Online Occupational Therapy Programs may be a good fit for working adults who wish to pursue licensure as Occupational Therapists but don’t have time to attend traditional classes.
Students must graduate from a recognized occupational therapy program and fulfill their fieldwork requirements before they may apply for licensure.
Afterward, they must apply for and pass the National Board of Certified Organizations of Teachers. In the following state or jurisdiction, an individual may register for a state-issued license and pay a fee to practice law.
A patient who has been wounded, sickened, or has a handicap can benefit from the services of an occupational therapist, who can assist them in developing or regaining daily living skills.
Demand for occupational therapy is expected to expand by 17 percent over the next ten years, making it a promising sector to work in.
There are a variety of online degree programs available that allow students to pursue a career in this lucrative sector.
Students wishing to pursue a Ph.D. in occupational therapy will be required to complete a residency program.
Alternatively, students can enroll in online bachelor’s degree programs in occupational therapy assistant training to prepare for a career in the field.
Discover the finest OT schools, examine program specifics, and learn what it takes to achieve a degree in occupational therapy programs online.
What are the benefits of occupational therapy programs online?
One of the advantages of online Occupational Therapy programs is that students may finish the same credits as those earned in an on-campus program from any location in the globe in the majority of circumstances.
In general, this work-friendly environment affords a great deal of freedom. Additionally, some colleges require students to complete their tasks on their own time to prepare for live online courses.
During these sessions, students have the opportunity to collaborate with instructors and classmates on their studies.
Additionally, the same framework may be utilized to create virtual office hours on the internet. So students pursuing their occupational therapy degree online may find that they can work at their speed, and remain motivated while still making some valuable contacts.
What is the minimum educational need to practice occupational therapy?
Online occupational therapy programs are available at the master’s and doctorate levels, as well as at the undergraduate level.
Both of these degrees are regarded to be entry-level degree standards for occupational therapy practice by the American Occupational Therapy Association, which is a professional organization.
Having said that, the majority of people who work in the profession have a master’s degree in occupational therapy.
People who desire to refine their clinical area of specialization (for example, pediatric occupational therapy) or seek a career in research and academia may choose to continue their education with a Ph.D. or clinical doctorate.
In most cases, online master’s degree courses in occupational therapy are aimed at students who also have a bachelor’s degree in the field, and some programs offer a double feature that allows students to acquire both their bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and their master’s degree in occupational therapy in an accelerated program.
In most cases, students must first finish prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, mathematics, statistics, and psychology, among other subjects, before enrolling in occupational therapy master’s programs online.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many schools also require prospective graduate students to have previous volunteer or job experience in the subject.
- Courses that are required
An online master’s degree in occupational therapy would often contain courses in neurology, rehabilitation science, therapeutic skills, and kinesiology, which is the study of human movement, among other things.
The primary responsibility of an occupational therapist is to collaborate with patients to improve their physical and mental functioning.
Students pursuing their occupational therapy master’s degree online must spend a significant amount of time working directly with patients to hone their skills.
All recognized online occupational therapy master’s programs require students to complete a least 24 weeks of supervised fieldwork in nursing homes, hospitals, or other healthcare institutions.
Requirements for obtaining a license
To practice occupational therapy, most states require that occupational therapists receive a doctorate and pass a licensing examination.
To be eligible to sit for the certification examination, students must complete their degree and the required fieldwork before submitting their application to the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, a non-profit certifying body.
In addition, most jurisdictions require occupational therapists to participate in continuing education courses to keep their licenses current. Some Illustration courses are;
- Kinesiology in clinical practice
- Accessible technology and ergonomics
- Developmental implications on one’s way of life
- Process of occupational treatment for the entire family
- Principles of human mobility
Job Prospects and Earnings
Occupational therapists, who work with senior patients to treat anything from arthritis to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disorders, will see significant job growth as the baby boomer generation continues to live longer and work longer than ever before.
- Industries to watch
Occupational therapists work in a range of health-care settings, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job prospects will be particularly favorable in acute-care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and orthopedic facilities, where senior patients are often seen.
