® Professional Development Provider.Which country is best for occupational therapy? ›
- Occupational Health in USA.
- Occupational Health in UK.
- Occupational Health in Sweden.
- Occupational Health in Ireland.
- Occupational Health in Canada.
Typically you should wear business casual clothing. In a hospital or outpatient clinic, it's usually okay to wear casual shoes. Continue reading, for more details. Another way you can shadow an OT is by volunteering.How many people pass the NBCOT on the first try? ›
The NBCOT® exam presents itself as an overwhelming feat; however, with proper studying and preparation, this exam is very passable on the first attempt. On average 81% of OTRs and 75% of COTAs pass on the NBCOT® on their first try.How many questions can you miss on the NBCOT and still pass? ›
Performance is ranked on a scale between 300-600, with 450 being the minimum score needed to pass. The exam consists of 170 multiple choice questions and a three-problem clinical simulation test section. Scoring is unique in that points are not deducted if you choose an incorrect answer.What is a passing score on the NBCOT OTR exam? ›
Overall performance is reported on a standardized scale ranging from 300 to 600. A total scaled score of at least 450 is required to pass the OTR or COTA certification examination. It is important to note that the passing standard is based on candidate performance across the entire exam.Can OTD be a professor? ›
OTD and DPT (Doctor of Occupational Therapy/Doctor of Physical Therapy): These degrees may be entry-level or post-professional, and appropriate for clinical-track or tenure-track faculty positions, depending on institutional rules and regulations.How do I pass the NBCOT after failing? ›
If you fail the NBCOT® exam you may schedule to retake the exam 30 days after your last examination date. You will need to reapply and obtain a new Authorization to test (ATT) letter. Once you receive a new ATT letter, you should proceed to schedule your examination directly with Prometric as you had the first time.Who is the highest paid occupational therapist? ›
According to the BLS, OTs who work in home healthcare get paid the most. The annual mean wage of home health care OTs was $102,640 in 2021. Home healthcare OTs typically work for private agencies in their clients' homes. The second highest-paying OT position was in nursing care facilities.
What state pays occupational therapists the most? ›
Best-Paying States for Occupational Therapists
The states and districts that pay Occupational Therapists the highest mean salary are Nevada ($109,010), California ($105,760), New Jersey ($100,140), Texas ($96,100), and New Mexico ($95,060).
|Total Occupational Therapist Jobs:||4,120|
|Average Annual Salary:||$105,738|
|Lowest 10 Percent Earn:||$78,000|
|Highest 10 Percent Earn:||$142,000|
Important Note-taking Tips!
ALWAYS go to your shadowing experience with a small notebook in your pocket. Write down diagnoses, medicines, and symptoms that you hear about that day. When you get home, look up these things- you will learn so much, and it will really enhance your shadowing experience.
Yes all shadow shifts are paid and if an employee feels like they need more then that is never a problem, as much support given as needed. Yes, it goes on your timesheet as training.Can I wear jeans to shadow? ›
Clothing – must be neat, clean and allow freedom of movement. Casual slacks, blouses or shirts are preferred. Skirts/dresses should be of modest length. The following are not permitted: jeans, shorts, tight clothing, athletic wear, sweat pants, crop tops, loud T-shirts.How hard is the OT exam? ›
Unlike other exams, students took during their academic tenures, the NBCOT® Exam is rigid, requiring you to adopt the mindset of the individuals who wrote the questions in order to pass. It's arduous and of course, time-consuming. Below, we unpack just why this test is so hard to prepare for.How many hours a day should I study for NBCOT? ›
It is recommended that students study 4 – 8 hours per day, 6 days a week, for at least 6 to 8 weeks in order to properly process and understand the test's material.Are the NBCOT practice tests harder than the actual test? ›
You may have already heard this, but the Therapy Ed tests are HARD. I would even say harder than the actual exam. So, if you're scoring in the 50's and 60's, don't be alarmed, because almost everyone is scoring in the 60's even right before test time. Just a heads-up: reading this book can be a bear.How many times did OT Miri take the exam? ›
After 2 Years and 11 Tries, I Passed - OT Miri. It took me a long time to decide to come onto a blog post to share my story.Does NBCOT release scores at midnight? ›
Exam results will be up by 5:00 p.m. today. You will not be able to access the exam scoring portal or exam application portal until then. When results are up you will use the same login info as your exam application.
How many hours does it take to complete the NBCOT test? ›
You can take breaks during the NBCOT exam, but the clock never stops. You have 4 hours to complete the test, and it doesn't matter if you're finished or have 20 questions left.How difficult is the NBCOT? ›
Unlike other exams, students took during their academic tenures, the NBCOT® Exam is rigid, requiring you to adopt the mindset of the individuals who wrote the questions in order to pass. It's arduous and of course, time-consuming. Below, we unpack just why this test is so hard to prepare for.How long does the average person study for the NBCOT? ›
It is recommended that students study 4 – 8 hours per day, 6 days a week, for at least 6 to 8 weeks in order to properly process and understand the test's material.What is the average passing score for NBCOT exam? ›
Overall performance is reported on a standardized scale ranging from 300 to 600. A total scaled score of at least 450 is required to pass the OTR or COTA certification examination. It is important to note that the passing standard is based on candidate performance across the entire exam.