If you want to work as an occupational therapist (OT) or occupational therapy assistant (OTA) in the Garden State, you must first get licensed by the Occupational Therapy Advisory Council, which is part of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. All licensure occurs at the state level, which helps protect patients who turn to occupational therapy for help and ensures that OTs and OTAs are qualified and properly educated. Getting licensed as an occupational therapist in this northeastern state can take several years, as you must obtain, at a minimum, a bachelor’s or master’s degree to be eligible for licensure. This means it’s crucial to enroll in an accredited occupational therapy program in New Jersey before taking the necessary licensure exam or completing your 12 weeks of supervised work. By focusing on your education first, you can learn the ins and outs of this profession and put yourself in the best possible position for success in your career as an OT.

New Jersey is a densely populated state that shares borders with other populous states — including Pennsylvania and Delaware — has an abundance of employment opportunities for OTs and OTAs. In fact, New Jersey has one of the highest location quotients for occupational therapy professions in the entire nation, meaning there is a much higher concentration or OTs and OT employment opportunities in this state than in most other places in the US. Further, based on 2018 data, OTs in New Jersey were among the highest-paid in the US, earning an average salary of $96,600 per year. The same held true for OTAs, who earned an average annual salary of $69,530, or $33.43 per hour, in 2018. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also expects a huge increase in demand for OTs over the next several years, making it a great career choice if you live in New Jersey, want to help other people, and are interested in healthcare professions.

Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Caldwell

Caldwell is a borough situated in the northwestern portion of the state, close to Newark, and is home to just under 8,000 people. In this region of New Jersey, occupational therapists earned an average annual salary of $113,331, or $54.49 per hour, based on 2020 estimates. There is only one accredited program for occupational therapy in Caldwell that combines a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. This degree is offered in partnership with Columbia University in New York City, where you will complete the master’s degree.

Caldwell University

Combined B.A. in Psychology/M.S. in Occupational Therapy
120 Bloomfield Avenue
Caldwell, New Jersey 07006

  • Degree Level: A five-year combined Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy;
  • Tuition: $725 per credit;
  • Application Due Dates: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but recommended to be submitted by December 1;
  • Prerequisites/Application Requirements: Must apply to the B.A. and M.S. programs separately. Acceptance into the B.A. program does not guarantee acceptance into the M.S. program, which is located at Columbia University in New York.

Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Galloway Township

Galloway Township is located near the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the largest municipalities in the entire state. Because of the township’s proximity to the bustling Atlantic City, occupational therapists in this area enjoyed an estimated average annual salary of $78,118 per year, or $37.56 per hour in 2020. Currently, Stockton University is the only school in Galloway Township that offers an accredited occupational therapy program.

Stockton University

M.S. in Occupational Therapy
101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, New Jersey 08205-9441

  • Degree Level: Master of Science, to be completed over three years (or upon reaching 80 credit hours);
  • Tuition: $829.50 per credit;
  • Application Due Dates: Late November;
  • Prerequisites/Application Requirements:
    • Completion of a baccalaureate degree;
    • A minimum 3.2 GPA for all courses;
    • Completion of all prerequisite courses with at least a grade of B- in each class;
    • All application materials, including:
      • Official transcripts;
      • Three letters of recommendation;
      • Documentation proving at least 40 hours of work, volunteer work, or community service in an occupational therapy setting.

Accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs in Newark

Newark, New Jersey is one of the oldest and most populous cities in the entire nation. Located under 10 miles from the New York state border, Newark is just a 20-minute train ride from the middle of Manhattan. As stated above, OTs can earn a high salary in the Newark region, and you may even be able to earn more if you commute into New York City. OTAs in Newark earned an estimated $70,000 per year, or $32.19 per hour, in 2020.

While there are no full OT programs in this city, Rutgers University does offer an OTA program. They also have a partner program with nearly a dozen community colleges throughout New Jersey. In this program, you can take prerequisite and general education courses to prepare for the OTA program at Rutgers.

Rutgers University

Occupational Therapy Assistant
65 Bergen Street, Suite 120
Newark, New Jersey 07107-1709

Accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs in North Branch

North Branch, New Jersey is an unincorporated territory located in the heart of the state. Part of Branchburg Township and Bridgewater Township, North Branch is home to Raritan Valley Community College, which is situated along the banks of the North Branch Raritan River. In Branchburg Township, the average estimated salary for OTAs in 2020 was $62,629 per year, or $30.11 per hour. Raritan Valley Community College offers the only OTA program in the North Branch area.

Raritan Valley Community College

Occupational Therapy Assistant
118 Lamington Road Branchburg
North Branch, New Jersey

  • Degree Level: Associate of Applied Science (67 credits over three years);
  • Tuition: $162 per credit hour for Hunterdon and Somerset County residents;
  • Application Due Dates: N/A; applications are reviewed on a rolling basis;
  • Prerequisites/Application Requirements:
    • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75;
    • Be at least 18 years old;
    • Must apply and gain acceptance to both Raritan Valley Community College and the Occupational Therapy Assistant program.

Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Nutley

Nutley, New Jersey has a long and rich history, with European settlers first moving into the area in the late 1690s. It is located about eight miles from Newark and is home to Seton Hall University, one of the oldest colleges in the nation. Seton Hall University offers two different OT degrees, but it is the only college in Nutley to do so.

Seton Hall University

Department of Occupational Therapy
School of Health and Medical Sciences
Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus
340 Kingsland Street
Nutley, New Jersey 07110

Accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs in Ramsey

Ramsey is a borough that is often considered a suburb of New York City, as it is located only 26 miles northwest of Manhattan. Ramsey is home to about 14,000 people and Eastwick College, the only school in the borough that has an accredited OTA program.

Eastwick College

Occupational Therapy Assistant
10 South Franklin Turnpike
Ramsey, New Jersey 07446

  • Degree Level: Associate Degree (21 months for the day program or 27 months for the evening program);
  • Tuition: Must inquire for more information;
  • Application Due Dates: N/A; applications are accepted on a rolling basis;
  • Prerequisites/Application Requirements:
    • Prove completion of high school or GED equivalent;
    • Complete at least 12 semesters or 18 quarter college credits;
    • Have at least a 2.0 GPA.

Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Union Township

Union, New Jersey is situated in the northeastern portion of the state, close to both Newark Bay and New York City. It is the third-oldest English-speaking settlement in the state and was the site of the Battle of Connecticut Farms in the Revolutionary War. Kean University is also located in Union and produces the highest number of teachers and educators in the state. It also offers two OT programs, although it is the only college in Union to do so.

Kean University

Department of Occupational Therapy
1000 Morris Avenue
Union, New Jersey 07083

  • Degree Level: Master of Science (73 credits) and Doctorate (103 credit);
  • Tuition: $7,663 per semester;
  • Application Due Dates:
    • Master of Science Program: January 15;
    • Doctorate Program: December 1;
  • Prerequisites/Application Requirements:
    • Completion of an undergraduate degree in any field or major;
    • A minimum 3.0 GPA;
    • A minimum of 40 observational hours of occupational therapy services in at least two practice settings;
    • Three letters of recommendation, one of which must come from an occupational therapist.