Occupational therapists treat clients to alleviate pain and swelling around injury or surgical sites. The results improve flexibility, muscle tone and strength; increase and maintain mobility; and encourage faster recovery so patients can resume daily activities. To acquire the necessary credentials to practice occupational therapy in California, candidates complete mandatory complete approved curricula for their degree level and pass appropriate state licensing exams.
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Occupational therapy training in the San Diego area is accredited by professional groups that ensure OT curricula falls in line with the profession’s standards and protocols for patient care. Accreditation is typically granted by one or more of these organizations:
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission
- Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association
Aspiring OT candidates can locate a program’s accreditation status by checking school or agency websites.
Occupational Therapy Certification in San Diego
After completing an OT degree, candidates must pass a national certification exam for state licensure administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Master’s degree holders who pass the exam are additionally granted Occupational Therapist Registered status. OT certifications are maintained via continuing education opportunities leading to license renewal every two years.
Salaries for Occupational Therapy Jobs in San Diego
Salary expectations in San Diego are generally commensurate with degree level and experience. Earnings for registered occupational therapists are on par with the state’s median of $58,950 while occupational therapy assistants earn about $39,500. Other factors affecting salary include geographical location and type of job setting.
List of Occupational Therapy Programs in San Diego
The San Diego area offers accredited OT degrees at all levels from several post-secondary institutions, including:
- University of St.Augustine, San Marcos;
- Santa Ana College, Santa Ana;
- Loma Linda University, Loma Linda;
- Grossmont College, El Cajon;
- California State University-Dominguez Hills, Carson.
These institutions are within commuting distance of San Diego and offer cutting-edge instruction based on 21st century healthcare methods and protocols for the OT profession. Graduates can expect to find work in a number of diverse settings including hospitals, rehabilitation groups, public health clinics, residential care programs, athletic facilities, senior care centers, home health agencies and school systems.