What You Should Know About This Degree
Occupational therapy is often lumped together with physical and speech therapy. Although all three professions support human function, they employ different methods to do so. Occupational therapists assist with daily living functions, physical therapists focus on the movement of the human body, and speech therapists help with communication and swallowing disorders.
The employment rate for occupational therapists is projected to see a 16% increase over the next decade.
As of 2021, occupational therapists are required to hold a master’s degree and pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. However, by 2027, occupational therapists will be expected to hold a doctorate.
Here are some questions to ask when researching online doctorate in occupational therapy programs:
- What tests are required for this online degree? To become a licensed occupational therapist, you will need to take the NBCOT exam. After passing the exam, students earn the title of Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR).
- Am I eligible for this program? To be accepted into a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (DOT) program, you must have a bachelor’s degree, ideally in a related subject such as biology or kinesiology. However, many competitive candidates have master’s degrees or professional experience. Always check a program’s admissions requirements before applying.
As you research programs, you should keep track of any important deadlines or application requirements. This information is generally available online, but you can also find it by contacting a school’s admissions department. If you are pursuing financial aid, be sure to submit your applications on time and research funding opportunities such as scholarships and assistantships.