How To Become An Occupational Therapist: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become an Occupational Therapist
majors for Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists

Other names for this job might include Assistive Technology Trainer, Early Intervention Occupational Therapist, Independent Living Specialist, Industrial Rehabilitation Consultant, Industrial Therapist, Job Trainer, Occupational Therapist (OT), Occupational Therapy Co-Director, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Registered Occupational Therapist


  • $81690
    Salary
  • 77%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

A+



Be An Occupational Therapist: What You Really Need


In this requirements guide for Occupational Therapists, you will find out what do you need to become an Occupational Therapist and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be an Occupational Therapist.



Degree required

Recommended degree level

Master’s Degree

Master’s degree
71.43%

Bachelors degree
19.05%

First professional degree
4.76%

PhD
4.76%

No degree
%

Generally, employers are looking for Occupational Therapists who have a Master’s degree. They also prefer someone who is good in Monitoring and Service Orientation.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become An Occupational Therapist or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Occupational Therapists what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Occupational Therapy/Therapist

Occupational therapists need at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy; some therapists have a doctoral degree. Occupational therapists also must be licensed or registered.



Schools

schools for Occupational Therapists

Interested in becoming An Occupational Therapist? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming an Occupational Therapist




How long does it take

Difficulty
Hard

You will need a considerable amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be An Occupational Therapist. Normally you will be required to have more than five years of experience.

For example: A surgeon have to complete 4 years of college plus an additional 5 to 7 years of specialized medical training to be able to do his/her job.

In terms of on-the-job training, you may need some training however you will be assumed that you will already have the necessary skills and work experience to perform the job.


How long does it take
3 to 7 months


Work experience
3 to 6 months

No experience
38.1%

3 to 6 months
19.05%

6 months to 1 year
14.29%

1 to 2 years
9.52%

2 to 4 years
9.52%

Job training
0 to 1 month

0 to 1 month
38.1%

3 to 6 months
23.81%

1 to 2 years
14.29%

No training
9.52%

6 months to 1 year
9.52%

Most Occupational Therapists have 3 to 6 months work experience and 0 to 1 month job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.



License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Required


All states require occupational therapists to pass the national examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapists (NBCOT). To sit for the NBCOT exam, candidates must have earned a degree from an accredited educational program and completed all fieldwork requirements. Therapists must pass the NBCOT exam to use the title “Occupational Therapist Registered” (OTR). They must also take continuing education classes to maintain certification.



Skills required

We asked other Occupational Therapists if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Monitoring what does this mean
2.Service Orientation what does this mean
3.Reading Comprehension what does this mean
4.Active Listening what does this mean
5.Speaking what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Occupational Therapists have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Integrity and Concern for Others.

1.Integrity
2.Concern for Others
3.Adaptability/Flexibility
4.Dependability
5.Self Control




Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Occupational Therapists you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Psychology what does this mean
2.Therapy and Counseling what does this mean
3.Medicine and Dentistry what does this mean
4.Education and Training what does this mean
5.English Language what does this mean

As An Occupational Therapist, you may also be required to know how to use certain Accounting software, Graphics or photo imaging software and Medical software tools.

BillingTracker software (Accounting software)
Boardmaker Software (Graphics or photo imaging software)
Casamba Smart (Medical software)
Computer drawing software (Graphics or photo imaging software)
Crick Software Clicker 4 (Word processing software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for




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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Health Informatics, Therapeutic Services

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Is This Right For Me

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Related to Occupational Therapists Requirements

Occupational Therapists requirements, how to become Occupational Therapists, degree required to be an Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapists license and certifications, majors to be an Occupational Therapist, is it hard to become an Occupational Therapist and how long does it take

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm
http://www.aota.org/

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Occupational Therapists
Written by: Stanley Tan
Occupational Therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays.
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