Occupational Therapy offers a wide range of job opportunities with good payscale due to which this profession has become one of the most popular in the state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 24% growth in the employment for the occupational therapists as compared to the other professions by the year 2016 to 2016. Florida is not only an excellent place to live, but also a great state to pursue your career as an occupational therapist. OT programs are usually offered at the master’s degree level where the applicants practice clinical experiences, perform lab work, and carry out research projects. OT degree programs are generally offered to existing OTs or the undergraduates. Students with unrelated undergraduate degrees may need to complete an additional course to earn the OT degree. The course duration is usually two-year long (depends on the pace and the school of study). A flexible approach towards work, excellent written and spoken communication skills, diligence, strong determination, and positive attitude are some of the requisite skills that one must have to become an occupational therapist. Below is the information regarding the license requirements, schools, and salary of occupational therapists in Florida:
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Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in Florida
- Barry University
Address – 11300 North East 2nd Avenue, Miami Shores, FL 33161-6695
- Daytona State College- Advanced Technology College
Address – 1770 Technology Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32117
- Daytona State College- Daytona Beach Campus
Address – 1200 West International Speedway Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
- Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Address – 1601 South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL 32307
- Florida Gulf Coast University
Address – 10501 FGCU Boulevard, South Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
- Florida International University
Address – 11200 South West 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199
- Florida State College at Jacksonville
Address – 501 West State Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202
- Nova Southeastern University
Address – 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
- Polk State College
Address – 3425 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33803
- State College of Florida- SCF Bradenton
Address – 5840 26th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34207
- State College of Florida- SCF Lakewood Ranch
Address – 7131 Professional Parkway East, Sarasota, FL 34240
- State College of Florida- SCF Venice
Address – 8000 South Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34293
- University of Florida
Address – Gainesville, FL 32611
Stepwise Procedure to Become an Occupational Therapist in Florida
To offer the best quality services to the people, the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy took the responsibility of the licensure and regulation of this job. There are two levels of licensure available in Florida; one is an occupational therapist, and the other is occupational therapist assistant. One who wants to become an occupational therapist in the state has to follow the procedure given below:
Step 1 – Complete Graduation from an Accredited Occupational Therapy Degree Program
It is essential for an aspirant to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a school certified by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) before applying for the licensure.
Step 2 – Complete the Internship
Every candidate should have a minimum six months of working experience under the supervision of an occupational therapist in a private clinic, hospital or any other clinical setting to get the licensure as a registered OT.
Step 3 – Gaining National Certification
The examination for certification is held by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) and it is mandatory for the applicants to obtain the license. One can take this exam in two ways, i.e., paper version and online version. This exam can be taken multiple times until it is cleared, with the gap of 45 days in between the re-attempts.
Step 4 – Application for Licensure
To apply for the license, you need to complete the following steps:
- Submit a completed signed application to the board.
- Submit the score reports of the NBCOT exam to the board.
- Provide the official transcripts.
- Pay the required fees.
The board may take some weeks or months to issue the license, after receiving the necessary documents.
Step 5 – Maintain Professional Credentials
It is also important to keep the occupational therapist license active after acquiring it. For license renewal, you need to complete a minimum 20 hours of continuing education during the two-year licensure period.
Salary of Occupational Therapists in Florida
Average salaries for different occupational therapists in Florida meets the average salaries of OTs nationwide. As per indeed.com, the average salary of an occupational therapist in Florida was $86,611 (as of September 01, 2018).
Average Salary of Professionals with Related Job Titles
|Occupational Therapist Skilled||$81,000|
|Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy||$81,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rotation||$47,000|
|Occupational Therapist Hand||$86,000|
|Outpatient Occupational Therapist||$89,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rehab||$81,000|
|OT Occupational Therapist Therapy||$94,000|
|OT Occupational Therapy||$95,000|
|Occupational Therapist Outpatient||$81,000|
|Occupational Therapist School||$80,000|
|Occupational Therapist Home Health||$88,000|
|Occupational Therapist Acute||$81,000|
|Occupational Therapist Psych in Florida||$81,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient in Florida||$81,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric|
Information Source: indeed.com (as of March 30, 2016)
Due to some aspects like population, demand, and supply in the market, there can be differences in the salaries of occupational therapists in different cities of the state.
Salary of Occupational Therapists in Various Cities of Florida
Name of the city
Annual Median Salary
|Port Saint Lucie||$80,481|
|West Palm Beach||$84,008|
Information Source: salary.com (as of September 01, 2018)
As per above given Table, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach were the highest paying cities, and offered $84,703, and $84,008 respectively to the OTs. On the other hand, the cities that paid minimum salaries were Daytona ($77,301), Gainesville ($77,675), Melbourne ($77,283), Palm Bay ($77,283), Pensacola ($77,368), and Tallahassee ($77,453).