They can also operate in the offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists, as well as audiologists, in addition to working in schools and nursing homes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Possibilities for employment
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapists should expect a rise in roles that entail dealing with patients who have autism spectrum disorder, in addition to an increase in opportunities that require working with elderly patients.
Occupational therapists may be employed in schools to assist children with autism spectrum disorders in developing social skills and completing everyday chores.
Knowing where one’s professional passion rests is the most crucial thing a person can do when they are fresh out of school. They must be looking for something that will thrill them professionally when they are starting.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical compensation for occupational therapists can range from around $71,000 to $90,000, depending on the work context.
- Associations of professionals
Benefits provided by the American Occupational Therapy Association include continuing education, career assistance, and access to publications covering the subject of occupational therapy.
Beyond delivering the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy’s entry certification test, the organization provides professional development tools and specialty credentials for occupational therapists.
The Top 6 Occupational Therapy Programs Online
There is no specific sequence in which they are listed;
1 . University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Since 1946, the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities and Rochester campuses have been accredited for their Occupational Therapy programs! It is given in a hybrid style, which includes both on-campus and online laboratories.
Over the previous three years, the curriculum has resulted in a graduation rate that has been close to 100%, according to university officials.
Accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education is granted to this doctoral-level program, which is completed over nine semesters (ACOTE).
Body Structure and Function I, Professional Development in Occupational Therapy, Quantitative Research in Occupational Therapy, Older Adults, Children and Youth, and Assistive Technology & Orthotics in Occupational Therapy Practice are examples of courses. In the final semester, all efforts will be directed toward completing the necessary capstone project.
- Credits: 116
- The duration is 37 months.
- In-state students pay $1,027 per credit; out-of-state students pay $1,543 per credit (out-of-state)
- Mode of operation: partially online
- Accreditation: HLC, ACOTE
- Concordia University – Wisconsin
The online Master’s in Occupational Therapy program at Concordia University in Wisconsin may be the best option for people who desire to combine their Christian faith with their professional development.
Please keep in mind that this is a hybrid curriculum. Psychosocial Practice, Rehabilitation Science, and Special Topics in Occupational Therapy are among the courses offered, as are two fieldwork experiences.
Also, the degree may be finished in about 2.5 years if you work hard. It is anticipated that graduates of the program will be prepared to take the National Certification Exam for the Occupational Therapist. The expedited 4.5-year combined BSRS/MOT degree offered by the institution is an excellent option for students who do not already hold a Bachelor’s degree.
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association has granted accreditation to the CU-Wisconsin Master of Occupational Therapy program (AOTA).
- The ratio of students to faculty: 12 to 1.
- Tuition is $11,052 per year.
- The University of Texas at Tyler
Students who are currently Certified Occupational Therapy Aides can pursue a Masters of Occupational Therapy degree at the University of Texas at Tyler (COTAs).
It delivers curriculum through a combination of online and on-campus delivery methods and encourages self-directed learning through participation in scholarly and professional activities. Five semesters of classroom instruction are followed by two 12-week fieldwork experiences, resulting in a program completion time of five semesters.
Graduates will be able to appear for the National Board of Certification for Occupational Therapy registration test after completing their coursework.
There are several prerequisites for applying, including a year of full-time COTA experience, two letters of recommendation from certified occupational therapists, current COTA licensing, an acceptable GRE score, and an on-campus interview.
- Credits: 68
- Duration: two years
- Cost: $100 per credit (in-state), $860 per credit (out-of-state) (out-of-state)
- Mode of operation: partially online
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACOTE
- Trinity Washington University (in Washington, D.C.)
Occupational therapy students at Trinity Washington University can earn a Master’s degree online at a reasonable cost.
It is planned to provide the curriculum in three stages: weekend sessions, online classes, and a community placement component. After five semesters of full-time education, students will be required to participate in two 12-week fieldwork internships.
A variety of courses are offered, such as Occupational Development Across the Lifespan, Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology, Pediatric Interventions, Psychological/Behavioral Foundations and Intervention, and others.
The American Occupational Therapy Association’s Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) has recognized the MOT program as having met its standards (AOTA).
- 12 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio
- Tuition: $14,310
- Barry University
In Barry University’s quick online Masters in Occupational Therapy program, students will undergo both on-campus and online requirements.
Students will be required to attend campus for teaching on two weekends per month and then finish courses online.
Occupational therapy courses such as Conditions in Later Life, Legal and Ethical Issues in Occupational Therapy, Conditions in Childhood 2, and Activities of Daily Living: Strategies for Special Needs are among the options.
After the first and second years of study, a 12-week fieldwork experience will be needed. It is possible to complete the curriculum in 2.5 years.
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association has recognized Barry University’s Occupational Therapy Program as a nationally recognized program (AOTA).
- The ratio of students to faculty: 12 to 1.
- Tuition: $17,820
- Belmont University
If you’re seeking an expedited Master’s in Occupational Therapy program, go no further than Belmont University’s hybrid MSOT degree program.
During the length of the program, students will only be needed to attend courses every third weekend, with the remainder of the content offered entirely online. The online MSOT degree may be completed in six consecutive semesters if you work hard and study hard.
Physiology and Clinical Pathophysiology, Neuroscience in OT, Kinesiology in OT, and Developmental Influences on Living are some of the courses available.
Students will be assigned three Level 1 fieldwork experiences and two Level 2 fieldwork experiences.
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education has granted accreditation to Belmont University’s Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program (ACOTE).
- The ratio of students to faculty: 14 to 1.
- Tuition: $22,680
FAQs about Online Occupational Therapy Programs
Here are the perfect answers to most asked questions about occupational therapy programs online;
- What is an Occupational Therapy Fast Master’s Degree?
In becoming an occupational therapist, you must first get a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. To apply for a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, you must first get a Bachelor’s degree.
While you can technically major in any undergrad discipline, it is prudent to choose one that is connected to the areas offered in occupational therapy graduate schools. Undergraduate majors in biology, kinesiology, health sciences, exercise science, liberal arts, or psychology, for example, might be advantageous.
- What are the entry requirements for online quick MOT degrees?
Admission to graduate schools in occupational therapy is somewhat tough. While admission criteria for each program differ, the following are some that you may encounter:
- a strong college GPA: you must have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA (some programs need even higher GPAs, such as 3.3+).
- hours volunteered as an occupational therapy assistant
- an acceptable grade point average on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
- recommendation letters
- Students must graduate from an occupational therapy program authorized by the American Occupational Therapy Association to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy certification test.
- When I earn a Master’s degree in occupational therapy, am I instantly licensed to practice?
That is not the case! To begin, you must pass the NBCOT certification exam.
- Is an internship or practicum required?
Without a doubt. Whichever simple Occupational Therapy online program you pick, you will be required to do fieldwork. Typically, you’ll participate in two 12-week field experiences.
- Is an MOT/MSOT degree considered terminal?
The phrase “terminal degree” refers to the most advanced degree available in a certain profession. Thus, an MOT or MSOT degree is not a terminal degree due to the availability of a doctoral-level degree.
- Is it necessary for me to earn a Ph.D. in occupational therapy?
This will rely on your career goals after earning your Master’s in OT. Are you interested in teaching? Do you wish to conduct research? If this is the case, you may like to continue your OTD online degree.
If you do not, and a more hands-on profession is vital to you, an OTD degree may not be necessary.
However, because all disciplines and needs vary and change, it is critical to always conduct an academic study before pursuing a specific subject.
A final thought about the Online Occupational Therapy Programs
The majority of occupational therapy graduates enter clinical practice, which means they work directly with patients.
However, other individuals may choose to apply their knowledge and talents in non-clinical settings, such as healthcare administration, case management, or education.
Additionally, occupational therapists might pursue a variety of alternate employment choices. Certain occupational therapists may be interested in self-employment as life or wellness coaches, medical equipment sales associates, assistive technology experts who work with prostheses and other devices, or social workers.
Finally, after weighing the advantages and disadvantages of occupational therapy as a career and the academic options available for each of the field’s most common occupations, potential occupational therapy students must make their choices based on their situation, goals, and capital backing.