Occupational Therapy Graduate Programs – What Is In It For You

Based on the data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual average salary of licensed occupational therapists in the country ranges from $70,000 to $80,000. This number is relatively higher compared to other professions in various industries today. Job opportunities are also expected to significantly grow in the next 10 years making occupational therapy profession a really lucrative job to take. This is why many students today are now considering this career path while some professionals are also thinking of taking a new course to become professional occupational therapists and earn a more stable income.

However, before becoming a professional occupational therapist, a person must first earn the necessary educational requirements and the certifications needed to become a certified and licensed Occupational Therapist or OT. After earning your bachelor’s degree, you need to continue your education and earn the necessary degree for occupational therapists. After earning the accredited degree for occupational therapy degree, you also need to undergo intensive training and residency program supervised by an experienced occupational therapist.

The training and residency programs are essential. Since these are the stages that prepare future Occupational Therapists on their actual jobs in the future. After finishing the trainings required by the country or state, they need to pass the licensure exam required to become a certified and licensed occupational therapist. Entry-level occupational therapist can earn from $40,000 to $50,000 on the first years of their career but this number can be higher or lower depending on their work setting and geographical location. However, the entry-level salaries for new occupational therapists are already considerably higher compared to other jobs where entry-level salaries range from $25,000 to $35,000 only.

However, if you want to obtain better career opportunities and definitely higher salary, you should consider earning a graduate degree program in occupational therapy either a master’s degree or a doctorate degree. Earning higher educational background in occupational therapy will add knowledge, expertise and skills therefore ensuring you better pay, position and career options. Aside from great salaries, occupational therapists who earned a master’s or doctorate degree also have higher bonuses and longer vacation time.

Earning higher education like a master’s degree or doctorate on your chosen field also provides you personal benefits since earning more knowledge and skills, as an occupational therapist will help you better perform on your job. If you have a specialization in a specific sub-field in occupational therapy, you can earn higher salary ranging from $100,000 to $120,000 annually.

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