How to Become an Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists are a necessary part of the healthcare system, enabling those injured in the work force to rehabilitate and return to their livelihood. Working at a career that helps and cares for others, while earning a high salary and competitive benefits, is rewarding and worthwhile. Read the tips listed below and learn about how you can become an occupational therapist.

  • Education While studying to be an occupational therapist takes a considerable amount of years, it doesn't take as long as other healthcare professions. Most occupational therapists have a bachelor's degree in a science or the health sciences. All occupational therapists have a master's degree in occupational therapy. The American Occupational Therapy Foundation provides a list of the universities and colleges that offer accredited programs in occupational therapy [source: AOTF].
  • Placement Upon obtaining your master's degree in occupational therapy, you will have to complete a six-month placement program, working under the supervision of an experienced and established occupational therapist.
  • Certification When you have completed your education and placement, you may need to acquire certification, depending on where you live. Working with certification will enable you to prove your competence to your clients and enable you to connect with a network of peers. You can apply for national certification through the American Occupational Therapy Association [source: AOTA].
  • Continual Training Because of advancements in medicine and technology, there is ongoing training available to occupational therapists. You may choose to specialize in a certain type of therapy. This will require additional courses and learning. Attending annual conferences held by the AOTF and participating in research exchanges and initiatives will enable you to be at the forefront of this fascinating and rapidly expanding industry [source: CV Tips].