Bachelors Degree in Occupational Therapy
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Occupational therapy is becoming an in-demand profession because of its increasing employment in healthcare institutions like hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and many others. The job outlook in this field is 33% and the median annual wage can reach up to $, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm). If you like to pursue this career, you have to know the job responsibilities of occupational therapists and complete the minimum level of education required by the government.
Responsibilities of Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists should possess a lot of patience and interpersonal skills in order to successfully improve the lives of patients having physical, psychological, emotional, and development disabilities. Their role as a healthcare professional is to help the patient recover from his/her disability and improve or develop skills in order to perform the activities of daily living. Occupational therapists aim to make their patients productive and independent in doing their routine activities. They need to work in collaboration with physicians and other members of the healthcare team so that a faster recovery is
A master’s degree program is the minimum requirement of aspiring occupational therapists. This has to be completed in a school accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (www.aota.org/) in order to be eligible for the certification exam. Prior to admission, schools require a student to complete a Bachelor’s degree with subjects in anatomy, biology, physiology, chemistry or any related field. The Bachelor’s degree program usually takes 4 years of full time education and it is also a combination of classroom learning and clinical rotations.
There are some schools that offer B.S. and M.S. in occupational therapy at the same time. This kind of degree program provides opportunities for students who want to pursue an occupational therapy profession but do not have a Baccalaureate degree in the related field. This takes 5 years of completion with 6 months of fieldwork supervision. Those who have finished the Master’s Degree program in occupational therapy but wished to advance their career can pursue a Doctoral level education. A more advanced degree means an additional credential and opportunities in the healthcare field.
A Higher Education Pays Off
Certainly there are vast opportunities in the healthcare field whenever an occupational therapist decides to advance his/her degree and gain more credentials. Healthcare institutions offer higher compensation for those who have earned a doctoral level or post graduate studies. However, this will vary on the institution or specialization that an occupational therapist is in. Most of the time, occupational therapists who have years of experience and have undergone rigorous trainings or education are promoted. They are the ones who tend to get the highest position in the field and have the highest pay among colleagues.
Why Choose Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy can give you career growth and stability. In this time wherein economic recession is apparent almost anywhere, it is important to secure a well compensating job in order to suffice day-to-day needs. However, going through several educational programs is necessary to become a licensed occupational therapist.