Human Services Guide

Education Requirements for Occupational Therapist

The Occupational Therapist (OT) helps people with injuries or disabilities to be able to achieve their day to day needs by creating individualized therapies that help accomplish these tasks in a way that builds confidence and helps the client to overcome perceived barriers. This job is one that requires a tremendous amount of empathy and compassion along with creative problem solving skills, excellent communication and rapport building abilities. These are skills that you will sharpen during your education.

Most states require that you earn you Bachelor’s degree in Occupational therapy or a closely related field in order to be accepted into a Master’s program on your way to achieving licensure. While you are pursuing your undergraduate degree you will want to consider minoring in a foreign language so you can broaden your potential client base and give you flexibility in your career as you progress in it. You will then need to be accepted into a Master’s degree program from an accredited university to achieve your Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT). During your program you will refine your skillset to ready yourself for entry into the workforce. Upon graduation you will need to research licensure requirements for you state by visiting your state board of licensure webpage. Most states require a combination of supervised experience in the thousands of hours along with the passing of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy’s (NBCOT) National Certification Examination. This can be taken either online or in paper form which you will need to sign up for one the NBCOT website. If you are interested in management you will want to continue your studies and earn your Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy.