Occupational Therapy Degree Programs – How To Get Qualified


Completing a degree in occupational therapy is just half the battle. Bear in mind that you need to be qualified in order to start practicing as a professional occupational therapist. The degree programs you will take are very important in preparing you for the qualification exam. Occupational therapists need to be highly educated which means that a minimum requirement of a master’s degree should be met.

Aside from a master’s degree, occupational therapist candidates should graduate from an accredited program by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. If you do not graduate from such a program, you will not be eligible for the national certification exam. Occupational therapy degree programs can be taken part-time or full-time. Courses include biology, health, social sciences, chemistry and physics.

How To Be A Qualified Occupational Therapist?

All states in the U.S. will require occupational therapists to be certified. This means that passing the national certification is a must. As mentioned earlier, candidates should also graduate from an accredited degree program to be eligible for the exam. The tile of Occupational Therapist Registered is given to those who pass the certification exam. The exam will be the same for all states but the eligibility and requirements may differ. This certification is voluntary and is not required but occupational therapist who wishes to further their careers in the future will need this certification.

How Is Certification Important?

In order to have higher chances of career advancements, a certification is need. This serves as proof that you have undergone proper training and is trained to practice your craft. Employers will highly value your certification if you choose to work for someone else. For private practice, patients will feel more confident with your services because of your certification.

Occupational therapists who are certified can apply for supervisory and manager roles if the achieve the years of work experience required. This means that occupational therapists need not care for patients directly all the time. However, most occupational therapists prefer to put years into treating patients. Majority of occupational therapists work in hospitals and healthcare centers and only a small percentage chooses to set-up a private clinic. A certified occupational therapist can also apply for jobs in colleges and universities as an educator.

If you are thinking of a career in occupational therapy, this is the perfect time. Employment rate in the healthcare industry is expected to increase by 26% until 2016.


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