Wisconsin is the 23rd largest and the 20th most populous states out of the 50 states of the United States of America (1). This state offers tremendous job opportunities for occupational therapy aides, assistants, and therapists. Thus, has a great career outlook for these professionals. According to the BLS, the average annual and hourly income of occupational therapy professionals, in Wisconsin was $67,870 and $32.63 (in May 2015), respectively. The Occupational Therapists Affiliated Credentialing Board manages all the formalities and the complete process related to the license of occupational therapy professionals in the state. The board may take up to 2 months for the issuance of licensure to the applicants.
Occupational therapy schools in Wisconsin offer the courses that are required to practice as a professional of occupational therapy. This includes bachelor’s, master’s, associates’, doctorates and dual degrees. Coursework for all these programs is set in a way that they comprise both theoretical as well as practical knowledge of the field. It is quite essential for providing advanced education to the students about the stream they have opted as a career. Graduates of occupational therapy who are already working as occupational therapists can do the post graduation in the same field in 1 or 2 years, while if you hold a bachelor’s degree in some other stream, you will obtain the same degree in 2 or 3 years. For those who want to gain both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees together in just 5 years, a dual degree is the best option to opt. Before selecting a school for any course of occupational therapy, you are required to confirm about its accreditation. It should be an ACOTE or AOTA approved school, college or University. Besides this, you must also be aware of its past reputation and the number of students enrolled in it in 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 Wisconsin, read below:
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Approved Occupational Therapy Schools in Wisconsin
- Madison Area Technical College
Address – 1701 Wright Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704
- Concordia University
Address – 12800 North Lake Shore Drive, Mequon, WI 53097
- Fox Valley Technical College
Address – 1825 North Bluemound Drive, Appleton, WI 54912-2277
- Milwaukee Area Technical College
Address – 700 West State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233
- Mount Mary College
Address – 2900 North Menomonee River Parkway, Milwaukee, WI 53222-4597
- Western Technical College in La Crosse
Address – 400 Seventh Street North, La Crosse, WI 54601
- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
Address – 505 Pine Ridge Drive, Shell Lake, WI 54871-8727
- University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
Address – 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI 54601
- University of Wisconsin, Madison
Address – Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street, Madison, WI 53706
- University Of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Address – 413 Milwaukee, WI 53201
Stepwise Procedure To Become An Occupational Therapist In Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, there are numerous jobs for occupational therapists. Thus, it is preferable by many students to pursue their career as an occupational therapist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2,910 employed and licensed occupational therapists in May 2015, in Wisconsin. License procedure is different for every state of America which depends on the conditions and requirements of the licensing bodies of every state. The responsibility of licensure for different positions of occupational therapy is provided by the Occupational Therapists Affiliated Credentialing Board in the state. The license is issued by the board at two levels: one is for the occupational therapy assistant, and other is for the occupational therapist. Before sitting for a permanent license exam, you can apply for a temporary one at either of the two levels. To achieve this, you need to work under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist who has at least a year of licensure with the state. All those who want to practice as an occupational therapist in the state needs to follow the procedure given below –
Step 1 – Graduation from an ACOTE Certified School In Occupational Therapy
Graduation is the first and foremost thing that should be done to become a registered occupational therapist in any of the state of the U.S. For this, you are required to have a bachelor’s, master’s or a dual degree in occupational therapy from an ACOTE, or AOTA approved college. In Wisconsin, there are 10 accredited schools that offer these courses to the aspirants. To get basic information about the approved occupational therapy schools in Wisconsin, you can refer to the list given in this article.
Step 2 – Complete the Internship or Practicum
Internship or practicum plays a vital role in the career of individuals. It enhances your practical knowledge about the field as you go through the real situations by encountering the patients with any physical, mental or emotional disability. To become licensed in this state, you need to complete at least 6 months of internship under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist in a clinical setting.
Step 3 – Clearance of the National Certification Exam
The next step after the internship is passing the national certification exam for occupational therapists. It is named as Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) organize this exam. After passing this exam, you are able to work as a registered occupational therapist anywhere all over the United States of America. To clear this exam in Wisconsin, you need to score at least in the 70th percentile in this exam to be eligible for the licensure.
Step 4 – Apply For The State License in Wisconsin
After passing the national certification exam, you are ready to apply for the license to the board. For this, you need to submit a properly signed application form with a check or money order of $150 as licensing fee. Along with this, you also have to submit some essential documents such as verification of certification from NBCOT, verification of licensure from all the states where you have worked till date and the official transcripts from all the attended colleges. Board will take about two months to issue you the license.
Step 5 – Renew The Professional Licensure
Maintenance of licensure is as important as to obtain the license from the licensing body in the state of Wisconsin. For this, you have to renew it before the board hampers your practice. This can be done by completing 24 continuing competency hours, before the expiration of the period of licensure.
Salary of Occupational Therapists in Wisconsin
As per indeed.com, salary of an occupational therapist in Wisconsin was $86,000 as of May 30, 2016.
Average Salary of Professionals with Similar Job Titles
|Occupational Therapist Outpatient||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Psych||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Hand||$92,000|
|Outpatient Occupational Therapist||$95,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rehab||$86,000|
|OT Occupational Therapist Therapy||$101,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Skilled||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Rotation||$51,000|
|Occupational Therapist School||$86,000|
|Occupational Therapist Home Health||$94,000|
|Occupational Therapist Acute||$86,000|
|OT Occupational Therapy||$102,000|
|Occupational Therapist Pediatric Outpatient||$86,000|
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 Wisconsin among all the related jobs titles of occupational therapy at $102,000, while lowest is of Occupational Therapy Rotation at $51,000.
Annual Median Salaries Of OTs In Different Cities Of Wisconsin
|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 Wisconsin was highest in Janesville i.e. $81,083, whereas lowest is in Eau Claire and La Crosse i.e. $68,808 as on April 26, 2016.