Occupational Therapy Schools | Find Occupational Therapy online classes and Occupational Therapy programs

Occupational Therapy Schools and Programs

College degree and diploma programs train students for high-growth careers in occupational therapy.

How to Become an Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapy professionals help patients build skills and abilities to cope in everyday life. Patients may have physical, emotional, or developmental disabilities that make their home and work responsibilities challenging. Occupational therapists, assistants, and aides work together to diagnose patient issues, form a strategy for assisting them, and implement the strategy for short- and long-term rehabilitation. Tasks may include (based on academic training, certifications, and experience):
  • Developing a comprehensive treatment plan for emotional, physical, or developmental issues.
  • Providing patient training in basic living skills, occupational skills, or physical rehabilitative exercise.
  • Working with employers to modify a patient's job environment.
  • Coordinating services with schools for rehabilitation of minors with disabilities.
  • Providing physical skill training to assist patients to sit, stand, walk, or drive.

Occupational Therapy Schools, Degrees, and Certifications

Students seeking career training as occupational therapists, occupational therapist aides, and occupational therapist assistants find a wide, progressive range of career training and degree programs from colleges, medical vocational institutions, and trade schools. To become an occupational therapist, you need to complete a master's degree in occupational therapy from an accredited school or college program. Occupational therapist assistants typically need an associate's degree from an accredited trade school or community college. All states require occupational therapists to pass a national certification exam to earn the job title of Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). Most states require occupational therapist assistants to hold a current certification.

Occupational Therapy Wages and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the 2008 median annual wage for occupational therapists at 66,780, while occupational therapist assistants earned a median annual wage of $48,230 in 2008. Jobs for occupational therapists are projected to rise by 23 percent during the 2006-2016 decade.