According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals in South Dakota in 2018 was $69,390 and $32.79 and there are about 410 people with this occupation in the state. This is higher compared to North Dakota, where occupational therapists make on average an annual salary of $67,420, but lower compared to Nebraska at an average annual salary of $76,850. Both are lower than the average salary for an occupational therapist. All the processes and formalities related to the license in the state are regulated by the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners. Before issuing a license to the applicants, the board properly reviews and verifies the documents required, which takes about 30 days.

Occupational therapy schools in South Dakota offer programs for all of the courses in the field, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate’s, associate’s, or dual degree. Those already working occupational therapists with only a bachelor’s degree can obtain a post-graduate degree in one to two years. If prospective students want to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years, they can opt for a dual degree course. To obtain a license from the licensing body, it is essential for applicants to get their OT education from an Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved school, college, or university.

There are five steps that future OT must take before getting their license:

  • Step One: Graduate from an ACOTE Accredited Degree Program;
  • Step Two: Complete an internship or practicum;
  • Step Three: Pass the National Certification Exam;
  • Step Four: Apply for a South Dakota State License;
  • Step Five: Maintain professional credentials.

Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Vermillion

Located in Clay County, Vermillion, South Dakota is home to over 10,000 residents. As of January 20, 2020, the average salary for an occupational therapist in Vermillion is around $72,431. There is only one accredited school for occupational therapy located in Vermillion, South Dakota.

University of South Dakota

Department of Occupational Therapy
University of South Dakota
Sanford Coyote Sports Center Room A375A
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069

  • Undergraduate: Undergraduate students may choose any USD major with required prerequisite coursework in preparation for applying to a graduate occupational therapy program. Common undergraduate degrees include Neuroscience, Psychology, Biology, and Health Sciences.
  • Graduate: Graduate degrees offered by USD include Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D) and Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D)
  • Prerequisites: Applicants must obtain a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for the USD OT program. No preference is given to any specific field of undergraduate study. Aside from obtaining a bachelor’s degree, applicants must complete the prerequisites prior to entering the program. The requirements include, but aren’t limited to:
    • Completing a minimum of seven of the nine prerequisite courses by the end of the fall semester in which they are applying;
    • Completing a minimum of two of the three science prerequisite courses by the end of the fall semester in which they are applying;
    • Cumulative, prerequisite and science prerequisite GPAs of 3.0 (as calculated by OTCAS) or better based on a 4.0 scale are required.
  • Tuition and Fees: Tuition and fees are subject to change by the South Dakota Board of Regents. However, total tuition and fees range from an estimated $55,353 (in-state residents) to $114,881 (non-state residents).

Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs in Watertown

Watertown is located in Codington County and homes more than 20,000 people. The average occupational therapist salary in Watertown, SD is $75,811 as of January 20, 2020. There is only one ACOTE accredited school for occupational therapy located in Watertown, South Dakota.

Lake Area Technical Institute

Mailing Address:
Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Lake Area Technical Institute
PO Box 730
Watertown, SD 57201

Physical Address:
Lake Area Technical Institute
1201 Arrow Ave.
Watertown, SD 57201

  • Program: The occupational therapy assistant program lasts 20 months, and emphasizes lecture, lab experience, discussion, demonstration, and off-site experiences. In order to graduate, students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher. C’s are expected in all classes, however, one D is allowed. 
  • Application: LATI requires a $25 non-refundable application fee that must be paid upon applying. Prior to applying, prospecting students will want to complete the application checklist
  • Tuition and Fees: Estimated costs start at $12,030 for the first year and $7,129 for the second.