How to become an Occupational Therapist

Steps to become an occupational therapist

  1. Job shadow a variety of licensed occupational therapists over an extended period of time. Learn the variety of settings OTs work in and which appeal to you.
  2. Earn a bachelor’s degree in biology, psychology, or a health care related field.
  3. Complete volunteer internship hours with an occupational therapist in a practice setting.
  4. Apply to an occupational therapy master’s degree program.
  5. Complete two 3-month long internships (level II fieldwork) with a licensed occupational therapist as part of the master’s degree requirement.
  6. Sit for the certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy to become registered and earn an OTR credential.
  7. Apply to become licensed to practice in your state.
  8. Search and apply for a job as an occupational therapist.
  9. Maintain the necessary continuing education units.


What are some current hot topics in this field?

There are a number of “hot topics” discussed among occupational therapists. One of them is centered on the rise in autism and using early intervention for this and other types of developmental disorders. Early intervention consists of services provided between birth and age three. There is a lot of focus on maximizing a child’s function before he/she even starts preschool so that he/she is at the highest-level function by the time he/she enters school.

Occupational Therapy Schools

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