Occupational Therapy In Louisiana: Schools, Certification Procedure and Salary

Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous state of the United States of America and this results into huge job opportunities for occupational therapy professionals in this state. Also, Louisiana has accredited schools for the courses of different job titles of this profession. Thus, it is considered as a suitable place for students and practioners who want to have a successful future in this field. According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals in Louisiana was $79,630 and $38.28 (in May 2015), respectively. License in this state is issued by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME). It may take a few weeks or months to properly verify all your information and documents and issue the license.

Occupational therapy schools in Louisiana offer different degree programs for various job titles of occupational therapy. Coursework in these schools consists of both theoretical and practical program for bachelor’s, associate’s and master’s degree in occupational therapy. Already working occupational therapists can gain the master’s degree in 1 or 2 years but graduates in some other stream may take 2 or 3 years to get the same degree. Dual degree courses are also being opted by the students who want to gain both graduate and post graduate degrees in just 5 years. For the licensure, it is a must that the school from where you gain the degree must be Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved. These schools take the responsibility of the overall development of the candidates and prepare them to treat well their patients going through any physical, mental, emotional or any other kind of disability. But, before enrolling into any school, make sure to check the past reputation of the school and the number of students enrolled in it in the last 5 years.

To know more about the accredited schools, procedure to become an OT and the salary figures in different cities of the state of Louisiana, read below:

Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in Louisiana

  • Delgado Community College
    Address– 615 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119
    Contact no.– 504-671-5000
    Official Websitehttp://www.dcc.edu
  • LSU Health New Orleans
    Address– 433 Bolivar Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
    Contact no.– 504-568-4808
    Official Website- http://www.lsuhsc.edu
  • University Of Louisiana Monroe
    Address– 700 University Avenue, Monroe, LA 71209
    Contact no.– 318-342-1000
    Official Websitehttp://www.ulm.edu
  • Louisiana State University Health Shreveport
    Address– 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, Louisiana 71130-3932
    Contact no.- 318-675-5000
    Official Websitehttp://www.lsuhscshreveport.edu

Stepwise Procedure To Become An Occupational Therapist in Louisiana

According to the data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,470 employed and licensed occupational therapists in Louisiana (in May 2015). This makes it an attractive place for those who want to work as an occupational therapist in the state. There are some common requisites for licensure among all the states of America but a few of them differ with the licensing board of every place and the candidates need to meet all those requirements according to the demands of the state authorities. The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners administer this procedure and offer the licensure at two levels; one for occupational therapists and the other for the occupational therapy assistants. While waiting for the exam of permanent licensure, an applicant can apply for a temporary one in any of the two levels. To gain the licensure as a registered occupational therapist in Louisiana, every applicant has to meet all the requirements and follow the procedure given below:

Step 1 – Graduation In Occupational Therapy

Becoming a graduate from an ACOTE or AOTA approved school is the first thing candidates must do to become a registered OT in the state of Louisiana. For this, a master’s or bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement. For primary information about the approved schools in Colorado, you can refer to the list given in this article.

Step 2 – Complete The Internship Or Practicum

Field experience is the second most important thing for every aspirant who want to gain the licensure as an occupational therapist. In order to gain the licensure and become registered in Louisiana, every individual must complete at least 6 months of clinical experience, internship or practicum under the supervision of an expert and registered occupational therapist in a clinical setting or hospital.

Step 3 – Clear The National Certification Exam

In order to obtain the national certification exam, candidates need to pass the national certification exam named as Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam. This exam is offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) for the applicants of licensure in Louisiana. It is essential for the individuals to get 70 percentile in this exam if they want to practice as a professional in the state.

Step 4 – Apply For The State License In Louisiana

Those who want to practice as a registered occupational therapist in the state of Louisiana have to apply for it to the board. For this, first thing is the submission of a completely filled and properly signed application form with the license fee of $150 in the form of check or money order to the board. With this, some important things that are required to be attached along are; notarized oath of affirmation, verification of supervision from a licensed occupational therapist, official transcripts from all post secondary schools, two character recommendations, verification of certification from NBCOT and verification of licensure from all the past jurisdictions where you have practiced. Applicants need to work for weeks or months for licensure after submitting the application and required documents for the licensure.

Step 5 – Maintain The Professional Licensure

License renewal is as important as to gain the licensure to work as a registered occupational therapist in the state. In order to maintain the license in Louisiana, everyone has to complete 12 continuing education contact hours each year in order to renew it.

Salary of Occupational Therapists in Louisiana

As per indeed.com salary of an occupational therapist in Louisiana was $77,000 as of April 26, 2016.

Average Salary of Professionals with Similar Job Titles

OT Occupational Therapist Therapy $91,000
Occupational Therapist Acute $77,000
Occupational Therapist Paediatric Outpatient $77,000
Occupational Therapist Hand $83,000
Outpatient Occupational Therapist $85,000
Occupational Therapist Skilled $77,000
Occupational Therapist Rotation $46,000
Occupational Therapist Paediatric $77,000
Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy $77,000
Occupational Therapist Psych $77,000
Occupational Therapist School $77,000
Occupational Therapist Home Health $85,000
OT Occupational Therapy $92,000
Occupational Therapist Rehab $77,000
Occupational Therapist Outpatient $77,000

Information Source: indeed.com

On the analysis of the table above, we can make out that the wage of an OT Occupational Therapy is highest among all the related jobs titles of occupational therapy in Louisiana with $92,000, while the lowest is of Occupational Therapy Rotation with $46,000.

Annual Median Salaries Of OTs In Different Cities Of Louisiana

Name of the City Annual Median Salary
Alexandria $65,929
Baton Rouge $70,177
Bossier City $74,296
Houma $81,321
Kenner $81,321
La Place $81,321
Lafayette $67,480
Lake Charles $73,448
Marrero $81,321
Metairie $81,321
Monroe $71,332
New Iberia $67,480
New Orleans $81,321
Shreveport $74,296

Information Source: salary.com

From the table above, we find out that occupational therapists in Louisiana can earn the highest i.e. $81,321, in six cities New Orleans, Metairie, Marrero, Kenner, La Place and Houma on the contrary, Alexandria is the place where these professionals earn the least i.e. $65,929.