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How Many Years Of College To Be An Occupational Therapist

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What Does The Occupational Therapist Do

Get to know an Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists can be considered as allied health professionals. They work together with physicians, nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, and many other health practitioners to provide holistic care for their patients.

The job of an occupational therapist differs from other rehabilitation professionals. They use evidence-based treatments to improve both the mental and physical health of the patient. Upon employment, occupational therapists use a true mind-body approach to help patients get back on their feet.

There are many reasons to become an occupational therapist. Occupational therapists enjoy employment security, fulfillment, plenty of employment opportunities, and flexibility.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also says that the job opportunities for occupational therapists are expected to go up by 16% by 2029 compared to 2018. Even the average salary of OTs who have just graduated and dont have much work experience; is a decent $64,000.

Complete A Bachelor’s Degree

Aspiring occupational therapists first obtain a bachelor’s degree before starting more specialized training. Helpful courses to study include biology, physiology, mental and physical health theory, practice, pediatrics, anatomy and geriatrics. Although it is not a specific requirement, applicants with a background in the health sciences may have an advantage in applying for admission to a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

Earn A Masters Degree

In the past most states only required you to obtain a bachelors degree to become a licensed OT, but in 2007 all states began requiring a masters degree. As of 2013, Colorado is still in the process of developing regulations to require licensure. However, because Colorado is a deregulated state;through former Governor Dick Lamm, chances are Registration, not licensure, will be all that is required for a long time to come. Also note that Colorado does not require occupational therapy assistants to register with the state at this time.

A masters degree must be earned from an accredited university or college. Once they have earned a masters degree, students may either apply for licensure or continue their education by pursuing a doctoral degree. As of now, no states or territories require a doctoral degree to practice.

Masters programs typically include classroom work combined with field work. Field work is usually performed in hospitals, private homes, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and clinics, under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist. Students are encouraged to perform their field work in various settings throughout their two-year masters program to help them decide where they fit best in the field. See our complete list of Occupational Therapy Schools

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Opportunities For Specialization Within Occupational Therapy

After receiving your license to practice, you may consider working toward certification in a specialty area. Popular occupational therapy specialties include physical rehabilitation, driving and community mobility, gerontology, pediatrics, and mental health. Keep in mind that most specialties require significant job experience within that area.3

Best Undergraduate Majors For Occupational Therapy

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What are the best pre-occupational therapy undergraduate majors to choose from?

If youre seriously considering occupational therapy as a career, there are many undergraduate majors to choose from before you start grad school for occupational therapy.

Because of this, I wanted to lay out 7 great undergraduate;options to choose from prior to getting your Masters or Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.

These undergraduate degrees will help you on the path to becoming a successful and well-rounded occupational therapist.

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Do You Have What It Takes To Pursue A Career In Occupational Therapy

Now that we have answered the question of how to become an occupational therapist, lets find out if you have what it takes to become one. Before you decide to become an occupational therapist, it is important to know the nuances of opting for a career in occupational therapy. Before you make up your mind, ask yourself

  • Do I have a strong desire to help people and provide care?
  • Am I looking for a flexible career with good growth?
  • Do I see myself advancing in the medical field?
  • Am I ready for a physically demanding job?
  • Am I ready for long hours of work?
  • Will I be able to make the sacrifices I need to make to get the education I require?

Some Big Cities Are Already Saturated With Ots And Cotas

Because more people are wanting to become occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, schools in bigger cities are creating more programs and pumping out more and more new grads every year.

More new OTs does not automatically equal more positions being created to meet the demand, so many new grads are faced with the fact that they might have to move away to find a job.

Fortunately, most rural parts of the country have a desperate need for occupational therapists. You can certainly find a position, whether permanent or travel, but you might have to make the choice to leave a bigger city.

If youre wondering if your city is saturated, check regularly and see if new job postings are listed, in addition to seeing how many OT and OTA programs exist in the city.

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Youll Study Subjects Such As These:

Functional anatomy



Youll also be required to do six months of supervised fieldwork in clinics or community organizations in order to gain hands-on experience before completing their program. In addition to this intensive fieldwork, which will give you hands-on experience in the types of places youll eventually work, you may also need to complete a masters project or similar Capstone learning experience. Youll need letters of recommendation from occupational therapists or science teachers. In addition, most schools require a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination .

