Iowa is the 26th largest state in land area and 30th most populous among 50 states of United States of America. Due to this, there are many vacancies for the professionals of occupational therapy in the state. According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals was $77,910 and $ 37.46 (in May 2017), respectively. License in Idaho is issued by the Iowa Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy. It may take many weeks or months to properly check all your information, gather all your required documents and issue the license.

Occupational therapy schools in Iowa offer courses for different job titles of this profession including occupational therapy assistants, occupational therapists, occupational therapy aides, etc. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees are for those who want to work as a therapist. If somebody is already working, he/she can complete the master’s degree in 1 or 2 years, but if you are a graduate in some other stream, you will gain the same degree in 2 or 3 years. Those who want to get both bachelor’s, as well as master’s degree in lesser time i.e. in just 5 years, can opt for a dual degree course. It is a must for the school from where you complete your studies to be an Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved school as it is a must requirement for licensure. These schools take the responsibility of all round development of students including theoretical coursework and practical program so that they can serve best to the patients suffering from various kinds of disorders. You should be aware of the past reputation of the schools you have chosen for the course of occupational therapy and also the number of students enrolled in the course for last 5 years.

To know more about the accredited schools, procedure to become an OT and the salary figures in different cities of the state of Iowa, read below:

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Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in Iowa

  • Kirkwood Community College
    Address– 6301 Kirkwood Blvd. South West, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404
  • Saint Ambrose University
    Address– 518 West Locust Street, Davenport, Iowa 52803
  • Western Iowa Tech Community College
    Address- 4647 Stone Avenue, PO Box 5199, Sioux City, Iowa 51102-5199

Stepwise Procedure to Become An Occupational Therapist in Iowa

There are tremendous job opportunities for the occupational therapists, aides, and assistants in Iowa. According to the data of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there were 1010 employed and licensed occupational therapists in May 2017, in Iowa. The requisites for licensure are dissimilar in all the states of America. Thus, Iowa too follows a different procedure to gain it. Candidates need to meet all these requirements to work as a registered occupational therapist in Iowa. The Iowa Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy is responsible for issuing a license to the applicants of licensure. It is offered in two levels by the board, one for the occupational therapists and other for the occupational therapy assistants. While waiting for the examination of permanent licensure, candidates can apply for a temporary one in any of the two levels. In order to become an occupational therapist in the state, individuals need to follow the procedure given below:

Step 1– Graduation from an ACOTE Certified School in Occupational Therapy

At first, candidates must enroll for a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an ACOTE or AOTA approved school, college or university. This is the very first step towards obtaining the licensure in any state. There are some approved schools in Iowa, for primary information about them, you can refer to the list given in this article. There are some that offer courses for almost all the job titles of the profession, but there is only one that provides bachelor’s and master’s degree for those who want to be an occupational therapist.

Step 2– Complete the Internship Or Practicum

Practical experience is the second most important thing for the aspirants of occupational therapy after becoming a graduate. It improves their practical knowledge about the profession so that they can work best to take care of the patients. In Iowa, there is a compulsion for applicants for licensure as an occupational therapist, to complete 6 months of internship or practicum under the guidance of a registered occupational therapist in a clinical setting.

Step 3– Pass the National Certification Exam

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) offers exam for the those who want to obtain the licensure in Iowa. For therapists, this exam is named as Occupational Therapy Registered (OTR) and candidates need to score 70 out of 100 points to clear it. If you want to get the licensure, it is a must to pass the OTR exam.

Step 4– Apply for a State License in Iowa

In order to practice as a licensed occupational therapist in Iowa, applicants have to apply for it to the board. The Iowa Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy issue license to only those who are eligible for it. For this, candidates need to submit a completely filled and signed application with the application fee of $120 in the form of a check or money order. Along with this, you need to submit verification of licensure from the jurisdictions of states where you have practiced before, verification of certification or score reports from NBCOT and official transcripts from the schools you have studied till now. The board may take some week or months to gather all your documents, review them and issue you the license.

Step 5– Maintenance of the Licensure

The renewal of the license is equally important to obtain it for a registered occupational therapist. To maintain it, professionals need to complete 30 continuing education units every two years out of which 8 must be completed in a clinical setting.

Salary of Occupational Therapists in Iowa

As per salary of an occupational therapist in Iowa was $83,104 as of Jul 25, 2018.

Average Salary of Professionals with Similar Job Titles

Occupational Therapist Rotation$50,000
Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy$85,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient$85,000
Occupational Therapist Hand$91,000
Outpatient Occupational Therapist$93,000
Occupational Therapist Rehab$85,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric$85,000
Occupational Therapist Skilled$85,000
Occupational Therapist Psych$85,000
Occupational Therapist School$85,000
Occupational Therapist Home Health$93,000
Occupational Therapist Acute$85,000
OT Occupational Therapy$101,000
OT Occupational Therapist Therapy$99,000
Occupational Therapist Outpatient$85,000

Information Source:

On the analysis of the table above we can make out that the wages of an OT Occupational Therapy are highest among all the related jobs titles of occupational therapy in Iowa with $101,000, while lowest is of Occupational Therapy Rotation with $50,000.

Annual Median Salaries of Occupational Therapists in Different Cities of Iowa

Name of the CityAnnual Median Salary
Cedar Falls$74,465
Cedar Rapids$80,869
Council Bluffs$80,736
Des Moines$82,065
Iowa City$80,203
Sioux City$71,049
West Des Moines$82,065

Information Source: (as of September 01, 2018)

From the table above we can analyze that occupational therapists in Iowa can earn highest i.e. 82,065, in Urbandale, West Des Moines, Des Moines, and Ankeny, on the contrary, Sioux City is the place where these professionals earn the least i.e. $71,049.