Occupational Therapist schools prepare you for a career in occupational therapy. This is an exciting career path which will absolutely have you helping people to resume normal, productive lives in spite of any physical or mental challenges that they may be living with.
Before selecting a college for occupational therapy, you should understand the important things to look for in a school, the types of programs that are available, and finally, the various options you have for obtaining your degree and certification.
In order to practice occupational therapy, there is a licensing procedure that must be followed. While each state has its own requirements for licensing, the minimum degree required to be an Occupational Therapist is a Master's level degree in occupational therapy.
When choosing a college, it's very important that you verify that the school is accredited – in other words, that the school is nationally recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association and has been given the authority to give degrees in this field.
Occupational therapist schools often offer many different options for obtaining your education. There are of course, the advanced degrees, which are the Master's level degrees required to practice occupational therapy. In order to enter into a Master's program, you will first need to have completed a Bachelor's degree in either Arts or Sciences, or have a Bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy.
In addition to degree programs, many colleges also offer certification programs that will allow you to further your education and learn more about specialty fields within Occupational Therapy. Some of these certificates include specialization in the elderly, pain management and education.
Keep in mind that Occupational Therapist schools have very strict requirements. In order to be accepted into any degree or certification program, it's important that you maintain high grades and ensure that you have completed the prerequisite coursework necessary to enter into your chosen field of study.
Many people find that they simply do not have the time to go back to school and finish their degree program or specialty certification. As a working professional, it can be difficult to balance the needs of family, work and school. Today, there are many colleges that offer online occupational therapist degrees and certificates.
You may be able to obtain your Master's degree or certification by taking classes over the Internet, instead of learning in a traditional classroom setting. Most colleges that offer online degree programs require very limited on campus study, allowing students to continue working while furthering their education. Online learning is perfect for practicing clinicians that have busy schedules and other life factors that would make learning in a traditional college setting difficult.
In summary, there are some important considerations you'll want to keep in mind when researching occupational therapist schools. The first thing you'll want to do is make sure that you've completed the necessary prerequisites to be accepted into your chosen degree program. This includes many classes in the natural arts and sciences, like biology, physiology and sociology.
Because occupational therapy schools are extremely competitive, you should work towards keeping your grades high in all of your preliminary coursework.
You'll want to ensure that the school you're applying to has received national accreditation. You'll also need to explore the various degree and certification options that the school offers and make sure that you're chosen specialty is being offered.
Finally, if you're already working in the field, you may find that online classes provide a good option for continuing your education while allowing you to work and balance your other commitments.