Colorado is the 8th most extensive and 22nd most populous states of United States of America and thus has tremendous job opportunities for the occupational therapists and all other professions related to it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals was $88,290 and $42.45 (in May 2017), respectively. License to practice as an OT in Colorado is issued by the Office of Occupational Therapist Registration (OOTR). It may take a few weeks to keenly verify all your information and issuance of the license by the board.
Occupational therapy schools in Colorado provide all the courses that are required to become an occupational therapist including master’s, bachelor’s, doctorate’s, associates’ or dual degree. Already working candidates as OTs can get the master’s degree in 1 or 2 years while those who are not graduates in the required field take almost 2 to 3 years to complete it. Dual degree courses are for those who want to do both graduation and post graduation in just 5 years. Candidates must get their degree from Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved schools as it is an essential requirement in acquiring the licensure. Such schools make the individuals ready to serve their best to the patients undergoing with any mental, physical or emotional disability through the theoretical coursework and field program. Past reputation of the school you are enrolling in and the number of students enrolled in it in last 5 years is some important things you should know about before opting it.
To know more about the accredited schools, procedure to become an OT and the salary figures in different cities of the state of Colorado, read below:
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Approved Occupational Therapy Schools In Colorado
- National American University- Centennial Campus
Address – 8242 South University Boulevard, Suite 100, Centennial, CO 80122
- Pima Medical Institute- Denver Campus
Address – 7475 Dakin Street, Denver, CO 80221
- Pueblo Community College
Address – 900 West Orman Avenue, Pueblo, CO 81004
- Colorado State University- Fort Collins Campus
Address – 1062 Campus Delivery Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062
- Colorado State University-Pueblo
Address – 2200 Bonforte Boulevard, Pueblo, CO 81001-4901
Stepwise Procedure To Become An Occupational Therapist In Colorado
According to the data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 2,770 employed and licensed occupational therapists in May 2017, in Colorado. Thus aspirants of occupational therapy find this state a great place to make a career in the field. Besides the common requirements for licensure in Colorado, there are certain requisites that are different from all the other states. One has to satisfy all the prerequisites in order to become a registered occupational therapist in this state. The licensing body in Colorado offers licensure not only to occupational therapists but also to occupational therapy assistants. While waiting to sit in the exam for permanent licensure, candidates can apply for temporary license and can practice in any of the above two levels. To obtain the licensure as a registered occupational therapist in Colorado, every applicant has to meet all the requirements and follow the procedures given below –
Step 1 – Graduation In Occupational Therapy
Becoming a graduate from an ACOTE or AOTA approved school is the first thing candidates need to do to become a registered OT. For this, a master’s or bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement. For basic information about the accredited 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 of this job. In order to gain the licensure and become registered in Colorado, it is a must for every individual to have at least 24 weeks of clinical experience under the supervision of an expert and registered occupational therapist in a clinical setting or hospital.
Step 3 – Clear The National Certification Exam
Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) is the exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) for the applicants of licensure in Colorado. There are two versions of this exam, hard copy and online where the fee for both is different. Hard copy exam costs $540 while for online exam, the fee is $500. Candidates can take this exam as many times until they clear it but they should keep a gap of at least 45 days in between two exams. NBCOT takes $45 in order to provide the notices of verification and $40 for score reports.
Step 4 – Apply For The State License In Colorado
Those who want to practice as a registered occupational therapist in the state of Colorado have to apply for the license to the board. For this, first thing is the submission of a completely filled and properly signed application form with the fee for it in the form of check or money order (application fee changes every year on July 1). With this, some important things that are required to be attached are: verification of certification from NBCOT, aaffidavit of eligibility along with supporting documentation. Those who are already working as occupational therapists can apply for an endorsement by submitting a license from the state you are practicing in.
Step 5 – Maintain The Professional Licensure
License renewal is as important as to gain the licensure to work as a registered occupational therapist in a state. In order to maintain your license in Colorado, everyone has to pay the license renewal fee every two years to the office of occupational therapy registration. You do not need to complete any continuing education requirement units in this state.
Salary Of Occupational Therapists In Colorado
As per indeed.com, salary of an occupational therapist in Colorado was $76,178 as of August 30, 2018.
Average Salary Of Professionals With Similar Job Titles
|Occupational Therapist Hand||$82,000|
|Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy||$77,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient||$77,000|
|Occupational Therapist Skilled||$77,000|
|Outpatient Occupational Therapist||$84,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric||$77,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rehab||$77,000|
|OT Occupational Therapist Therapy||$90,000|
|OT Occupational Therapy||$91,000|
|Occupational Therapist Psych||$77,000|
|Occupational Therapist Outpatient||$77,000|
|Occupational Therapist Home Health||$84,000|
|Occupational Therapist Acute||$77,000|
|Occupational Therapist School||$76,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rotation||$45,000|
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 Colorado with $91,000, while lowest is of Occupational Therapy Rotation with $45,000.
Annual Median Salaries Of OTs In Different Cities Of Colorado
|Name Of The City||Annual Median Salary|
Information Source: salary.com (as of Sept. 01, 2018)
From the table above we can make out that occupational therapists in Colorado can earn highest i.e. $86,360, in three cities Arvada, Denver, and Westminster. On the contrary, Pueblo is the place where these professionals earn the least i.e. $79,160.