Thursday, March 8, 2012

How Becoming an Occupational Therapist?

If you are looking for a career that will provide you stability and instant gratification, then you should be an occupational therapist. According to the Labor Statistics Bureau, there will be an increased demand and continuous need for occupational therapists in the coming years. This is indeed a good reason to become an OT.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

It is important to be knowledgeable about the duties of an occupational therapist before considering becoming one. OTs or occupational therapists are professionals with skills on helping people regain their strength and physical abilities. An OT is usually required by people who had suffered from accidents, any mental illness or brain injury.


It is a requirement for an individual to complete a college education in social work, psychology or occupational therapy in order to become an occupational therapist. Technical colleges, normal colleges and universities offer these programs. Generally, you will need two formal years of schooling plus work experience. Degree programs for occupational therapists in universities may last up to four years, and there are extra courses that may be offered that may serve as program extension of up to six years.

Prerequisites to being an Occupational Therapist

Licensing requirements may vary in different states for occupational therapy practice. It is mandatory that the individual passes a licensure exam in the state to become a registered OT. Therefore, it is highly important that the individual is well aware of the state requirements on occupational therapy licensure, as well as have the proper education and experience necessary before applying.

It is also important to have the right emotional quotient to fulfill the role of an OT properly. Compassion and patience must be innate in the individual to be able to relate to the patients. The therapist may need to be educated and mentored on how to deal with patients professionally and personally.

Keeping Updated as an OT

Once you decide to start your degree as an OT, you have to be updated with the technologies and new theories regarding the job for you to become efficient and effective. It is highly recommended that you participate in seminars, lectures and part time courses so that you can keep yourself abreast on any developments in the industry.

If you are a nurse or a personal support worker, you can make the transition into being an OT. You can request for academic credits from colleges or universities for previous education and work experience you have. By doing this, you will have the opportunity to have less subject units required in order to complete your occupational therapist educational program. This may entail an easier program which can help you complete the course earlier than usual.

Educational Requirements

The rigorous education is meant to prepare you as an OT to help many different kinds of patients with all sorts of disabilities. According to statistics, 18% of the American population, or about 52 million people, have one form of disability or another. 32 million of these people have severe disabilities. This statistics may be unsettling, but it is a fact. This is the reason why occupational therapists are increasingly becoming in demand, primarily because they can make a big difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

With the professional assistance of an OT, disabled people can be helped to live and work in spite of their situation. With rehabilitative programs, the patients can be helped to restore their homemaking, vocational and daily skills to gain more independence from their disabilities.


Aside from the chance to directly help people with disabilities, one of the biggest factors why many people pursue a career as an occupational therapist is the salary. There are many job opportunities for licensed and registered occupational therapists.

There is a huge demand for OTs in acute hospitals, rehabilitation centers and orthopedic institution because of the increasing numbers of geriatric population in these settings.


  1. To become a occupational therapist we have to take a education of occupational therapy through good institutions.

  2. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say wonderful blog! Gakuran