Questions About Becoming an Occupational Therapist

How Long Does It Take To Become A Registered Occupational Therapist?

Becoming a registered occupational therapist can take 5-11 years. Most occupational therapists enter the occupation with a master's degree in occupational therapy.

Master's programs usually take two to three years to complete, and doctoral programs can take about three and a half years. However, some schools offer dual-degree programs in which the student earns a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in five years.

Is Becoming An Occupational Therapist Hard?

Yes, becoming an occupational therapist can be hard. Because it has specific requirements, examinations, and requires a license, it can take a lot of time and money.

Most occupational therapists enter the field with a master's degree. Master's degree programs are typically 2-3 years, and tuition can be costly. Before taking the required NBCOT exam, there are also fieldwork requirements, which cost over $500.

Is Occupational Therapy A Dying Field?

No, occupational therapy is not a dying field. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is projected to grow 17 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average (about eight percent) for all occupations.

Occupational Therapist Assistant Vs Physical Therapist Assistant

An occupational therapist assistant is a professional who aims to help people learn to complete tasks for independent living and carrying out job functions, while a physical therapist assistant is a professional that helps patients regain a range of motion, strength, and flexibility in affected areas of the body.

Occupational Therapist Vs Speech Therapist

An occupational therapist is a medical professional who treats patients from head to toe, while a speech therapist is a professional who is narrowly focused on treating complications that affect a patient's speech, language, and swallowing ability.

Occupational Therapist Vs Physical Therapist

Occupational therapists are individuals focused on improving the patient's ability to perform activities needed for daily living, while physical therapists help injured or ill people improve movement and manage pain.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being An Occupational Therapist?

The pros and cons of being an occupational therapist relate to compensation and benefits, job security, and educational requirements.

Here are the top pros and cons of being an occupational therapist:

What Pays More Ot Or Pt?

A physical therapist (PT) is paid a little more than an occupational therapist (OT).

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for PTs in 2020 was $91,010, whereas, for OTs, it was $86,280. However, as most jobs go, it depends on factors like location. Nevada is a top-paying state for both PTs and OTs, but it pays OTs more, possibly because of a scarcer number of OTs employed.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be An Occupational Therapist?

The minimum qualifications to be an occupational therapist are completing Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE(r))-accredited educational program and passing the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.

Questions About Occupational Therapist Salaries

Can Occupational Therapists Make Six Figures?

Yes, occupational therapists can make six figures. However, it depends strongly on industry, location, and experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paid industry in 2020 is Child Day Care Services, with the annual mean wage at $106,070. The second and third highest-paid industries are Management of Companies and Enterprises ($99,850) and Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly ($94,360).

Questions About Occupational Therapist Jobs

Are Occupational Therapists Happy?

Yes, occupational therapists are happy in most cases. Here are some factors that contribute to the happiness of occupational therapists:

  • Compensation and benefits

    Many occupational therapists make good salaries and also receive great employee benefits. The average salary for an occupational therapist in the United States is $82,547 per year. Some can make considerably more than this depending on their location, experience, and employer. Common employee benefits for this role include:

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance plans401(k) plan Paid time offReimbursement for their license

    In addition, some occupational therapists choose to specialize in a particular area, and this often results in higher salaries and extra employee benefits.

  • Job security

    Occupational therapists are in high demand, and it is likely they will continue to be needed to help people recovering from injuries or people with chronic medical conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a 17% growth rate for this field in the next 10 years, which is higher than the average growth rate.

  • They can specialize in the field

    As was touched on above, occupational therapists have the opportunity to specialize in certain areas. This requires extra training, but those that go this route can find more job opportunities and often even better pay. There are many specializations in this field, here are some examples:

  • Aquatic exercise PediatricsGerontologyAssistive technologyHippotherapist

    Specializing increases an occupational therapist's toolkit and enables them to help more patients.

  • Occupational therapists help people

    Many in the field find the work extremely gratifying as they get to help people overcome injuries and improve the physical functionality of their lives. This results in many occupational therapists taking pride in their work and feeling fulfilled at the end of each day.

Do Occupational Therapists Make Good Money?

Yes, occupational therapists generally make good money. Most occupational therapists make above the typical national wages of $56,000.

An entry-level position roughly makes 58,000 in yearly salary and continues to make more depending on industry, location, and experience. For example, California and Nevada are among the top-paying states.

What Is The Highest-paying Occupational Therapy Job?

The highest paying occupational therapy job varies depending on industry, location, and experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapists working in nursing care facilities (or skilled nursing facilities) make about $92,260 in median annual wages in 2020. Home healthcare services are a close second at about $91,830.

What Jobs Can You Get As An Occupational Therapist?

Occupational therapists can get jobs to treat various populations with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.

An occupational therapist is an important step in healthcare to help patients with their skills to live and work. So, they typically work in hospitals or occupational therapy offices and schools. It ultimately depends on the specific certification that they choose to do. Some specialties include aquatic therapeutic exercise, gerontology, and pediatrics.

Questions About Occupational Therapist Resume

What Are The Core Skills Of An Occupational Therapist?

The core skills of an occupational therapist include the right mixture of core professional knowledge and hard and soft skills needed to successfully work with patients who are dealing with new and challenging circumstances in the wake of an illness, injury, or disability.

What Do Occupational Therapists Do, With Examples?

Occupational therapists work with patients to design and implement treatment for problems with movement and coordination.

For example, this can mean helping someone who was recently paralyzed learn new ways of doing things, regain skills and develop new ones, and better adapt to their home or work environment.

What Should An Occupational Therapist Put On A Resume?

An occupational therapist should put skills and accomplishments focused on providing superb patient care on their resume. There are many different ways occupational therapists provide care to their patients.

Questions About Occupational Therapist Skills

Is Occupational Therapy Harder Than Nursing?

Yes, occupation therapy is harder than nursing because it has more education requirements which take longer to complete. If you are looking for which job has more day-to-day duties, that is definitely nursing, but the actual process of becoming a nurse or occupational therapist is typically easier for nurses.

Questions About What Occupational Therapists Do

How Many Hours Do Occupational Therapists Work?

Occupational therapists have different kinds of hours and shifts depending on the environment they are employed in. Most occupational therapists work full-time hours, with weeks in the traditional 40-hour range. However, there are some occupational therapists that can work more or fewer hours than this, depending on if they are part-time or other factors.

What Does An Occupational Therapist Do On A Daily Basis?

An occupational therapist assesses clients, creates treatment plans, and monitors the progress of clients on a daily basis. Here are some details on the daily activities of an occupational therapist:

Questions About Occupational Therapist How To Become

What Degree Do You Need To Be An Occupational Therapist?

You need a master's degree to be an occupational therapist. Students can earn a bachelor's degree in a related field, like biology or physiology, before advancing to a master's program, or they can apply for a combined bachelor's/master's program.

What Is The Career Path For An Occupational Therapist?

The career path for an occupational therapist involves jobs as a certified nursing assistant (CNA), physical therapist, and occupational therapist. The roles other than an occupational therapist include other backgrounds in terms of education and licensure.