An occupational therapy degree will open doors for many individuals as they enter the world of occupational therapy. While there are a number of different levels of educational attainment that can be achieved through an occupational therapy degree, the first step in the process is a master's level program. This level is one of the most common in the field, as it opens the door to much higher paying jobs and opportunities for advancement.
A master's level is the highest level of education needed for becoming an effective occupational therapist, and enrollment into occupational therapy degree programs is very competitive. The average master's level program typically takes approximately two and a half years for completion. Those who are interested in becoming occupational therapists should make sure that they have taken courses at this level and completed the requirements for it before applying for admission into an occupational therapy program.
Earning a master's degree requires students to be a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOA). Students who are members of the AOA can take courses that are approved by the board of trustees of the organization, which are available on the AOA's website. These courses help students learn the skills that will be required for a career in occupational therapy, and they also prepare them for their own careers within the industry. Many people choose to further their education by enrolling into a masters degree program, especially if they plan to continue their practice in occupational therapy after they complete their degrees.
In order to earn an occupational therapy master's degree, students must pass a rigorous exam, pass their oral and written examinations, be licensed by their state, complete an internship, pass a research project and successfully complete a thesis or dissertation. Those who plan on practicing as occupational therapists must take a minimum of 100 hours of clinical training in order to gain approval to practice. Students who earn an occupational therapy master's may also be eligible for special recognition in their fields of expertise, such as those awarded by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
The cost of a master's degree can vary greatly based on the institution and the type of program that is being completed. Students may be able to get their degrees from a variety of schools and colleges for less than the price of traditional post-secondary schools. Although those with financial constraints may opt to pursue a bachelor's degree or associate's program, many employers prefer to hire individuals with an occupational therapy master's, as the individuals already have some experience in the field.
The duration of an occupational therapy master's degree will vary depending on which institutions that an individual pursues, but it generally lasts two to five years. Some of the most popular school programs include the American Occupational Therapy Association, the American College of Occupational Therapy, the American Occupational Therapy Association of North America and the National Occupational Therapy Association. Students who want to get their master's at one of these schools must take all their classes online, while students who are attending traditional schools will complete their degrees in person. Many vocational and trade schools also offer occupational therapy degrees that can be completed online.
Occupational therapy programs are extremely competitive, so those who are considering pursuing this degree should ensure that they meet all of the requirements before applying for admission. Earning an occupational therapy degree may not be easy, and may require many months of hard work and dedication on the part . . . . . . of the student. However, with proper preparation and effort, an occupational therapy professional can find success in their chosen field of study.
Those who have completed their degrees and wish to pursue a career in occupational therapy should look to see what opportunities are out there before enrolling in any school. Obtaining a master's degree in Occupational Therapy could prove to be a great decision in the future.