Occupational Therapist Schools and Degree Programs
If one has decided that a career in occupational therapy is his or her goal, then the individual will need to find the right school and degree to make this career a reality. There are many, many choices as to what exact type of occupational therapy to go into, so an individual should have a good idea of where he or she wishes to work and what type of people he or she wishes to work with. However, this knowledge is not necessary before pursuing an education. Most degrees are general in nature and can be followed by specialized training or specialized degrees that enable the individual to work in his or her field or workplace of choice.
Occupational Therapy Schools:
There are many schools that offer occupational therapy programs and degrees, but there are also many different types of programs as well. Entry level master’s programs and entry level doctorate programs are those that prepare students for entry level occupational therapy positions of various types. These degrees are general in nature, and those who are awarded the degree may choose a specialty or practice area at a later time. Those interested in pursuing a doctoral degree must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a related field though this is not a requirement. Some programs will require a specific bachelor’s degree, so it is important to be aware of the standards and expectations of any program one is considering applying for.
Other schools offer developing and applicant programs. These are occupational programs that have not yet been accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Developing programs have completed at least the first of three steps required for accreditation, while applicant programs are, as the name implies, seeking accreditation. These programs will need to be fully developed before they are able to admit students into more advanced and necessary occupational therapy programs. Individuals should know the status of the school they are interested in and should choose wisely.
In addition to these there are also post professional programs and weekend programs. Post professional programs are designed for those individuals who already have a job in occupational therapy and wish to receive a higher or more specialized degree. Weekend programs are for those who wish to pursue a degree in occupational therapy but who are unable, due to commitments, cost, or a variety of other factors, to commit to a traditional schooling schedule. Unfortunately, there are not currently any accredited distance or online occupational therapy programs available, so individuals should avoid any online “schools” that claim they have an occupational therapy program.