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What level of education is needed to become an Occupational Therapist?

Hi, my name is Maddy and i am a sophomore in high school. I have no set plan for the future yet but I plan to be some type of healthcare worker. Before I head off to college or make any final decisions I want to know what level of education I must have to get the job. #health #OccupationalTherapist #job

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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Madison:

Occupational therapists need at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy; some therapists have a doctoral degree. Occupational therapists also must be licensed.

HOW TO BECOME AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
• Admission to graduate programs in occupational therapy generally requires a bachelor’s degree and specific coursework, including biology and physiology. Many programs also require applicants to have volunteered or worked in an occupational therapy setting. Candidates should contact the program that they are interested in attending about specific requirements.
• Master’s programs usually take 2 to 3 years to complete; doctoral programs take about 3 and a half years. Some schools offer a dual-degree program in which the student earns a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in 5 years. Part-time programs that offer courses on nights and weekends are also available.
• Both master’s and doctoral programs require at least 24 weeks of supervised fieldwork, in which prospective occupational therapists gain clinical work experience. In addition, doctoral programs require a 16-week capstone experience.

LICENSES AND CERTIFICATIONS
• All states require occupational therapists to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but all require candidates to pass the national examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). To sit for the NBCOT exam, candidates must have earned a degree from an accredited educational program and completed all fieldwork requirements.
• Therapists must pass the NBCOT exam to use the title “Occupational Therapist, Registered” (OTR). They must also take continuing education classes to maintain certification.

I wish you much success on your journey. Best of luck to you!

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

How to Become An Occupational Therapist • https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm#tab-4
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Signe’s Answer

Occupational Therapy has many entries to work in this career! There is the masters level curriculum which allows for an independent licensed practice in hospitals, clinics or schools. If your interested in working with a licensed OT there is an option as an OT assistant with an associate degree. For those who want to research and teacher a doctorate program is available. Check out- American Occupational Therapy Association-https://www.aota.org/
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Amina’s Answer

To qualify as an occupational therapist you should at least have a tertiary degree or its equivalent,and some working experience or prior knowledge about counselling.
You must be really skilled and understand the environment and basic entry requirements for a particular job.and also understanding the labour law will also give you an edge.
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