Nebraska is located in the Midwestern United States and has 93 counties. This state has many jobs for occupational therapy professionals. Many aspirants choose this place to start and make their career as occupational therapy aides, assistants, and therapists. According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals in Nebraska was $74,070 and $35.61 (in May 2015), respectively (1). The procedure of license approval and issuance of occupational therapy is regulated by the Licensure Unit of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The board may take several weeks to verify all the necessary documents and issue the license to the applicants.

Occupational therapy schools in Nebraska provide different programs related to the field and for various job titles. These courses for occupational therapy comprise of bachelor’s, associates’, master’s, doctorate’s and dual degree courses. Candidates who are already holding a bachelor’s degree and practicing as a professional can do the post graduation in 1 or 2 years, but if you are a graduate in some other stream, you will get the same degree in 2 or 3 years. You can opt for a dual degree course if you want to complete graduation and post graduation in just 5 years. For acquiring the licensure, the most important thing is the accreditation of the school from where you have obtained the degree. It should be approved by Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Besides this, the candidate must be aware of the past reputation of the school where s/he is going to enroll for the course of occupational therapy and the number of students enrolled in it for the same course in the last 5 years.

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

Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in Nebraska

  • Concordia University
    Address – 800 North Columbia Avenue, Seward, NE 68434
    Contact No. – 800-535-5494
    Official Websitehttp://www.cune.edu/
  • Creighton University
    Address – 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178
    Contact No. – 402-280-2700
    Official Websitehttps://www.creighton.edu/
  • College of Saint Mary
    Address – 7000 Mercy Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68106-2377
    Contact No. – 402-399-2400
    Official Websitehttp://www.csm.edu/

Stepwise Procedure to Become an Occupational Therapist in Nebraska

According to the data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 820 employed and licensed occupational therapists in Nebraska in May 2015. This proves that there are many career opportunities for the aspirants of occupational therapy in Nebraska. Also, the salary in this state is quite high. Almost all the demands for licensure by the licensing bodies of all the states in America are similar, but there are some things that might differ in each state. So, in the state of Nebraska, Licensure Unit of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services takes the responsibility of providing a license to the applicants for different job titles of occupational therapy. The board offers a license at two levels, one for occupational therapy assistants and the other is for occupational therapists. While waiting to sit for the permanent licensure exam, you can also apply for a temporary license. To get this, it is a must for the students to work under the guidance of a licensed occupational therapist who has at least one year of licensure with the state. With this, the licensing body at Nebraska also offers a Physical Agent Modalities (PAMS) certification to the occupational therapists who have completed theoretical training and clinical application.

Step 1 – Graduation from an Accredited School of Occupational Therapy

Firstly, students must graduate with a bachelor’s, master’s or dual degree from an ACOTE or AOTA approved school, university or college in order to get the licensure as an occupational therapist in a state. In Nebraska, there are 2 schools that provide the courses to become a registered occupational therapist. To get the primary information about these colleges, you can refer to the list of approved schools added in this article.

Step 2 – Complete the Internship or Practicum

Practical training plays a vital role in the performance of an occupational therapist as it helps the candidates to analyze the real situations of the patients suffering from any kind of disorder and to deal with it. Thus, it not only an important part of the course of therapists but also essential to acquire the state licensure. To become licensed, it is a must to complete at least 6 months of internship or practicum under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist in a clinical setting.

Step 3 – Pass the National Certification Exam

For the individuals who are seeking for the license in the state of Nebraska, it is a must to pass the national certification exam for occupational therapists. After qualifying this exam named as, Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR), you can practice anywhere in the United States of America. This exam is offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). To pass this exam, you have to score at least 450 marks.

Step 4 – Application for the State License

After passing the OTR exam, individuals need to provide the application to acquire a license to the licensing board of the state. For this, they need to submit a completely filled and properly signed application with a license fee of $120 or $30 (from February to July of even-numbered years). In addition to this, you also have to provide transcripts from all the attended schools, notice of certification from the NBCOT and verification of licensure from all the past states where you have worked till date. Issuance of license may take some weeks or months after verification of documents and other transcripts.

Step 5 – Maintenance of the Licensure

It is very important for the professionals to maintain their license. For this, they have to complete 50 continuing education contact hours within the two-year OTA licensure period. After license renewal, you can continue working as a registered occupational therapist without any interruption.

Salary of Occupational Therapists in Nebraska

As per indeed.com, the salary of an occupational therapist in Nebraska was $63,000 as of May 6, 2016.

Average Salary of Professionals with Similar Job Titles

Occupational Therapist Hand $68,000
Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy $63,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient $63,000
Occupational Therapist Psych $63,000
Outpatient Occupational Therapist $70,000
Occupational Therapist Rehab $63,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric $63,000
Occupational Therapist Rotation $37,000
Occupational Therapist Skilled $63,000
OT Occupational Therapist Therapy $74,000
Occupational Therapist School $63,000
Occupational Therapist Acute $63,000
OT Occupational Therapy $75,000
Occupational Therapist Home Health $69,000
Occupational Therapist Outpatient $63,000

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 Nebraska at $75,000 while the lowest is of Occupational Therapy Rotation at $37,000.

Annual Median Salaries of OTs in Different Cities of Nebraska

Name of the City Annual Median Salary
Bellevue $76,519
Fremont $76,519
Grand Island $70,232
Hastings $70,232
Kearney $70,232
Lincoln $70,232
Norfolk $63,071
North Platte $73,097
Omaha $76,519

Information Source: salary.com

From the table above, we can conclude that wage of an occupational therapist among the different cities of Nebraska is highest in Bellevue, Fremont, and Omaha out of nine cities at $76,519 and lowest is in Norfolk at $63,071 as on April 26, 2016 (2).