Rhode Island is the smallest, the 8th least populous and the second most densely populated states out of the 50 states of the United States of America. But, despite small population, this state offers many job opportunities for occupational therapy professionals which provoke the aspirants to choose this state to pursue their career. As per the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals in Rhode Island was $78,210 and $37.60 (in May 2015), respectively (1). License for all the job titles in the state is provided by the Rhode Island Board of Occupational Therapy, and it regulates the complete procedure related to the licensure. The licensing body may take some weeks or months to issue the license to the applicants.
Occupational therapy schools in Rhode Island educate the aspirants of the field for the different job titles and offer programs for bachelor’s, associates’, doctorate’s, master’s and dual degree. The coursework of these courses comprises of all essential theoretical subjects with practical program to understand the real situation one faces while dealing with the patients with any mental, physical or emotional disability. Candidates who want to gain master’s degree and are already practicing as an occupational therapist can get the degree in 1 or 2 years whereas those who are a graduate in some other stream earn the same degree in 2 or 3 years. The dual degree course is for those aspirants who want to do both graduation and post graduation together in just 5 years. Before enrolling in a school for the occupational therapy course, make sure it should be Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved. Also, one should be aware of the college’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 Rhode Island, read below:
Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in Rhode Island
- New England Institute of Technology
Address – One New England Tech Boulevard, East Greenwich, RI 02818
- Community College of Rhode Island
Address – 400 East Avenue, Warwick, Rhode Island 02886-1807
Stepwise Procedure To Become An Occupational Therapist In Rhode Island
This state has lesser vacancies for occupational therapists than other states of U.S.A. According to the data of The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 460 employed and licensed occupational therapists in Rhode Island (on May 2015) (2). Every state of the country has a distinct licensing body to govern all the formalities regarding the licensure process. Likewise, Rhode Island has one licensure board for this process named as Rhode Island Board of Occupational Therapy. The license is available at two levels, one for occupational therapist and other is for the occupational therapy assistant. While waiting to sit for the exam of a permanent license, you can apply for a temporary license in either of the two levels. For this, it is a must for you to work under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist who has at least one year of licensure with the state. If you want to practice as a registered occupational therapist in Rhode Island, follow the stepwise procedure given below –
Step 1 – Graduation from an Accredited School of Occupational Therapy
The first step to gain a license as a registered occupational therapist in the state of Rhode Island is to be a graduate with a bachelor’s, master’s or dual degree course from an ACOTE or AOTA approved school, university or college. In this state, there is only one accredited school that offers degree courses for the students who want to become an occupational therapist. To get the basic information about the occupational therapy schools in Rhode Island, you can refer to the list given in this article.
Step 2 – Complete the Internship or Practicum
The second step to obtain a license as an occupational therapist in Rhode Island is to complete at least 24 weeks of internship or practicum under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist in a clinical setting. Field program is quite essential in this profession, as it helps the individuals to assess the practical situations they have to deal with later in the field.
Step 3 – Qualify the National Certification Exam
You have to pass the national certification exam to clear the third step of getting a license as an occupational therapist in Rhode Island. This exam for occupational therapists is known as Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam. It is held by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). You have to score at least in the 70th percentile to become nationally certified and after that you can work as a registered occupational therapist anywhere across the country.
Step 4 – Application for the State License
Once you have the national certification exam, you are ready to apply for the licensure to the licensing authorities. To accomplish this, you have to submit a completely filled and properly signed application form with a money order or check of $140 as a licensing fee. With this, you also need to submit some essentials documents such as a passport size photograph, a copy of proof of citizenship or lawful status, transcripts from all the OT schools you have attended so far, score report or verification of the certification from the NBCOT, and verification of licensure from all the past jurisdictions where you have worked till date. Board of Licensing may take some time (4-6 weeks) to issue a license after complete verification of documents and other transcripts.
Step 5 – Maintain and renew the License
Maintenance of license is as important as to gain it from the board of licensure. If you want to renew it in the state of Rhode Island, you need to complete at least 20 continuing education hours during your two-year licensure period. After the completion of this, you can work as a licensed occupational therapist without any interference.
Salary of Occupational Therapists in Rhode Island
As per indeed.com, the salary of an occupational therapist in Rhode Island was $79,000 as of May 11, 2016 (3).
Average Pay of Professionals with Similar Job Titles
|Occupational Therapist Skilled||$79,000|
|Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy||$79,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient||$79,000|
|Occupational Therapist School||$79,000|
|Outpatient Occupational Therapist||$87,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rehab||$79,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric||$79,000|
|OT Occupational Therapist Therapy||$92,000|
|Occupational Therapist Psych||$79,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rotation||$46,000|
|OT Occupational Therapy||$93,000|
|Occupational Therapist Home Health||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Acute||$79,000|
|Occupational Therapist Hand||$84,000|
|Occupational Therapist Outpatient||$79,000|
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 Rhode Island among all the related jobs titles of occupational therapy at $93,000, while the lowest is of Occupational Therapy Rotation at $46,000.
Annual Median Salaries Of OTs In Different Cities Of Rhode Island
|Name of the City||Annual Median Salary|
Information Source: salary.com
From the table above, we can make out that the wage of occupational therapists in Rhode Island is same in all the cities at $84,991 as on May 31, 2016 (4).