dcsimg

Online Occupational Therapy Degree Programs

For the portion of the population who are injured, ill, disabled or otherwise in need of assistance with day-to-day activities, tools and therapies for personal empowerment can make a big difference in the quality of life. Specialized knowledge and skills are required to recommend the right solutions for each patient, and occupational therapy degree programs help students with the training necessary to make everyday life easier for others.

Occupational Therapist Assisting

Occupational therapists may be called upon to perform a vast variety of specific tasks thanks to the often-unique nature of individual therapy cases, but there are some general responsibilities of the profession common to most jobs:

  • Observing and interviewing patients to evaluate their condition and therapeutic needs
  • Developing treatment and management plans specific to the individual patient
  • Surveying home and workplace environments for ways they can better meet a patient's needs
  • Recommending and training patients on special assistance equipment
  • Assessing and making reports on patient progress

It's necessary to earn at least a master's degree from an accredited occupational therapy program before beginning work in the field. Some therapists continue their education through to the doctoral level. Certain colleges and universities may offer dual-degree programs, which allow students to complete both their bachelor's and master's degrees in 5 years.

Coursework in occupational therapy degree programs

The schedule of courses that lead to occupational therapy degrees tends to vary from institution to institution, but most programs do include instruction on several fundamental concepts. Here's a list of subjects that occupational therapy students can expect to cover while in school:

  • Neuroscience
  • Anatomy
  • Kinesiology
  • Human interactions
  • Age-appropriate occupations
  • Occupational theory
  • Occupational analysis
  • Occupational therapy management

Many occupational therapy degree programs contain a significant amount of clinical practice and fieldwork, which helps students become accustomed to workplace environments. Doctoral programs tend to lean toward preparing students for research and other academic work and may therefore contain less of a hands-on component than master's programs.

Career outlook for professionals with occupational therapy degrees

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that occupational therapy careers should experience very rapid job growth between 2012 and 2022, with a 29 percent increase in employment opportunities leading to a total of nearly 33,000 new jobs. Rising demand for and access to outpatient treatment procedures is cited as a primary driver of growth in the field.

Graduates of occupational therapy degree programs earned a median annual salary of $76,940 in 2013, according to the BLS, with the lowest 10 percent bringing in no more than $51,310 and the top 10 percent taking home $109,380. The industry in which occupational therapists were employed had some influence over their wage expectations, with those working in nursing care facilities earning a median salary of $84,490 and those working in elementary or secondary schools earning a median of $69,390 in 2013.

The skills learned in occupational therapy programs can translate to other careers as well, depending on regional demand, job experience and additional education:

  • Recreational therapists, who use social and community activities for therapeutic purposes, earned a 2013 median salary of $43,180 annually.
  • Physical therapists, who typically need a post-graduate professional degree, but whose methods are somewhat similar to those employed by occupational therapists, earned a median annual salary of $81,030 in 2013.

Sources:
"Occupational Therapists," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, May 14, 2014, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm
"29-1122 Occupational Therapists," Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 14, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291122.htm
"29-1125 Recreational Therapists," Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 14, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291125.htm
"29-1123 Physical Therapists," Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 14, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291123.htm
"Curriculum: Occupational Therapy," Indiana University, Department of Occupational Therapy, http://shrs.iupui.edu/occupational_therapy/degrees/curriculum.html
"Occupational Therapy (MOT)," Nova Southeastern University, http://www.nova.edu/chcs/ot/mot/curriculum.html
"Doctor of Occupational Therapy (DOT)," Nova Southeastern University, http://www.nova.edu/chcs/ot/otd/curriculum.html

Pursue your Occupational Therapy Assisting major today…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Partnerships with thousands of companies
  • Alliances with many national industry associations
  • Personalized career guidance
  • Job market research tools to help you explore your career of interest
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
  • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
  • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
  • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
  • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Among the top 15% of military-friendly colleges, universities, & trade schools in the nation. 
  • A Service Members Opportunities College.
  • Accepts employer tuition assistance. 
  • Recognized by The Princeton Review Guide to 311 Green Colleges as one of 311 institutions of higher education that demonstrates notable commitments to sustainability.  
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc. (NEASC).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
  • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
  • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
  • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses