Arkansas is a great state for the individuals who want to make a career in occupational therapy as it has one of the best median pay scales in the United States. Also, it has a huge demand for occupational therapists with good pay-offs. According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals was $82,600 and $39.71 (as per May 2015), respectively. The Arkansas State Medical Board takes the responsibility to issue licenses to these professionals which is provided soon after the verification of all the information provided by you.
Occupational therapy schools in Arkansas prepare the students to work as a registered occupational therapist through theoretical coursework and practical training of the job. These colleges, schools and universities offer programs for all the degrees related to occupational therapy such as master’s, bachelor’s, doctorate, associate’s and dual degree. The master’s degree in the field would take 1-2 years for the existing OTs while the duration could increase to 2-3 years if you are not a graduate in the same field. Dual degree courses are for the students who want to complete both bachelor’s and master’s in lesser time (as it takes only 5 years). To become a registered occupational therapist in the state of Arkansas, students need to complete graduation from an accredited school, thus, before enrolling to a particular school to obtain a degree, make sure about the past reputation of the school you have selected to pursue the professional course and also about the number of students enrolled in it in the past few years.
To know more about the accredited schools, procedure to become an OT and the salary figures in the state of Arkansas, read below:
Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in Arkansas
- Pulaski Technical College
Address – 3000 West Scenic Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118
Contact No. – 501-812-2200
Official Website – http://pulaskitech.edu
- East Arkansas Community College
Address – 1700 Newcastle Road, Forrest City, AR 72335
Contact No. – 870-633-4480
Official Website – https://www.eacc.edu
- South Arkansas Community College
Address – 300 South West Avenue, El Dorado, AR 71730
Contact No. – 870-862-8131
Official Website – http://www.southark.edu
- University of Central Arkansas
Address – 201 Donaghey Avenue, Conway, Arkansas 72035
Contact No. – 501-450-5000
Official Website – http://uca.edu
Stepwise Procedure To Become An Occupational Therapist In Arkansas
According to the data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 910 employed and licensed occupational therapists in May 2015, thus numerous job opportunities and high wages of the occupational therapy professionals in Arkansas makes it one of the favorite places for students to pursue their career in this stream. Most of the requirements to become licensed are similar in most of the states of America but there are some pre-requisites that may differ with each state. The Arkansas State Medical Board manages the task of issuing the licenses to the aspirants of occupational therapy. Licensure is offered at two levels; one for occupational therapists and other for occupational therapy assistants. Those who wish to become a registered occupational therapist in this state need to follow the following procedure.
Step 1 – Graduation From An Accredited School Of Occupational Therapy
A bachelor’s or master’s degree from a state-approved college, school or university is the very first step that the applicants need to follow. If not that, at least a candidate should hold an associate’s degree in the field. To know about the accredited schools of the state, you can refer the list given in this article.
Step 2 – Complete The Internship Or Practicum
Practical training is considered as an equally important part of the coursework of the candidates who want to become licensed in Arkansas. Thus, for licensure it is essential for the candidates to complete at least 6 months of field work under the supervision of an expert and licensed occupational therapist. This is often procured through college OT programs assistance.
Step 3 – Pass The National Certification Exam
Candidates need to pass the national certification exam i.e. Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam in order to get the licensure as a registered therapist in the state. This exam is offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). One can appear in this exam in two manners, online and paper. Fee for the online form is $500 and for the paper one it is $540. You can take this exam as many times until you succeed but, only after a gap of 45 days of the examination.
Step 4 – Application For The State License
All the professionals of occupational therapy have to apply for the license by submitting a completely filled and properly signed application with the license fee of $75, request NBCOT to send the notice of verification and score reports to the medical board, present an identification proof, submit a proof of citizenship or work visa, verification of licensure from the states you have already practiced, verification of hospital or facility affiliation and depicting therapy related experience. Issuance of license may extend because of extensive work history, prior complaints, delays in documentation.
Step 5 – Maintenance Of The Licensure
It is quite important for the professionals to maintain their licensure. For this, they have to complete 20 regular education credits every two years. By license renewal, you can work as a registered occupational therapist without any interruption.
Salary Of Occupational Therapists In Arkansas
As per indeed.com, the average salary of an occupational therapist in Arkansas was $86,000 per annum (as of April 18, 2016).
Average Salary Of Professionals With Similar Job Titles
|Occupational Therapist Acute||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rotation||$51,000|
|Occupational Therapist Hand||$92,000|
|OT Occupational Therapist Therapy||$101,000|
|Occupational Therapist Skilled||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rehab||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Paediatric||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Paediatric Outpatient||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Psych||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist School||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Home Health||$94,000|
|Outpatient Occupational Therapist||$95,000|
|OT Occupational Therapy||$102,000|
|Occupational Therapist Outpatient||$86,000|
Information Source: indeed.com
As per the above data, the minimum salary of an Occupational Therapist Rotation was $51,000 and the maximum lies with the OT Occupational Therapy with about $102,000.
Annual Median Salaries Of OTs In Different Cities Of Arkansas
Name Of The City
Annual Median Salary
Information Source: salary.com
On analysis of above table, we find out that the lowest salary of occupational therapists in Arkansas is in Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale with $66,559 and the maximum lies with Jonesboro with $76,678.