The Masters in Occupational Therapy Degree
A career in occupational therapy has a wide variety of benefits that make it highly enticing to those who are interested in helping people overcome their limitations and become self-sufficient. Whether you plan on entering into a private practice and working with clients one on one, or joining an established practice or healthcare organization, you will need to acquire your Masters in Occupational Therapy from an Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) accredited graduate program. The Occupational Therapist profession is expected to grow at a rate that is 33% faster than average for careers during the next decade. Licensed Occupational Therapists command a very healthy salary of $72,320 per year as the median for pay nationally. Occupational therapy can be a very challenging career both in terms of professional effort and also emotional demands; however it also has the potential to be an extremely fulfilling career as you witness your clients becoming self-sufficient with the help of interventions and technological adaptations. The key to becoming a licensed Occupational Therapist is earning your Masters in Occupational Therapy degree from an ACOTE accredited program. You will need to complete other requirements to attain licensure that will vary on a state to state basis. You can learn more about them on our homepage.
One of the largest trends of the last decade has been how the American work force has become both very well educated and also shown a willingness to move to where jobs are located. As an Occupational Therapist you will be able to access a wide variety of jobs in different organizations across the country. If you are looking for a career that is in high demand and is expected to grow considerably over the next ten years, then Occupational Therapist (OT) is an excellent career to pursue. This will require that you earn your Associate’s degree from an Occupational Therapy Assistant program and go on to a Bachelor’s program in a highly related field such as kinesiology or psychology. Once you have your Bachelor’s degree you will want to find out what if any supplementary experience or pre-requisites you may need to successfully be accepted into a Graduate program. This will vary from school to school however you can read more about this in our article on occupational therapy pre-requisites here.
You will then want to take the time to carefully evaluate a number of graduate programs in occupational therapy from Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) accredited programs. This evaluation will have a number of aspects to it from financial considerations, lifestyle decisions based on the campus locale and of course a thorough examination of the curriculum to ensure that it matches your career aspirations.
Once you have completed your Master’s program you will want to learn in detail about all of the requirements for licensure in the state in which you plan on working. The next step will be to make sure you have met all the pre-requisites to take your National Certification Examination (NCE). This is exam was created by and is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Some states also require additional training and supervised experience that is above and beyond a Master’s in Occupational Therapy. Once you have your degree however, you can rest in the knowledge that you have done the lion’s share of the work toward becoming a licensed Occupational Therapist and beginning your career.