Washington is the 18th largest and the 13th most populous state out of the 50 states of the United States of America. Salary and employment level of the professionals of occupational therapy are quite high in this state. This is what makes it one of the most favorite choices of the aspirants who want to pursue a career in occupational therapy. According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals in Washington was $82,410 and $39.62 (in May 2015), respectively. License for the different categories related to this field is provided by the Occupational Therapy Practice Board in the state of Washington. You have to wait for at least 6 to 8 weeks after the submission of all the required documents for the issuance of license.

Occupational therapy schools in Washington offer bachelor’s, master’s, associates’, doctorate’s and dual degree courses of occupational therapy. These courses have coursework that includes both theoretical as well as practical knowledge of the field. If you are already a graduate in the field and are working as a therapist, you can gain the master’s degree in 1 or 2 years. But, if you own a bachelor’s degree in the same field, it would take you to obtain the master’s degree in 2 or 3 years. If you are planning to do both graduation and post graduation in just 5 years, dual degree is the best course for you. Before enrolling for a course of occupational therapy in any school, you must confirm that it should be Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved. You won’t be able to get license from the state if it is not so. In addition to this, you must also know about its past reputation and the number of students enrolled for the same course in it for the last five years.

To know more about the accredited schools, procedure to become an OT and the salary figures in different cities of the state of Washington, read below:

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Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in Washington

  • Eastern Washington University
    Address – 304 Sutton Hall, Cheney, WA 99004-2455
  • Green River Community College
    Address – 12401 South East 320th Street, Auburn, WA 98092-3622
  • University of Puget Sound
    Address – 1500 North Warner Street, Tacoma, WA 98416

Stepwise Procedure To Become An Occupational Therapist In Washington

Tremendous job opportunities for the aspirants who want to be an occupational therapist in Washington make it a popular destination among them. According to the data of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics there were 2,460 employed and licensed occupational therapists in May 2015, in Washington. Most of conditions for licensure of occupational therapy are similar in most of the state of America, but some requirements can differ from state to state as the licensing bodies are different. In Washington, all the formalities and procedure required to gain licensure as an occupational therapist are handled by Occupational Therapy Practice Board. It offers license to the professional of occupational therapy at two levels, one is for occupational therapy assistants and other is for occupational therapists. While waiting to sit for the exam for permanent licensure, you can apply for a temporary one. For this, you need to work under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.

Step 1 – Graduation from an ACOTE Certified School In Occupational Therapy

To become a registered occupational therapist in the state of Washington, you are required to become a graduate at first with a bachelor’s, master’s or dual degree in the field with an ACOTE or AOTA accredited school, college or university. The state has three approved colleges that provide courses that are essential to become an occupational therapist. For basic information about the occupational therapy schools in Washington, you can refer to the list included in this article.

Step 2 – Complete the Internship or Practicum

Field experience is equally important as theoretical knowledge of a particular field. Thus, it is one of the most important requisite to get the license as a registered occupational therapist in the state. In Washington, you are required to complete at least 6 months of internship or practicum, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.

Step 3 – Clear the National Certification Exam

National certification exam is the next step that you need to clear in order to practice as a registered occupational therapist in Washington. This exam for occupational therapists is named as occupational therapist registered (OT) exam. It is organized by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). To clear this exam, you have to score in the 70th percentile.

Step 4 – Take the Jurisprudence Exam and Apply for a Washington State License

After passing the national certification exam you have to pass an open book jurisprudence exam with 100 percent score, before applying for the licensure. Once you are done with it, you are ready to apply for the license to the board. You need to submit a completely filled and properly signed application form with a check or money order of $175 as license fee. Submission of certain documents such as official transcripts from all the schools and colleges you have attended so far, verification of certification from NBCOT and verification of licensure from all the states where you have worked till date is also required. The board may take 6 to 8 weeks to complete the whole procedure and issue you the license.

Step 5 – Maintain The Professional Licensure

Maintenance of license is very much required to practice in any state without any kind of interruption. To accomplish this in the state of Washington, you have to complete 30 continuing education competency hours before you license expires.

Salary of Occupational Therapists in Washington

As per indeed.com salary of an occupational therapist in Washington was $89,000 as of May 24, 2016.

Median Salaries of Professionals with Similar Job Titles

Occupational Therapist School$89,000
Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy$89,000
OT Occupational Therapist Therapy$105,000
Occupational Therapist Rotation$53,000
Outpatient Occupational Therapist$98,000
Occupational Therapist Rehab$89,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric$89,000
Occupational Therapist Hand$96,000
Occupational Therapist Outpatient$89,000
Occupational Therapist Psych$89,000
Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient$89,000
Occupational Therapist Home Health$98,000
Occupational Therapist Acute$89,000
OT Occupational Therapy$106,000
Occupational Therapist Skilled$89,000

Information Source: indeed.com

On the analysis of the table above, we can find out that the wage of OT Occupational Therapy is highest among all the related jobs titles of occupational therapy in Washington at $106,000, while lowest is of Occupational Therapy Rotation at $53,000.

Annual Median Salaries of OTs In Different Cities Of Washington

Name of the CityAnnual Median Salary
Federal Way$84,659

Information Source: salary.com

From the above data, we can conclude that the highest salary for an occupational therapist in the state of Washington is in the city of Bremerton i.e. $87,467 and the lowest earning city is Richland, earning $77,166 as on April 26, 2016.