Occupational therapists are in high demand, with hospitals and clinics hiring them in large numbers and offering competitive wages. But what does it take to become an occupational therapist? And what types of career opportunities can you expect from this field? Let’s break down the requirements for becoming an occupational therapist, as well as the potential career paths available.
The first step to becoming an occupational therapist is earning a degree. An individual must obtain a master’s degree or higher from an accredited program in order to pursue this line of work. The program must also be approved by either the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). In addition, a person pursuing a career in occupational therapy may need to obtain additional certifications or licensure depending on where they live and work.
Job Outlook & Career Opportunities
Once a person has met all of the educational requirements for becoming an occupational therapist, they will have access to numerous job opportunities across many different sectors. This includes working in hospitals, clinics, schools, private practices, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for occupational therapists is projected to grow 18 percent between 2018 and 2028—much faster than average for most occupations—so there will be plenty of job openings available in the years ahead.
In addition to traditional roles within healthcare settings, there are also various non-traditional positions available in this field such as consulting roles or corporate wellness programs. Some therapists may even choose to open their own practice or business if they want more control over their career path. Regardless of which route you decide to take, there are many rewarding opportunities when it comes to becoming an occupational therapist.
Occupational therapy is a fast-growing profession that offers both stability and flexibility when it comes to job opportunities and career paths. To become an occupational therapist you need at least a master’s degree from an accredited program along with any other certifications or licensure required by your state or county regulations. With these qualifications secured you’ll have access to numerous job openings across multiple sectors including hospitals, clinics, schools, private practices and more.