Preparing for a career in occupational therapy

Occupational therapists help people maximize their ability to participate in life independently. With occupational therapy, children and adults facing physical, cognitive, or psychosocial challenges can improve skills that help them perform daily activities (“occupations”) at home, school, work, and play. Occupational therapy does not simply treat medical conditions. OTs develop individual treatment plans to fit a patient’s goals and help people stay engaged in activities that give them pleasure and meaning. 

If you are thinking about becoming an occupational therapist, in addition to completing a set of prerequisite coursework, you will also need to develop good communication and interpersonal skills for your work with patients. You should plan your college education with the goal of building a diverse set of skills and select a major that challenges and interests you.
 
The website of the American Occupational Therapy Association has an excellent collection of resources for anyone considering a career in occupational therapy.

Transition from Master’s to Doctorate level degrees #

Please note that occupational therapy programs are transitioning from master’s level Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) programs to Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) programs. By the time you apply it is likely that you may be applying to some OTD programs. See the section below on deciding between a master’s or a doctorate in occupational therapy.