For the Individuals who are interested to opt occupational therapy as their main profession, there are many American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) or the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (AOTE) approved occupational therapy schools in Illinois. These colleges and institutes prepare the students to become an expert occupational therapist. Faculties in these schools are registered occupational therapists who take classes for bachelor’s, associates’, master’s and dual degree courses. Master’s degree course is available for those students who have already cleared a graduate degree in some other field. They can finish it in 2-3 years. Existing OTs can get this degree in a year or two. Dual degree courses are for those who wish to gain both bachelor’s as well master’s degree in less time, as it takes only 5 years to complete. Courses in these schools not only provide theoretical knowledge to the students but also train them practically. To become a licensed occupational therapist in this state, it is essential for the aspirants to get the licensure of the state from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Average Occupational Therapist salaries in Illinois are 13% higher than the job postings nationwide. According to, payment of an occupational therapists in Illinois is $71,331 per annum as of September 2, 2018.

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Approved Occupational Therapy Schools In Illinois

  • Midwestern University- Downers Grove Campus
    Address – 555 31st Street, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515
  • Chicago State University
    Address – 9501 South King Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60628
  • Wilbur Wright College
    Address – 4300 North Narragansett Avenue, Chicago, IL 60634
  • Governors State University
    Address – 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484-0975
  • University Of Illinois At Chicago
    Address – 1200 West Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607
  • Illinois Central College
    Address – 1 College Drive, East Peoria, IL 61635-0001
  • John A. Logan College
    Address – 700 Logan College Road Carterville, Illinois 62918
  • Kaskaskia college
    Address – 27210 College Road, Centralia, Illinois 62801
  • Lewis and Clark Community College- Benjamin Godfrey Campus
    Address – 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, Illinois 62035
  • Lewis and Clark Community College- N. O. Nelson Campus
    Address – 600 Troy Road, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025
    Contact No. – 618-656-8800
    Official Website
  • Lewis and Clark Community College- National Great Rivers Confluence Campus
    Address – East Alton, Illinois 62024
    Contact No. – 618-468-2900
    Official Website
  • Lincoln Land Community College
    Address – 5250 Shepherd Road, Springfield, IL 62794-9256
  • Mckendree University
    Address – 701 College Road, Lebanon, Illinois 62254
  • Parkland College
    Address – 2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign, IL 61821
  • Rend Lake College
    Address – 468 North Ken Gray Parkway, Ina, Illinois
  • Rush University
    Address – 600 South Paulina Street, Suite 1080,Chicago, IL 60612
  • Shawnee Community College
    Address – 8364 Shawnee College Road, Ullin, IL 62992
  • Southeastern Illinois College
    Address – 3575 College Road, Harrisburg, IL 62946
  • South Suburban College
    Address – 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200

Stepwise Procedure To Become An Occupational Therapist In Illinois

Besides, being the home for one of the greatest cities of the country i.e. Chicago, there are many other reasons that make many nursing aspirants to pursue their career as an occupational therapist in Illinois. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the employment level of therapists in Illinois was 5,210 in May 2017. Also, mean annual wage of OTs in this state was $82,290, while mean hourly wage was $39.56. Procedure to gain a license is different in every state of United States. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation controls the process of becoming a licensed occupational therapist in Illinois. There are two levels to get the licensure in this state; one is occupational therapist and other is occupational therapy assistants. While waiting for the exam for licensure, one can apply for the temporary license to practice at any of the two levels. To become licensed in Illinois, one has to follow the procedure given below:

Step 1 – Graduation From An ACOTE Approved School

The very first step to become a licensed occupational therapist is becoming graduate in any of the courses of occupational therapy including, bachelor’s, master’s, associates, doctorate or dual degree. For reference of accredited schools, colleges and institutes in Illinois you can go through the list given in this article.

Step 2 – Complete The Internship Or Practicum

Second step for licensure is internship or practicum. It is essential for an occupational therapist to complete at least 6 months of clinical experience under the guidance of a licensed expert OT.

Step 3 – Clear The National Certification Exam

Third Step for license seekers is to pass the national certification exam. For this, applicants need to score at least a 70 percentile in Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam. This test is offered by National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

Step 4 – Application For The License In Illinois

This is the last step that candidates need to follow to get the licensure as an occupational therapists in Illinois. They have to give an application for it to the board. First of all, they have to submit a completely filled and signed application with the application fee in the form of a money order or check. With this, they have to provide the verification of certification from NBCOT, transcripts from colleges and schools they have attended so far and verification of licensure from other jurisdictions, if they have any. The board may take some weeks or months to check all your transcripts and details and issue a license.

Step 5 – Maintain The Licensure

Getting licensure is not the only task for applicants but it is also necessary to maintain it after obtaining. To renew the license, they have to complete 24 continuing education contact hours so that their license do not get expired. They need to do this within their licensure period.

Salary Of Occupational Therapists In Illinois

According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals was $81,690 and $39.27, respectively in May 2015.

Average Salary Of Professionals With Similar Job Titles

Occupational Therapist Rotation$58,000
Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy$98,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient$98,000
Occupational Therapist Hand$105,000
Outpatient Occupational Therapist$108,000
Occupational Therapist Rehab$98,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric$98,000
Occupational Therapist Skilled$98,000
Occupational Therapist Psych$98,000
Occupational Therapist School$98,000
Occupational Therapist Home Health$108,000
Occupational Therapist Acute$98,000
OT Occupational Therapy$116,000
OT Occupational Therapist Therapy$115,000
Occupational Therapist Outpatient$98,000

Information Source:

As per, the average salary of an occupational therapist in Illinois was $71,331 per annum (as of September 2, 2018).

Annual Median Salaries Of OTs In Different Cities Of Illinois

Name of the City

Annual Median Salary

Des Plaines$90,726
Hoffman Estates$90,143
Mount Prospect$90,657
Oak Lawn$90,862
Oak Park$90,965
Orland Park$87,843
Rock Island$78,904
Tinley Park$87,604

Information Source: (as of September 01, 2018)