How do I apply to a university offering an online master’s degree in occupational therapy?
Each college or university has its own set of application requirements. Fees can run from $50 to $150. Most schools require applications via the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). OTCAS fees are $125 for a student’s first program of choice and $45 for each school thereafter.
What are the entrance requirements?
While the particulars may vary, most online OT programs require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree and complete pre-requisite courses in physical sciences, math, medical terminology and statistics. Students may be required to submit previous college transcripts, a resume, graduate test scores, letters of recommendation, and a statement of educational/career goals. The OTCAS application rounds up a student’s application materials and sends them to their target schools.
What are the requirements for earning a degree and how long will it take to graduate?
Online OT schools establish their own curriculum along the lines of the ACOTE accreditation requirements. However, they may meet or exceed the requirements, and consequently run from 50 to 93 total credits, including field work and internships. Hybrid online/campus programs take from two to three years to complete. An online, self-paced course of study may take more time if the student is working on a part-time basis.
What will I study?
Occupational therapy graduate programs focus on didactic training in the core curriculum along with hands-on clinics and internships. Students will find classes in OT theory, clinical kinesiology, human anatomy, OT practice, advanced therapeutic techniques, and treatment for clients across the lifespan from childhood to old age.
How much will my degree cost?
Cost, along with accreditation, is one of the key factors for choosing a school. Our survey found that at the low end, a program at a public university can cost as little as $18,000. Prestigious private schools can charge tuition as high as $80,000. Be sure to investigate each program of interest to learn about any additional costs, such as lab fees, and financial aid.
How much can I expect to earn?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a current salary range from $54,560 to $120,400. The top salaries are offered at nursing care facilities, followed in turn by home healthcare services, professional offices, hospitals and public schools.
Where should I look for a job?
A: Students should build a powerful network of contacts from their fieldwork, as well as lifelong relationships with peers and professors. Members of the American Occupational Therapy Association can use their job board to find openings in their area. In addition, job sites such as Indeed.com list more than 4,500 new OT jobs throughout the U.S.
Can OTs earn additional certifications?
Yes. If theyhave accrued 2,000 hours as anOTR and 600 hours in their specialty, they can gain certifications in gerontology, pediatrics, low vision, driving and community mobility, mental health, school systems, environmental modification, and feeding, eating, and swallowing.
What are similar occupations?
The Department of Labor cites several related professions that require a graduate degree. They include nurse anesthetists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists.