Occupational Therapist Education Requirements And Degrees

There are several education requirements to become an Occupational Therapist. Occupational Therapists usually study Occupational Therapy, Psychology or Health Sciences And Services. 55% of Occupational Therapists hold a Bachelor's Degree and 37% hold a Master's Degree. We found these by analyzing 22,778 Occupational Therapist resumes to investigate the topic of Occupational Therapist education more precisely.

The most common colleges for students to pursue their goal of becoming an Occupational Therapist are Western Michigan University and Eastern Kentucky University.

For those who would rather stay in your pajamas during the day, we prepared some online courses that can help in Occupational Therapist education paths.

We prepared a list of an Occupational Therapist certifications that you should consider. The necessary certifications that Occupational Therapists must have to succeed are Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

What Degree Should I Get to Become an Occupational Therapist ?

The most common degree for Occupational Therapists is Bachelor's Degree 55% of Occupational Therapists earn that degree. A close second is Master's Degree with 37% and rounding it off is Associate Degree with 5%.

  • Bachelors, 55%
  • Masters, 37%
  • Associate, 5%
  • Doctorate, 1%
  • Other Degrees, 2%
Occupational Therapist DegreePercentages
Bachelors55.3%
Masters37.5%
Associate4.9%
Doctorate1.2%
High School Diploma0.5%

What Should I Major in to Become an Occupational Therapist ?

Most Occupational Therapists, 74% to be exact, major in Occupational Therapy. Some other common majors for an Occupational Therapist include Psychology and Health Sciences And Services majors.

Occupational Therapist MajorPercentages
Occupational Therapy74.4%
Psychology7.3%
Health Sciences And Services3.2%
Kinesiology2.9%
Rehabilitation Science1.7%

Check Jobs That Match To Your Education

None
High School / GED
Associate
Bachelor's
Master's
Doctorate

Most Common Colleges for Occupational Therapist

Here are the most common colleges for an Occupational Therapist career in the US based on their resumes. Advocates often get their degree in Western Michigan University, Eastern Kentucky University, and San Jose State University .

Western Michigan University

Eastern Kentucky University

San Jose State University

Texas Woman's University

Quinnipiac University

Occupational Therapist Common CollegePercentages
Western Michigan University8.30%
Eastern Kentucky University7.28%
San Jose State University6.59%
Texas Woman's University6.48%
Quinnipiac University5.91%

Average Occupational Therapist Salary by Education Level

Occupational Therapists with a Bachelors degree earn more than those without, at $74,728 annually. With a Masters degree, Occupational Therapists earn a median annual income of $73,016.

Bachelor's Degree

Master's Degree

Occupational Therapist Education LevelOccupational Therapist Salary
Bachelor's Degree$74,728
Master's Degree$73,016

Occupational Therapist JOBS

10 Best Universities For Occupational Therapists

In a lot of cases, a higher education can mean a higher salary or even a better job. That's why we found out the best colleges for Occupational Therapists. We based this list on these metrics: admissions rate, retention rate, mean earnings of students working, ratio of working vs. non-working students 10 years after admission, average cost of attendance and median debt for graduates.

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. Tufts University

Medford, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,382
Enrollment
5,597

7. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

8. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

10. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

20 Best Online Courses for Occupational Therapists

Sometimes things are just better when you get to stay in your pajamas all day. That includes school. We found top courses for Occupational Therapists from Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go that will help you advance in your career. Here are essential skills you need to be a Occupational Therapist:

  • Patient Care
  • Treatment Plans
  • Facility
If you want to improve Occupational Therapists skills these courses could help you in this.

Advertising Disclosure
advertising-disclosure
Occupational Therapy Introduction - ACCREDITED CERTIFICATE
udemy
4.7
(385)

How to become occupational therapist, basic Psychology, Physiology & Anatomy, working with disabilities, children adults...

Prehospital care of acute stroke and patient selection for endovascular treatment using the RACE scale
coursera

Acute stroke is a time-dependent medical emergency. In acute ischemic stroke, the first objective is to restore brain flow using sistemic thrombolytic treatment and, in patients with large vessel occlusion, by endovascular treatment. In hemorrhagic stroke there are also specific treatments that can improve the clinical outcome. The sooner the initiation of all these therapies the higher the clinical benefit. Thus, the organization of Stroke Code systems coordinated between emergency medical syst...

Vohra Wound Care Certification for Facility-Based Nurses
edX (Global)

The Vohra Wound Care Certification program was developed by Vohra Wound Physicians. Vohra is the largest group of wound physicians in the United States, with more than 20 years of clinical experience providing wound care services to more than 3000 skilled nursing facilities in 30 states, with thousands of patients treated every month. We believe every patient, family, nurse, and caregiver can be empowered through education. Hundreds of thousands of people have already benefited from this course...

ISO 45001. Occupational Health & Safety management system
udemy
4.5
(2,543)

Build a career in occupational health & safety. Learn the requirements of ISO 45001...

Vohra Wound Care Certification for Facility-Based Nurses
edX (Global)

Vohra’s expert physicians developed this advanced wound care program to help you deliver excellent healthcare: Understand the latest, most innovative wound care techniques and treatment options Identify the different types of wounds and recommended treatment plan for non-healing wounds Review the primary wound dressing options and wound care products Treat wound patients confidently, leading to improved medical outcomes Benefit from an enhanced knowledge share from Vohra´s healthcare...

Essentials of Palliative Care
coursera

This course starts you on your journey of integrating primary palliative care into your daily lives. You will learn what palliative care is, how to communicate with patients, show empathy, and practice difficult conversations. You will learn how to screen for distress and provide psychosocial support. You will learn about goals of care and advance care planning and how to improve your success with having these conversations with patients. Finally, you will explore important cultural consideratio...

CBT: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Therapists & Coaches
udemy
4.5
(1,237)

Comprehensive CBT Therapy Training Cognitive Behavior Therapy Practitioner Level Treat Anxiety, Depression & More...

What is Palliative Care?
coursera

Palliative care provides invaluable help for patients living with serious or life-limiting illness and their family caregivers. Palliative care should be part of healthcare services to improve quality of life, the ability to tolerate and benefit from treatment and improve survival. In this course, you will learn about the nature of suffering and how this concept can help you understand the experience of people living with serious illness. Next, you will learn skills to more effectively communica...

Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise
coursera

Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise will introduce learners to the concepts and benefits of physical therapy and exercise. Over six weeks learners will explore: Why physical activity and exercise are important, Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease, Exercise and Osteoporosis, Exercise and Cancer, Common Sports Injuries, Exercise and Arthritis...

Trauma Emergencies and Care
coursera

Welcome to Trauma Emergencies and Care. In this course, you will learn about some of the mechanics and physics of trauma on the human body, and how this can cause injury. You will continue to expand your new vocabulary with medical terminology, and learn how to describe the different injuries you may see. You will also learn about the trauma system itself- and when it is important to transport patients to a trauma center. Then we will dive into specific injuries based on what part of the body ma...

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
udemy
4.5
(1,117)

Learn SFBT skills for creative conversations and better outcomes. With video of live sessions...

Health Informatics for better and safer healthcare
edX (Global)

Healthcare providers around the globe (e.g., doctors, nurses, physical or occupational therapists, etc.) are increasingly relying on health information technology, like electronic health records, for their daily routine tasks. Although using health information technology holds tremendous promises (like personalized and precision medicine to all) it can also result in unforeseen consequences leading to patients’ harm. To fulfill the promise of better and safer care through information...

Massage Therapy
udemy
4.7
(732)

Massage Therapy Course 101...

Interprofessional Education for 21st Century Care
edX (Global)

This curriculum has been developed from focus groups and interviews with non-physician healthcare professionals at one academic medical center. Most focus group participants worked in inpatient acute care: as such, the curriculum is focused primarily on acute inpatient care...

Traditional herbal medicine in supportive cancer care: From alternative to integrative
coursera

Please join us for an exciting and innovative journey, examining one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of the oncology setting: Traditional Herbal Medicine in Supportive Cancer Care. This course is presented with short lectures offering a wide range of issues related to the principles and practice of herbal medicine in cancer care. The course includes interviews with leading world experts from the field of Integrative Oncology, from the U.S. and Canada, as well as Europe, the Mi...

Professional Cupping Therapy Massage Certificate Course
udemy
4.8
(1,439)

Learn Cupping Therapy Massage Today to Treat Your Own Pains, Your Friends, Family Or Massage Clients Effortlessly!...

Introduction to CBT: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
udemy
4.5
(4,168)

Online Counselling & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Training Course...

Bowen Therapy NO MASSAGE Healing Certificate Course (8CEU)
udemy
4.8
(334)

An incredible NO MASSAGE remedial therapy for massage therapists or anyone else that wants to learn how to heal people...

Overview & Management of Parkinson’s Disease
edX (Global)

Are you a nurse, physical therapist or other healthcare professional who wants to learn more about Parkinson’s disease and how this movement disorder is managed? Here are the key areas that will be addressed over 5 modules: Approximately 1 million Americans and an estimated 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease (PD); PD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and while the exact cause is unknown, there are some known risk factors; PD is characterized by a variety...

Applying Health Coaching in Patient Care
edX (Global)

For health practitioners, having knowledge of treatment protocols is not enough. They must be able to inspire behavior change in their patients. In order for the treatment to be effective patients must be empowered to implement therapeutic approaches in their lives. In this course, you will learn about health coaching, which is an effective method for helping patients change their behaviors. Health coaching uses a blend of evidence-based strategies, interventions and communication to actively...

Best Occupational Therapist Certifications in 2022

1. Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR)

Is a not-for-profit credentialing agency that provides certification for the occupational therapy profession. NBCOT® serves the public interest by developing, administering and continually reviewing a certification process that reflects current standards of competent practice in occupational therapy. We also work with state regulatory authorities, providing information on credentials, disciplinary actions, and regulatory and certification renewal issues.

Is a not-for-profit credentialing agency that provides certification for the occupational therapy profession. NBCOT® serves the public interest by developing, administering and continually reviewing a certification process that reflects current standards of competent practice in occupational therapy. We also work with state regulatory authorities, providing information on credentials, disciplinary actions, and regulatory and certification renewal issues.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 5 year(s)

2. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)

Is a not-for-profit credentialing agency that provides certification for the occupational therapy profession. NBCOT® serves the public interest by developing, administering and continually reviewing a certification process that reflects current standards of competent practice in occupational therapy. We also work with state regulatory authorities, providing information on credentials, disciplinary actions, and regulatory and certification renewal issues.

Is a not-for-profit credentialing agency that provides certification for the occupational therapy profession. NBCOT® serves the public interest by developing, administering and continually reviewing a certification process that reflects current standards of competent practice in occupational therapy. We also work with state regulatory authorities, providing information on credentials, disciplinary actions, and regulatory and certification renewal issues.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 5 year(s)
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy (OT)
udemy
4.2
(55)

3. Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)

Train to be a certified nurse assistant working with other health care professionals to provide quality care for elderly or sick individuals in nursing homes and hospitals and at home.

Train to be a certified nurse assistant working with other health care professionals to provide quality care for elderly or sick individuals in nursing homes and hospitals and at home.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? 
Certifying Website
Certified Nurse Assistant
Certifying Organization
American Red Cross

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming An Occupational Therapist

Top 10 Affordable Universities For Occupational Therapists

If those top 10 were a bit out of your price range, you might want to check these schools instead. After factoring in in-state tuition and fees, average cost of attendance, admissions rate, average net price and mean earnings after 6 years, we found that these are the most affordable schools for Occupational Therapists.

1. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,620
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,136

2. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$13,998

3. Florida International University

Miami, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,556
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$19,434

4. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,656
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,623

5. University of Colorado Denver

Denver, CO • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,283
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$22,243

6. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$24,718

7. Augusta University

Augusta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,604
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$20,618

8. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,796
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$24,514

9. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,306

10. Tarleton State University

Stephenville, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,292
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$20,387

Top 10 Hardest Universities To Get Into For Occupational Therapists

Some people like a challenge. Well, we challenge you to get into one of these schools. It's not going to be easy. We know this based on these institutions' admissions rates, average SAT scores accepted, median ACT scores accepted and mean earnings of students 6 years after admission.

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

Admissions Rate
8%
SAT Average
1,508

2. Tufts University

Medford, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
15%
SAT Average
1,461

3. Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
47%
SAT Average
1,321

4. Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
51%
SAT Average
1,395

5. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
22%
SAT Average
1,420

6. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

Admissions Rate
15%
SAT Average
1,506

7. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
19%
SAT Average
1,466

8. University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
59%
SAT Average
1,367

9. Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, MO • Private

Admissions Rate
58%
SAT Average
1,304

10. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
42%
SAT Average
1,326
RankSchoolLocation
1Northwestern UniversityEvanston, IL
2Tufts UniversityMedford, MA
3Loyola Marymount UniversityLos Angeles, CA
4Southern Methodist UniversityDallas, TX
5Boston UniversityBoston, MA

Top 10 Easier To Apply Universities For Occupational Therapists

Why make getting a job harder on yourself than it has to be? With these colleges, you're sure to be accepted in no time. We compiled admissions rates, average SAT scores, average ACT scores and average salary of students 6 years after graduation in order to uncover which were the easiest schools to get into.

1. AdventHealth University

Orlando, FL • Private

Admissions Rate
87%
SAT Average
1,016

2. Notre Dame de Namur University

Belmont, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
82%
SAT Average
983

3. D'Youville College

Buffalo, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
100%
SAT Average
1,072

4. Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
84%
SAT Average
1,031

5. Barry University

Miami, FL • Private

Admissions Rate
91%
SAT Average
1,006

6. Ottawa University

Ottawa, KS • Private

Admissions Rate
78%
SAT Average
1,024

7. Kean University

Union, NJ • Private

Admissions Rate
86%
SAT Average
991

8. Albertus Magnus College

New Haven, CT • Private

Admissions Rate
58%
SAT Average
931

9. University of the Incarnate Word

San Antonio, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
88%
SAT Average
1,044

10. Clarke University

Dubuque, IA • Private

Admissions Rate
82%
SAT Average
1,058
RankSchoolLocation
1AdventHealth UniversityOrlando, FL
2Notre Dame de Namur UniversityBelmont, CA
3D'Youville CollegeBuffalo, NY
4Mount Saint Mary's UniversityLos Angeles, CA
5Barry UniversityMiami, FL

Occupational Therapist Internship Jobs

Occupational Therapist Jobs