You need a combination of the proper education, training, and license to work as an occupational therapist in New Mexico. Like many other states, occupational therapists are regulated and licensed at the state level to ensure a high quality of care and to protect consumers. The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department oversees the licensure of all occupational therapists in the state. Of course, before you can be licensed by the state, you have to find the right occupational therapy program at an accredited school and get your degree first.
The job outlook for occupational therapists in New Mexico is great. There are currently only 580 licensed occupational therapists in the state, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this profession is expected to grow as much as 18% by 2028 — significantly faster than most others. Further, the average salary for occupational therapists in New Mexico is $102,637. This anticipated growth, combined with generous compensation, makes working as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant an attractive career for many people in the Land of Enchantment.
Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Albuquerque
Albuquerque is the most populous city in the state of New Mexico, and, as such, it’s a hub for culture, sports, art, politics, and education. Of the 10 colleges that have a campus in Albuquerque, only one has an occupational therapy degree program. In addition, since Albuquerque is a mecca in New Mexico, occupational therapists enjoy a higher salary than in other areas of the state; they earn an average salary of $86,268 per year, or $41.48 per hour.
The University of New Mexico
- Degree Level: Master of Science
- Credit Hours: 84 credit hours over two to three years
- Tuition: $15,848 per year
- Application Due Date: November 1
- Prerequisites/Application Requirements:
- A completed bachelor’s degree in any discipline;
- Minimum 3.0 GPA on at least 50 college credits;
- Completion of all prerequisite courses;
- Observe an occupational therapist in at least one setting for a minimum of 65 hours (not required, but strongly recommended).
Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Farmington
Farmington is located in the Four Corners region of New Mexico, near the Arizona, Colorado, and Utah borders. San Juan College is the only post-secondary educational institution serving this town of roughly 50,000 people, but it does have an occupational therapy assistant program. Occupational therapists enjoy a higher-than-average salary of $92,135 per year (or $44.30 per hour) in Farmington, while occupational therapy assistants earn an average of $54,933 per year, or $26.41 per hour, which is significantly higher than the national average salary for OTAs.
San Juan College
- Degree Level: Associate Degree
- Credit Hours: 54 credit hours over three years
- Tuition: $49 per credit hour
- Application Due Dates: May 13
- Prerequisites/Application Requirements:
- Completion of all prerequisite and general education courses;
- A minimum 2.75 GPA in both prerequisites and general education courses;
- At least 6 hours of observation with 2 different populations with an OT practitioner.
Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Roswell
Famous for its history with aliens, space, and astronomy, the town of Roswell is home to nearly 50,000 people. It’s located in the southeastern part of New Mexico near the Texas border.
Occupational therapists in Roswell earn an average salary of $89,495 per year, or $43.03 per hour. Eastern New Mexico University is one of two colleges in Roswell, but it is the only one that offers an occupational therapy assistant program. Though this university has other locations in Portales and Ruidoso, the Roswell campus is the only one that offers this program.
Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell
- Degree Level: Associate of Applied Science
- Program Duration: Two years
- Tuition: $1,128 per semester
- Prerequisites/Application Requirements: Must first get accepted to Eastern New Mexico University and pass the four prerequisite courses (Composition I, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, and Survey of Mathematics) with a “C” letter grade or better.