What is the Best Degree for Becoming an Occupational Therapist?

If you are interested in becoming an occupational therapist, you will need to obtain a master’s degree in occupational therapy. You will also have to obtain the appropriate type of licensure. In this line of work, you will be working with a diverse range of people; however, your overall goal will be to help them recover from illnesses and disabilities so that they can perform everyday living tasks to their fullest potential possible. As an occupational therapist, you will be able to find employment in a number of settings, including hospitals, private doctors’ offices, home healthcare centers, nursing home facilities and more.

Earning Your Bachelor’s Degree

You will have to earn a graduate-level degree to become an occupational therapist, meaning you will first have to complete an undergraduate degree program. There are several majors that you can choose from when it comes to your undergraduate degree, including psychology, sociology or anthropology. If you are looking to finish your undergraduate program in less than four years, you will want to search around for an accredited school that offers an accelerated program. Many times, instead of four years, you will be able to finish your bachelor’s degree in as few as 30 months in an accelerated program.


It is very important that you excel in your undergraduate studies. If you don’t, you will have a tough time being accepted into a master’s program. In all of your courses, you need to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. In addition, you need to take part in volunteer work while completing your undergraduate degree program. Some master’s program may even mandate that you have volunteer experience.

Earning Your Master’s Degree

After you have earned your bachelor’s degree, you will have to take part in two additional years of study to earn your master’s. It is during the completion of your advanced degree that you will learn about assistive technology, research methods, functional anatomy and much more. You will have to complete extensive fieldwork before being eligible to graduate, with the fieldwork taking about 24 weeks to finish.


Once you have completed both your undergraduate and graduate degree in occupational therapy, you will then be eligible to apply for licensure as an occupational therapist. To obtain the licensure, you will have to take and pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. In addition to licensure, the NBCOT exam allows a person to obtain the Occupational Therapist Registered credential. To maintain this credential, a person will have to take part in continuing education coursework on a regular basis.

Becoming an occupational therapist is a very exciting career path to travel down. Even though one must go through extensive training to enter into this profession, the income that you will earn will be well worth the time and effort invested. If you are interested in becoming an occupational therapist, keep in mind that the degree you will need to earn is a master’s degree in occupational therapy.