Occupational Therapist

An occupational therapist is one that helps a patient struggling with a mental, physical, emotional or developmental condition perform various types of everyday activities with ease. Through the use of different treatments, occupational therapists are able to recover, fully develop and/or maintain the basic life skills of their clients. All in all, the ultimate goal of an occupational therapist is to be able to help their clients lead independent and satisfactory lives, despite the mental or physical condition they are afflicted with.

Occupational Therapist Education Requirements

Becoming an official occupational therapist is no easy feat. It takes lots of time and effort because before one may earn certification and officially become a occupational therapist, one will have to fulfill certain occupational therapist education requirements and occupational therapist continuing education.

Because a master’s degree is the minimum requirement for occupational therapist required education , a prerequisite that any aspiring occupational therapist must fulfill is to earn a bachelor’s degree. There are no specific undergraduate courses that one is required to take in order to become an occupational therapist, but it might be wise to choose degree programs that may be related to the field, such as Biology or Chemistry. Some universities even offer a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, which may serve as a great foundation to a career as an occupational therapist and fulfilling occupational therapist requirements.

Once the student has earned a bachelor’s degree, they may finally apply for a master’s degree program, which may take 3 to 4 years to complete. It is essential that the student applies to a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (or the ACOTE). However, after graduation from their degree program, the student will still be required to take the licensure exam. Once the licensure exam is successfully passed, the student may be called an “Occupational Therapist Registered” (or an OTR) and may begin practice.

But occupational therapy required education does not simply end there; occupational therapists are required to regularly participate in different continuing education workshops or courses in order to assist their clients to the best of their abilities at all times.

What courses count towards occupational therapist education requirements?

Because the student is allowed to take any bachelor’s degree course prior to earning their official occupational therapist degree, the courses that are taken during the first few years of education will vary. However, the degree programs that are often taken by aspiring occupational therapists usually include courses such as Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and General Biology, as well as more basic subjects like English and Mathematics. This simply serves as preparation to earning their master’s degree and becoming certified occupational therapists.

A student already enrolled in a master’s degree program usually takes up courses such as human occupation and performance, social and cultural perspectives of occupation, biological and behavioral sciences, and communication and professional responsibilities.

What levels of degrees are available for occupational therapists?

Associate’s Degree in Occupational Therapy:

An associate’s degree in occupational therapy can serve as an entry point for those who are interested in working in this field. It is not a prerequisite to earning a bachelor’s degree, but acquiring it will adequately prepare the student and begin their career in this field of work. Also, positions in entry-level jobs, such as occupational therapist assistants or occupational therapy aides , will require at least an associate’s degree in occupational therapy.

Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy:

Although the student is free to choose any degree program prior to earning their master’s degree in occupational therapy, this particular degree program is an excellent foundation for the aspiring occupational therapist. From this degree program, the student will learn the basics in occupational performance. The program often requires practical, hands-on work in order to form strategies as to how they may enhance their future clients’ competence in performing everyday tasks.

Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy:

Earning a Master’s degree in occupational therapy is one of the final steps to completing the minimum occupational therapy requirements in order to become a certified occupational therapist. Depending on the institution you are enrolled it, it may take 2 to 5 years to complete, but successfully completing this program will enable you to take the licensure exam for occupational therapists and eventually become a practicing occupational therapist.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree:

For those who would like to continue their studies as occupational therapists, a doctorate degree in occupational therapy may be earned in around 3 to 5 years time. This degree program further deepens the knowledge and skills that they have acquired from their master’s degree program and puts in into use in the field of research. The doctorate degree program also puts emphasis on education and instruction. Graduates from this course are not just qualified to become occupational therapists, but may also be qualified to work as researchers or professors in universities, who educate our future occupational therapists.

What are the financial requirements to become an occupational therapist?

Obtaining all of the required occupational therapist certification and certificates entails great investment, both with your time and your money. An appropriate bachelor’s degree will normally costs $18,000 to $20,000 per year, depending on the institution that you have chosen to enroll in. The cost of postgraduate studies also vary and you may have to pay certain fees for examinations in the future.

What are the continuing education requirements for occupational therapist?

There are only a few occupational therapy continuing education requirements that occupational therapists have to fulfill. They are simply required to participate in various workshops and courses on occupational therapy, so that they may be able to keep up with different innovations or discoveries that are made in their field of work.

What are the skills necessary to become an occupational therapist?

  • patience and a professional attitude towards work
  • Excellent communication skills is one of the most important occupational therapist qualifications
  • Occupational therapists may have to deal with patients with depression and other similar conditions. They should be able to deal with such patients with compassion and should be able to handle them without becoming too emotional.

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