Massachusetts Occupational Therapy Degrees
A career as an Occupational Therapist (OT) was named one of the 30 most sought-after jobs for 2009 by US News and World Report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2016, based on a ten-year projection from 2006, there will be a 23% increase in employment for Occupational Therapists.
This profession offers varied work situations from a hospital or health facility and schools, to home and outpatient care. Clients range from pre-school children to seniors with autism, bodily injury recovery, victims of stroke, veterans of war, and others. Occupational Therapists work with their clients on a 1-to-1 basis to assess their individual needs and determine the most effective treatment program for relearning or developing the task skills needed to function independently in that client’s particular situation. In Massachusetts, occupational therapy courses focus on program development in an effort to help facilitate the highest quality professional care through a comprehensive education.
Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) as well as Occupational Therapy Aide are other complimentary professions. COTAs are required to complete an associate’s degree program and work in a supervised setting under a licensed OT. The Occupational Therapy Aide is not required to have completed a study program and is trained on the job by the OT. These are in a supportive role to the Therapist and, of course, also have a considerably lower salary.
Massachusetts leads the nation with the highest concentration of workers in this field. The annual average salary for an Occupational Therapist in Massachusetts is $66,940. The national average salary for OTs is $61,160.
Continuing Education Requirements for Massachusetts Occupational Therapists
The state of Massachusetts requires that all Occupational Therapists earn licensure and national certification. Applying for a license is done after successfully passing the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy exam. Licensure in Massachusetts is good for two years. Within each two-year period OTs are required to complete certain continuing education units for renewal, but the CEUs are not mandated in Massachusetts. CEUs are especially important when looking to advance within the field and when exploring other professional roles.