In California, Occupational Therapy schools offer courses at master’s degree level. Master’s degree course is also available for those aspirants who possess a graduate degree in some other field. They can complete it in 2-3 years. Existing OTs can get this degree in 1-2 years. You can also go for dual bachelor’s and master’s degree occupational therapy course, which takes 5 years to complete. Both graduate and undergraduate programs include fieldwork to make you capable to work in real work settings. Since California is the highly populated state of the United States, it will require a large number of OTs to help people recover from physical, emotional or mental disabilities. Therefore, one can expect a bright future in this area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California employed the highest number of occupational therapists (i.e. 10,620) in May 2017 and was the second top paying state in the U.S. It paid $89,870 per annum and $43.21 per hour.
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Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in California
- California State University
Address – 1000 East Victoria Street, Carson, CA 90747
- Dominican University of California
Address – 50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, California 94901
- Grossmont College
Address – 8800 Grossmont College Drive, El Canjon, California 92020
- Loma Linda University
Address – 11139 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350
- Sacramento City College
Address – 3835 Freeport Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95822
- Samuel Merritt University
Address – 3100 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, California 94609 3100 Telegraph
- San Jose State University
Address – One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192
- Santa Ana College
Address – 1530 West, 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398
- University of Southern California
Address – Los Angeles, CA 90089
- Stanbridge College
Address – 2041 Business Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92612
- University of St. Augustine
Address – 700 Windy Point Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069
Contact No. – 800-241-1027
Official Website – http://www.usa.edu
- West Coast University
Address – 590 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Stepwise Procedure to Become an Occupational Therapist in California
Step 1 – Obtain a Degree in Occupational Therapy
If you want to get a license as a registered occupational therapist in California, it is essential to complete your bachelor’s, master’s or an associate’s degree in occupational therapy from an NBCOT (National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy) accredited university or school.
Step 2 – Pursue an Internship
After completing the graduation, it is compulsory for the aspirants to complete internship in a clinical setting under the guidance of a licensed occupational therapy expert. Many NBCOT accredited degree programs provide internships during the school as well. To gain licensure, one need to have the clinical experience of about 24 weeks under the expert’s supervision.
Step 3 – Clear the National Certification Exam
An exam is held by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy which tests the knowledge of the registered occupational therapists or occupational therapists assistants. An aspirant should pass the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam to obtain the license. If you fail to clear the test, you can retake it after 45 days.
Step 4 – Application for California State License
An essential prerequisite for those who are seeking to be an OT in California is the state license. Submit a completely filled application to the Board of Occupational Therapy as well as submit a “Verification of Certification” from the NBCOT along with all the transcripts of the qualifying education. You can also request the states (where you have worked earlier) to send letters of good standing to the Board. Complete other formalities like provide a fingerprint report, clear the background check, and pay the fees. The Board takes 3 weeks to review your application before the license is finally issued.
Note: The initial license fee is subjected to change every month.
Step 5 – Obtain Continuing Education Credits
The state of California wants their OT professionals to keep up the skills by engaging in continuing education. In order to renew their license, registered occupational therapists need to complete 24 professional development units during their 2-year licensure period.
Salary of Occupational Therapists in California
According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of these professionals was $89,870 and $43.21, respectively.
As per indeed.com, the average salary of an occupational therapist in California was $109,782, per annum (as of September 1, 2018).
Average Salary of Professionals with Related Job Titles
|Occupational Therapist School||$92,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rotation||$55,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient||$93,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric||$93,000|
|Outpatient Occupational Therapist||$102,000|
|Occupational Therapist Psych||$93,000|
|Occupational Therapist Home Health||$102,000|
|Occupational Therapist Hand||$99,000|
|Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy||$93,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rehab||$93,000|
|OT Occupational Therapist Therapy||$109,000|
|Occupational Therapist Skilled||$93,000|
|OT Occupational Therapy||$110,000|
|Occupational Therapist Acute||$93,000|
|Occupational Therapist Outpatient||$93,000|
Information Source: indeed.com (as of March 16, 2016)
According to salary.com, the median wage of occupational therapists in Los Angeles, California was between $96,580 (as of September 1, 2018). But, some factors like population, competition, experience, geographic location, etc., lead to the variations in the salaries of occupational therapist in every city of the state.
Annual Median Salaries of OTs in Different Cities of California
|Name of the City||Annual Median Salary|
Information Source: salary.com (as of September 1, 2018)