Mississippi is both, the 32nd most extensive as well as the most populous state of the United States of America. Thus, there are a lot of chances for employment of occupational therapists in the state and it is one of most suitable places to pursue a career in occupational therapy. According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals in Mississippi was $81,950 and $39.40 (in May 2015), respectively. The procedure of license approval and issuance of occupational therapy is under the control of Professional Licensure Division of the Mississippi Department of Health. The board may take some weeks or months to collect the documents, review them properly, and issue the license to the applicant.

Occupational therapy schools in Mississippi offer courses for occupational therapy at different levels comprising, associates’, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate’s, and dual degree. Coursework of these programs not only train the students theoretically, but they also teach them practically to serve the physically, emotionally or mentally disabled patients. Already practicing candidates, who want to do master’s in occupational therapy can get this degree in 1 or 2 years, but someone who is a graduate in some other field can gain the same degree in 2 or 3 years. Many students who wish to gain both the degrees in just 5 years can opt for the dual degree course. School, college or university from where you are going to get the degree should be Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved. Before enrolling for a course in a school, a candidate must inquire about its past reputation and the number of students who studied the same course in it for the last five years.

For more information about the accredited schools, procedure to become an OT and the salary figures in different cities of the state of Mississippi, read below:

Approved Occupational Therapy Schools In Mississippi

  • Coahoma Community College
    Address – 3240 Friars Point Road, Clarksdale, MS 38614
    Contact No. – 662-627-2571
    Official Websitehttp://www.coahomacc.edu/
  • Hinds Community College
    Address– 501 East Main Street, Raymond, MS 39154-1100
    Contact No. – 601-857-5261
    Official Websitehttp://www.hindscc.edu/
  • Itawamba Community College- Fulton Campus
    Address – 602 West Hill Street, Fulton, MS 38843
    Contact No. – 662-862-8000
    Official Websitehttp://www.iccms.edu/
  • The University of Mississippi Medical Center
    Address – 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216
    Contact No. – 601-984-1000
    Official Websitehttps://www.umc.edu/
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
    Address – 51 Main Street, Perkinston, MS 39573
    Contact No. – 601-928-5211
    Official Websitehttp://www.mgccc.edu/
  • Northeast Mississippi Community College
    Address – 101 Cunningham Boulevard, Booneville, MS 38829
    Contact No. – 662-720-7239
    Official Websitehttp://www.nemcc.edu/
  • Northwest Mississippi Community College
    Address – 4975 Highway 51 North, Senatobia, MS 38668
    Contact No. – 662-562-3200
    Official Websitehttp://www.northwestms.edu

Stepwise Procedure to Become an Occupational Therapist in Mississippi

This state offers great chances and career outlook for the professionals of occupational therapy such as aides, assistants or therapists. According to the report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 820 employed licensed occupational therapists in Mississippi (in May 2015).(1) High salary and immense job opportunities make Mississippi a suitable place for therapy aspirants to pursue their career. Akin to all the other states, Mississippi too has a completely distinct process for licensure. The licensing body in Mississippi gives licensure at two levels, one for occupational therapists and other for occupational therapy assistants. If someone wants, s/he can apply for a temporary license in any of the two levels while waiting to sit for the exam of a permanent license. One has to follow the following procedure in order to gain the licensure in Mississippi.

Step 1 – Graduation in Occupational Therapy

The most basic thing required to get licensed as an occupational therapist in a state is to become a graduate from an ACOTE or AOTA approved university, college or school. You should have a bachelor’s, master’s or both the degrees in the field. In Mississippi, there is only one school that offers occupational therapy courses while the rest train the students in other job profiles of occupational therapy. For basic information about it, you can refer to the list of schools included in this article.

Step 2 – Internship or Practicum

Field program is quite important as it enhances the practical knowledge of the students about the work of occupational therapists. The way they have to deal with the mentally, physically or emotionally disabled patients are taught keenly by the professionals. For the licensure as an occupational therapist in Mississippi, applicants need to complete 6 months of internship or practicum under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist in any clinical setting.

Step 3 – Pass the National Certification Exam

In order to become a registered occupational therapist in the state, you need to qualify the national certification exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). For the occupational therapists, this exam is named as Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam. Only the individuals who score at least 450 marks in the test can clear this exam.

Step 4 – Application for the State License in Mississippi

All those who want to qualify for the state license in Mississippi, have to apply for it to the board of licensing. A completely filled and properly signed application form is the first and foremost requirement. In addition to this, you have to pay a license fee of $100 along with the application fee of $100 in the form of a money order or check. A proof of citizenship or work permit, official transcripts from all the colleges you have attended so far, verification of licensure from all the past jurisdictions where you have worked, and the score reports of the exam from NBCOT is also to be submitted.

Step 5 – Maintenance of the Licensure

Maintenance of license is equally important for the candidates as to gain it from the licensing body. License seekers in Mississippi have to complete 20 continuing education contact hours within the two years of licensure period to renew it.

Salary of Occupational Therapists in Mississippi

As per indeed.com salary of an occupational therapist in Mississippi was 91,000 as of May 3, 2016.

Average Salary for Professionals with Similar Job Titles

Outpatient Occupational Therapist$100,000
Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy$91,000
Occupational Therapist Rotation$53,000
Occupational Therapist Hand$97,000
Occupational Therapist Rehab$91,000
OT Occupational Therapist Therapy$106,000
Occupational Therapist Skilled$91,000
Occupational Therapist Home Health$99,000
Occupational Therapist Psych$91,000
Occupational Therapist School$90,000
Occupational Therapist Outpatient$91,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric$91,000
OT Occupational Therapy$107,000
Occupational Therapist Acute$91,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient$91,000

Information Source: indeed.com

On the analysis of the table above we can find out that the wage of OT Occupational Therapy is highest among all the related jobs titles of occupational therapy in Mississippi at $107,000, while the lowest is of Occupational Therapist Rotation at $53,000.

Annual Median Salaries for Ots in Different Cities of Mississippi

Name of the CityAnnual Median Salary
Biloxi$74,076
Columbus$68,986
Greenville$71,972
Gulfport$68,610
Hattiesburg$68,743
Jackson$67,497
Meridian$68,986
Olive Branch$76,827
Pascagoula$70,669
Southaven$76,827
Tupelo$68,986

Information Source: salary.com

From the table above, we can conclude that wage of an occupational therapist among the different cities of Mississippi is highest in 2 cities, Olive Branch and Southaven at $76,827 and the lowest is in Jackson at $67,497 (as on April 26, 2016).