What Education Is Required to Be an Occupational Therapist?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the education requirements for becoming an occupational therapist can vary depending on the country in which you practice. However, most jurisdictions require at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited institution. Some also require passing a national licensing examination.

Checkout this video:

The Occupational Outlook Handbook

Most occupational therapists have a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Occupational therapists also must have a license. Some states have licensure portability agreements, which allow occupational therapists to have one license but practice in multiple states. The Occupational Outlook Handbook states that most occupational therapists have a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

What Education Is Required to Be an Occupational Therapist?

Most occupational therapists have a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Also, they must have a license in order to practice.

A bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some entry-level positions, but a master’s degree is required to work as an occupational therapist in most states. However, some states allow occupational therapists with bachelor’s degrees to work under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.

A Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree is the highest level of education an occupational therapist can achieve. The OTD typically takes 3 years to complete and focuses on developing advanced clinical reasoning skills and leadership abilities.

The American Occupational Therapy Association

To become an occupational therapist, you will need at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Some states also require you to be licensed. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) accredits over 200 occupational therapy programs across the United States.

What Education Is Required to Be an Occupational Therapist?

To practice occupational therapy, one must earn a degree from an accredited occupational therapy program and then complete a supervised fieldwork experience.

There are currently more than 200 accredited occupational therapy programs in the United States, which offer three different types of degrees: a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a doctoral degree.

The type of degree you will need depends on the state in which you plan to work as an occupational therapist.
For example, if you plan to work in a hospital or other health care setting, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy.
However, if you want to work in a school system or other educational setting, you will need at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy.
There are also some states that require all occupational therapists to have a doctorate in occupational therapy.

In addition to completing an accredited occupational therapy program, all candidates for licensure must also pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups occupational therapists with other therapists, such as physical therapists and speech-language pathologists. The BLS projects that employment of therapists will grow by 19 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. An aging population and an increase in the number of people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, will lead to demand for occupational therapists.

What Education Is Required to Be an Occupational Therapist?

Most occupational therapists have at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Bachelor’s degree programs typically last 4 years and include courses such as anatomy, psychology, and math. Master’s degree programs generally last 2 to 3 years and include advanced coursework in subjects such as rehabilitation methods and techniques.

Scroll to Top