Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy
One of the most lucrative and in-demand positions in the field of Human Services and the sub-specialization of healthcare services is that of the Occupational Therapist (OT). Whether you plan on entering into a private practice and working with clients one on one, or joining an established practice or Health organization, you will need to acquire your Masters in Occupational Therapy from an accredited institution of higher learning. The Occupational Therapy (OT) field is expected to grow considerably faster than the economy at large over the next 10 years according to the BLS. It also offers extremely good pay for licensed Occupational Therapists. The job itself can be challenging, but is incredibly rewarding as you help to empower your clients to become self-sufficient with the help of interventions and technological adaptations. If you have a desire to help people who are working to recover from injuries or deal with chronic conditions that create obstacles to achieving self-sufficiency you may find that a career as an Occupational Therapist (OT) is a perfect fit for you.
The work force has increasingly become a highly educated and highly mobile group of professionals that has created intense competition for available work. This is due in part to the response to the economic downturn of 2007/08 in which many lost their jobs, saw their places of work shut down or were laid off. The response by many people who had lost their job was to return to institutions of higher learning and earn advanced degrees. The end results of this sea change in the economy was an extremely well educated workforce that in turn made employers shift their hiring practices. It is said that “The Master’s degree is the new Bachelor’s” which is a reference to how the work force is so highly educated that having a Bachelor’s degree does not guarantee that one can find a viable career. Indeed, this is an employer’s market and increasingly jobs that went to candidates with High School diplomas or even Bachelor’s degrees just a few years ago, are now almost exclusively going to candidates that hold a Master’s degree in a highly relevant field. This has made it imperative that one continue schooling until they have their Master’s degree to ensure they are employable when leaving school.
As an Occupational Therapist (OT) you will have access to a wide variety of jobs across the country. If you are looking for a career that is in high demand and is expected to grow considerably over the next ten years, then Occupational Therapist (OT) is an excellent career to pursue. This will require that you earn your Bachelors of Occupational Therapy, or a highly related degree. Once you have your Bachelor’s degree you will want to find out what if any supplementary experience or pre-requisites you may need to successfully be accepted into a Graduate program. This will vary from school to school so you will want to contact several different programs to make sure that you are eligible. One requirement that is universal in addition to a Bachelor’s degree in a highly related field is completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and a sufficiently high score (this will vary from program to program).
Once you have completed your Master’s program you will want to contact the licensing board of the state in which you plan on working to make sure you have met all the pre-requisites to take your National Certification Examination (NCE). This is exam was created by and is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Once you have attained licensure in your state you will have tremendous choice in terms of what kind of organization you wish to work within. This career is in such high demand that you will also be highly mobile and can move to other cities without much effort than making sure you have the appropriate licensure for that state. Finding work in another city within your state will be extremely easy and allows for you to have real flexibility in terms of work environments. It is a perfect job for the highly mobile 21st century professional and gives you a sense of professional freedom and standard of living that few other professions can match. It also offers an excellent yearly earning potential that is extremely good compared to many other careers requiring a Master’s degree. When you combine all of these different aspects of the job, there are few careers that are more rewarding and allow for greater flexibility than that of an Occupational Therapist (OT), which in turn makes a Master’s in Occupational Therapy one of the most lucrative and wise educational routes one can take.