Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Degrees
Education Requirements for Occupational Therapists in Pennsylvania
Occupational Therapists in Pennsylvania are expected to experience a 23 percent job growth rate through the year 2016 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The highest amount of growth will occur with the Baby Boomer population, who will need help performing basic tasks as they advance in age. The remaining areas of occupational therapy practice—physical rehabilitation, disability, acute hospital rehabilitation, and counseling—will undergo steady growth as doctors refer their clients to alternate sources of therapy.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree in communications, biology, anatomy, sociology, or psychology.
Pennsylvania occupational therapy courses typically cover subjects within the biological, social, and physical sciences, so a foundation in one of these topics is useful, especially if students already know what type of specialty they would like to have.
Complete a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy.
All occupational therapy candidates in Pennsylvania must obtain a Master's degree from an accredited institution, which can take two years to complete. Most Master's degree curriculums in the State of Pennsylvania require students to complete 80-103 hours of graduate coursework and obtain clinical experience. Some Pennsylvania institutions offer combined Bachelor's-Master's programs, which require students to complete an intensive, five-year curriculum. Some Master's or Bachelor's-Master's program may require students to specialize in a certain area of occupational therapy, so they may want to consider their interests as they work toward licensure.
Continuing Educational Requirements for Occupational Therapists in Pennsylvania
There are no continuing educational requirements for Occupational Therapists in Pennsylvania, but that does not mean that practitioners should stop pursuing education. If Occupational Therapists want to specialize, stay current with their practice, gain a specialty, or enhance their current skills, they can take a total of 36 continuing education credits from online sources like chirocredit.com or rehabedge.com, which are approved by AOTA and NBCOT. Practitioners who wish to continue learning can also take part in structured studies or workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association. POTA's events are geared toward people of all specialties, are offered regularly, and are approved by AOTA.