Occupational Therapy Schools And Degree Programs In California

How occupational therapy can help people

Occupational therapy regulations and license requirements are handled on a state level in California by the California Board of Occupational Therapy. In order to get licensed as an occupational therapist in California, prospective practitioners must at least hold a Bachelors degree in occupational therapy from an accredited program. This takes approximately four years, and it will also be necessary to have at least 24 weeks of work experience.

According to a 2018 report on Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for California, there were approximately 9,580 practicing occupational therapists in the state as of 2018. Their median hourly wage was $47, and their average annual wage was $95,160. This is significantly higher than the average salary of occupational therapists in neighboring Arizona, as well as the average national annual income for occupational therapists in the United States. However, it is only slightly higher than the average income of occupational therapists in Oregon.

There are no recent reports about the demand for occupational therapists in the state of California. However, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is expected to increase by 18% from 2018-2028 nationwide.

Practitioners in this field can be either an occupational therapist, or a certified occupational therapy assistant.

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Can A Nurse Become An Occupational Therapist

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In a hospital and skilled nursing facility you will also get to see nurses work. However, OTs have a salary in many settings such as a hospital, where RNs do not. RNs can work overtime and get time and 1/2 and make $100,000 if they work overtime a lot.

Furthermore, how do nurses work with occupational therapists? Occupational Therapists and Nurses Bring Holistic Approach for End of Life Care. Because OTs are trained in assessment, coordination and advanced care planning, they are able to assist nurses who are responsible for discharging patients nearing the end of their lives.

Similarly, it is asked, how do I become an occupational health nurse?

To become a certified occupational health nurse, you must be a registered nurse with an appropriate degree in nursing, have worked as an RN within the field of occupational health for at least 3,000 hours within the previous five years (or have participated in an occupational health nurse certificate program or

What is the best major for occupational therapy?

7 Best Undergraduate Majors for Occupational Therapy

  • Psychology. Psychology was my undergraduate major and the same major as approximately 50% of my OT school cohort .
  • Kinesiology/Exercise Science. Kinesiology and exercise science are also great majors for occupational therapists.
  • Education.

What Level Of Education Do You Need To Become An Ot

As I noted in the previous section, occupational therapists are highly educated.;

While some OTs are grandfathered in from the days when a bachelors degree was standard, a masters degree is now required as entry-level OT education. In many schools, a doctorate is being offered. As I mentioned, though, the OTD is not required at this time.;

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University Of Florida Department Of Occupational Therapy

Tuition: $12,740 per term

The UF Department of Occupational Therapy offers an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy beginning from the fall semester of 2019. The program has recently got the Candidacy Status by the ACOTE.

The Masters of Occupational Therapy Program has ACOTE accreditation status. However, the MOT program has stopped accepting new intake for proper transitioning to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy .

Notwithstanding, current students and UF Pre-OT Health Science students are allowed to complete their degree programs.

Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs In San Marcos

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San Marcos is a city in southern California near San Diego. There isnt a lot of information available about the average income of occupational therapists in San Marcos, but the average income of an occupational therapist in nearby San Diego is about $48 per hour and $99,976 per year. The only school with an accredited occupational therapy program in San Marcos is the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.

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Earn A Bachelors Degree

If youre looking to pursue a career in occupational therapy, its best to earn your bachelors degree in a relevant area, such as biology, health science, or psychology. If you earn your bachelors in an unrelated field, you may need to take prerequisite courses before applying to grad school.

If you wish to become an occupational therapy assistant rather than an OT, you need only earn your associate degree in OT.

Occupational Therapy Program Goals

  • Students are expected to master entry-level proficiencies in occupational therapy knowledge and practice skills with individuals of all ages.;
  • Students are expected to display professional behaviors, cultural competence, ethical values and a commitment to maintaining currency with professional knowledge and practice.;
  • Students are expected to use a dynamic process of inquiry to guide evidence based clinical decisions to competently fulfill the responsibilities of the occupational therapists role within a complex and changing health care environment.
  • Students are expected to demonstrate a commitment to advocate with professional colleagues for diverse populations of clients’ access to health, education and rehabilitative services to foster life and community participation.

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Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs In Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the second-most populous city in the U.S. The average income of an occupational therapist in Los Angeles is about $47 per hour and $99,992 per year. There are two schools with an accredited occupational therapy program in Los Angeles: the University of Southern California and West Coast University.

