What does an Online Master of Science in Occupational Therapy do? Occupational therapy masters online graduate programs prepare students to assess, plan, organize and participate in rehabilitation, thereby aiding disabled individuals in regaining independence, homemaking and life skills. They work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition.
A master's degree or higher in occupational therapy is the typical minimum requirement for entry into the field. Occupational therapyonline graduate programs teach critical thinking skills and practice principles so that students can learn how to work with diversified populations. Students learn core theories and ethics of practice in occupational therapy programs, and degree completion allows students to sit for the National Board for Certification in occupational therapy exam. Certifications associated with this degree include “OTR”, or Registered Occupational Therapist, and “OTL”, or Licensed Occupational Therapist.
Occupational Therapy Online Graduate Program Admission Requirements
In order to apply for admission to an online master’s program in occupational therapy students must possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Many programs require a minimum GPA as well as an essay and interview prior to admission. The online masters program ranges in length anywhere from one to four years.
Occupational Therapy Online Graduate Program and Curriculum
Occupational therapy programs online tend to favor a generalist approach in order to allow students the freedom to specialize depending on their career path. Clinical experience is a large part of the curriculum, giving students the necessary hands on education in many areas such as:
- Therapeutic skills
- Management and leadership skills
- Work evaluation and preparedness
- Practice issues
- Occupational conditions
- Wellness in lifestyles
- Occupational therapy neuroscience
- Occupational therapy process
Occupational Therapy Future Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics project employment of occupational therapists to grow by 29 percent between 2012 and 2022. Job opportunities are projected to be strong for licensed occupational therapists in all settings, particularly in acute hospital, rehabilitation and orthopedic settings because the elderly receive most of their treatment in these settings. Occupational therapists with specialized knowledge in a treatment area might also experience interesting job prospects.
Occupational Therapist Salary and Career Paths
Online Graduate degrees in Occupational Therapy might lead to potential career opportunities such as occupational therapists, therapy assistants and therapy managers. Industries populated by graduates of this program include but are not limited to; home health care services, nursing care facilities, hospital, in patient and outpatient care centers, and the offices of physicians. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual wages of occupational therapists were $75,400 in 2012. The graph below provides detailed information about the median salary of occupational therapists employed in selected industries.