Oregon is the 9th largest and the 26th most populous state of the United States of America. A large population in the state leads to numerous job opportunities for occupational therapy professionals in the state. According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals in Oregon was $90,060 and $43.30 (in May 2017), respectively (1). Licenses for different job titles of occupational therapy in Oregon are issued by the Occupational Therapy Licensing Board. The board may take time of several weeks or months to provide a license to the applicants.
Occupational therapy schools in Oregon offer program programs for occupational therapy at two levels; one is bachelor’s degree, and other is master’s degree in the field. For schools that offer associates’, doctorate’s or dual degree programs, you need to search the nearby areas. Candidates who are already working as an occupational therapist and are a graduate in the same field can gain their master’s degree in 1 or 2 years while those who are from another stream will get the same degree in 2 or 3 years. If someone wants to do both graduation and post graduation in just 5 years, s/he can opt a dual degree course. Make sure that the school, college or university you are enrolling in for a course of occupational therapy should be Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved. Besides this, students should also confirm about the school’s past reputation and the number of students enrolled in it for the 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 Oregon, read below:
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Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in Oregon
- Pacific University
(OT – entry-level doctoral)
Address: 190 S.E. 8th Avenue, Suite #360, Hillsboro, OR 97123-4216
- Linn-Benton Community College-Healthcare Occupations Center
(OTA – associate degree)
Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Address – 300 Mullins Drive, Lebanon, OR 97355
Procedure To Become An Occupational Therapist In Oregon
High salary and great career outlook of occupational therapists in the state of Oregon makes it a suitable place for those who want to be in the profession of occupational therapy. According to the data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1260 employed and licensed occupational therapists in Oregon (as per May 2017). Every state of America has a distinct licensing body to regulate the process of licensure. Akin to all, Oregon too has a board for it. Here, the license is provided at two levels, one for occupational therapy assistants and other for the occupational therapists. While waiting to sit for the permanent licensure exam, you can apply for a temporary license at any of the two levels. But for this, you need to work under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist who has at least one year of licensure with the state. If you are planning to practice as an occupational therapist in the state, follow the procedure given below.
Step 1 – Graduation from an ACOTE Certified School In Occupational Therapy
Graduation is the first step to becoming an occupational therapist in any state. For this, you must have a bachelor’s, master’s or dual degree from an ACOTE or AOTA approved school in occupational therapy. The licensing board in the state demands this requirement to issue the license to the applicants. There is only one such college in Oregon that offers graduation and post graduation degrees in the field. To know about its basic information, you can refer to the list of approved schools included in this article.
Step 2 – Finish the Internship Or Practicum
Clinical work is quite essential for occupational therapists as it helps them analyze the real-life situations they have to face while serving the patients with any kind of physical, mental, or emotional disorder. In Oregon, it is a must for the students to perform at least 6 months of an internship under the supervision of an expert and registered occupational therapist.
Step 3 – Clear The National Certification Exam
Candidates who aim to gain a license as a registered occupational therapist in the state of Oregon need to pass the national certification exam for occupational therapists, named as Occupational Therapists Registered (OTR). On passing this exam, individuals are allowed to practice all over the country. This exam is offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). To work in Oregon as an OT, you have to clear this exam with at least 70 percentile.
Step 4 – Apply For The State License In Oregon
Application of the license to the board is the next step after passing the national certification exam. You have to submit a completely filled and duly signed application form with a check or money order of $100 to the board. In addition to this, you have to attach some documents like the official transcripts from the school where you have gained your OT education and verification of certification from NBCOT and licensure from all the states where you have worked till date. The board may take some weeks or months in the issuance of a license after properly reviewing the documents.
Step 5 – Maintain The Professional Licensure
For occupational therapists, to maintain their professional credentials is equally important as to gain them from the board. To renew the license in Oregon, you need to complete 30 continuing education contact hours before the expiry of your licensure period.
Salary of Occupational Therapists in Oregon
As per indeed.com, the salary of an occupational therapist in Oregon was $82,534 as of September 1, 2018.
Median Salary of Professionals with Similar Job Titles
|Occupational Therapist Home Health||$92,000|
|OT Occupational Therapy||$99,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient||$84,000|
|Occupational Therapist Hand||$90,000|
|Outpatient Occupational Therapist||$92,000|
|Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy||$84,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rehab||$84,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric||$84,000|
|Occupational Therapist Skilled||$84,000|
|Occupational Therapist School||$83,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rotation||$49,000|
|Occupational Therapist Acute||$84,000|
|Occupational Therapist Outpatient||$84,000|
|OT Occupational Therapist Therapy||$98,000|
|Occupational Therapist Psych||$84,000|
Information Source: indeed.com
On the analysis of the table above, we can make out that the wage of an OT Occupational Therapy is highest in Oregon among all the related jobs titles of occupational therapy at $99,000, while the lowest is of Occupational Therapy Rotation at $49,000 (2).
Annual Median Salaries Of OTs In Different Cities Of Oregon
|Name of the City||Annual Median Salary|
Information Source: salary.com (as of September 1, 2018)
From the table above, we can make out that occupational therapists in Oregon can earn highest i.e. $86,091 in Eugene whereas in Medford these professionals earn the lowest i.e. $73,347 as on May 31, 2016 (3).