After Graduating You Might Not Get To Work In Your Dream Setting Right Away

Occupational Therapy Assistant Salary | How Much Money Does an Occupational Therapy Assistant Make?

Because of the over-saturation previously mentioned, your ideal setting might not have any openings when youre done with school and boards. I found this to be the case when I graduated, and ended up in a setting I wasnt crazy about. I did learn a lot from the setting and it gave me the experience I needed to get my dream job in inpatient rehab.

If youre open to other types of settings after graduation, this wont be a huge downside. You might find your second choice is actually a great fit for you.

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Whatever Youre Interested In

The great thing about occupational therapy programs is that they are;graduate;programs. If these degrees arent that interesting to you, major in whatever youre passionate about! As long as youve completed the necessary pre-requisite courses and other application requirements, you can still be an OT!

Whatever you choose, if at the end of the day you know that you truly want to be an occupational therapist, OT schools really arent as concerned about what degree you chose before becoming an OT. They care most about whether your application is strong and that you are able to prove that youre passionate about being an OT.

As an example, one of my good friends is an occupational therapist working in a level I trauma hospital who got her Bachelors in Journalism, which shows that it is definitely possible to major in whatever youre interested in.

Faq On Becoming An Occupational Therapist

Along with receiving financial aid by filling out the FAFSA, occupational therapy students can find OT-specific scholarships and grants through theAmerican Occupational Therapy Foundation and theAmerican Occupational Therapist Association .

The American Occupational Therapy Association has variousjob search and prep tools to help occupational therapists and occupational therapist assistants build resumes, prepare for interviews and find jobs in their area.

Joining professional associations can help occupational therapists build their professional networks and learn more about the changing landscape of occupational therapy.

Continuing education units are education credits professionals earn by periodically taking classes after they have become licensed. Each state specifies how many CEUs occupational therapists need to take before they can renew their license. Students earn CEUs by taking approved courses, which are often available online. AOTA offerscontinuing education courses for occupational therapists and offers a database of approved, non-AOTA continuing education providers.

AOTAs guide to fieldwork is a comprehensive resource for prospective occupational therapists looking for specific information about their hands-on practice requirements.

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Accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs In El Cajon

El Cajon is a city east of San Diego. There is little available information about the average income of occupational therapy assistants in El Cajon. However, the average income of occupational therapy assistants in San Diego is about $31 per hour and $63,959 per year. The only school with an accredited occupational therapy program in El Cajon is Grossmont College.

How To Score A Career As An International Occupational

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Posted: Feb 08, 2021 ;· Occupational therapists would be sent out for up to 2 weeks to work in hospital settings, schools, and care centers to provide care. Short-term projects are perfect for individuals who would like to travel internationally, but not have to dedicate their lives to being away from their home country.

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Occupational Therapist Job Description: Salary Skills & More

Posted: Oct 31, 2019 ;· An occupational therapist is a health professional who is responsible for helping patients regain their ability to perform daily living and work activities. Their patients have generally lost these abilities because of mental, physical, developmental, or emotional conditions.

How Do I Become An Occupational Therapist

To become an occupational therapist, you must complete post-secondary education in social work, psychology, or occupational therapy. These programs are available at colleges, universities, and career colleges. It takes at least two years of formal schooling, in addition to a work experience component. University programs are often four years long, with additional courses available to extend the program to five or six years in length.

An occupational therapist is a trained professional that helps people relearn the basic life skills required to be an independent adult. Seniors and people who have experienced a serious accident, brain injury, or major mental illness often require the services of an occupational therapist. The decision to transition into or out of independent living is based on the patients ability to master these skills.

To study occupational therapy, you must have successfully completed courses in math, biology, English, and anatomy. All these courses provide the background necessary to be successful in this field. Gain valuable work experience by volunteering in a rehabilitation hospital, stroke treatment facility, or senior citizens home.

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Occupational Therapy Or Pre

If you know for certain as an undergraduate student that youd like to eventually pursue your masters degree in occupational therapy, earning a bachelors degree in occupational therapy or a related degree on a pre-occupational therapy tract can be a wise choice.

These programs are designed specifically to teach students the skills that theyll need to thrive in OT work, while also preparing them for the challenging academic coursework that will be expected of them as they pursue their masters degree. Additionally, many are tied to graduate degree programs, potentially making it easier for students to be accepted into an advanced degree.

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