HOW TO BECOME AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
- The role of the occupational therapist is to provide therapy treatments to patients with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses in order to help the patient develope, recover, and improve skills needed for everyday living and
#1 Job shadow
- The first thing a prospective student should do is to job shadow several different clinical settings within the occupational therapy field. A hospital setting may be best in order for a student to have the opportunity to
experience different patient populations.
#2 Educational requirements
- Bachelor's degree: Typically a bachelor’s degree is required to be admitted into an occupational therapy program. A bachelor’s degree such as in biology, psychology, sociology or liberal arts is commonly accepted.
- Volunteer internship: Numerous master's degree programs require the student to have volunteered or worked within an occupational therapy setting prior to being admitted to the program. This is often referred to as Level
- Master's degree: At minimum a master’s degree from an accredited institution is required prior to entering into the occupational therapy field. Some students will pursue their doctoral degree in order expand their career
- NBCOT EXAM: The final step Is to take the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. Those who pass the exam will then be approved to apply for state licensure.
- Supervised fieldwork: As part of the post baccalaureate degree the student will be required to perform a 24 week internship. This is known as Level II Fieldwork.
- The field of occupational therapy is regulated in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam which require an occupational therapist to be licensed.
#4 Find a job
- Licensed occupational therapist can sometimes transition Into full time work at the facility that they previously did their Level II Fieldwork. While most therapists will use a third-party staffing agency such as Advanced
Medical, or an Internet job search engine like Indeed and SimplyHired to find their next job.
- In order to renew your license you will be required to take a minimum number of continuing education units (CEUs).
- Ranked #10 in US News Best Jobs of 2012.
- Average salary for an OT in the US (2010).
- The top 10% of OTs in the US earned (2010).
Where do they earn the most?
- Elizabethtown, KY: $93.330 ($21.010 more than the average).
- Sherman, TX: $92.680 ($20.360 more than the average).
- Longview, TX: $90.070 ($17.750 more than the average).
- Beaumont, TX: $89.070 ($17.370 more than the average).
- McAllen, TX: $89.890 ($16.890 more than the average).
- Job outlook: There are over 108 thousand occupational therapists in the US.
- 2010: 108.000.
- 2020: 145.000 (33% increase).
- Hospitals - 27%.
- Therapy office - 21%.
- Nursing care - 9%.
- Home health - 7%.
- Individual & family services - 9%.
- Full time - 70%.
- Part time - 30%.
Advanced Mediacal: We Know Therapy | Sources: http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/occupational-therapist/salary; http://www.bis.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm.