Occupational therapy careers assist individuals who suffer from injuries, mental illness and disabilities that render them unable to perform everyday tasks. This careers allows those individuals to increase their motor and physical skills, allowing them to care for themselves or even find work, becoming a productive member of society. Occupational therapy careers generally require one of two educational paths: an associate’s degree in occupational therapy to become an occupational therapy assistant or a master’s degree in occupational therapy to become an occupational therapist.
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Find an Accredited Occupational Therapy School in Albuquerque, NM
In New Mexico, the Board of Examiners for Occupational Therapy oversees the education and licensing of occupational therapists in the state. The Board requires attending an accredited training program to become an occupational therapist or assistant, verification of supervised training or employment, a jurisprudence examination and explanation of any criminal convictions. It also requires continuing education to maintain licensure in New Mexico. Among three schools in New Mexico that offer occupational therapy programs, two offer an associate’s degree and one offers a master’s degree.
Although certification is not required after passing the national exam and obtaining a license, some occupational therapy professionals obtain specialty certification for specific types of occupational therapy and patients. Specialty certification areas include gerontology, mental illness, small children therapy under the age of five, and physical rehabilitation.
Salaries for Physical Therapists in Albuquerque, NM
Occupational therapists in Albuquerque earn an average salary of $67,620 per year or $32.51 hour. Assistants earned an average salary of $33,890 per year or $16.29 per hour, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013. Job opportunities are expected to increase over the next several years for both occupations. The predicted increase results from a large aging population, who are most likely to need occupational therapy after crippling injuries, surgeries and other medical conditions related to aging.
List of Occupational Therapy Programs in New Mexico
Accredited educational programs in New Mexico include the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, which offers a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Associate’s degrees are offered by Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell and Western New Mexico University in Silver City.