Advance Your Career in Occupational Therapy with an Online Degree
Occupational therapy is a physical science that helps patients recover after illnesses, accidents or any other injuries which prevent them from speaking, eating, moving or enjoying life in any way. It is very similar to physical therapy, but the degree differs slightly by focusing less on physical recovery and more on figuring out how to help people complete daily tasks in their present physical condition.
To become a fully licensed occupational therapist, you will need a minimum of a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy. However, some shorter online degrees can help you to become an occupational therapy aide or assistant. Read on to discover which degree type will be best for you.
Online Associate Degrees in Occupational Therapy
This two year online degree will prepare you to work side by side with occupational therapists in hospitals, private practices and in the homes of patients. With an associate degree in occupational therapy, graduates will be qualified as an occupational therapy aide.
You will assist the occupational therapist in day to day scheduling, dealing with patients directly, setting up physical therapy sessions or even charting progress of patients over time. Online degrees in this field can be completed in as little as 18 months, or you can work full time and earn the degree online in your spare time.
Online Bachelor Degrees in Occupational Therapy
This is one of the less common degrees in occupational therapy. It is generally earned by students who want to eventually become fully licensed occupational therapists. An online bachelor's degree in occupational therapy typically takes four years to complete, but students can accelerate the course if they want to finish sooner and begin working earlier.
The curriculum for this type of degree includes physical rehabilitation studies, psychology, anatomy, physiology, speech development and communication. Upon graduation, students can either work as occupational therapy assistants or they can add to their education with an advanced degree like a master's or even a doctorate.
Online Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
To become a fully licensed and practicing occupational therapist, you will need a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. This degree take 30 months to complete, and is currently not available entirely online. Students can take 18 months of the course online by attending video lectures and taking exams online, but the final year of the program requires students to do clinical work in person.
This internship at a local hospital or private practice is necessary in order to guarantee that graduates are physically able to implement the strategies they have learned about online. Once you have your Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, you can begin working in a clinic, a hospital, in the homes of patients or even in your own private practice. The demand for occupational therapists rose 33 percent in the past year, and the average salary of $71,000 annually makes it a lucrative position.
Online Doctorate Degrees in Occupational Therapy
The highest degree in the field of occupational therapy is the doctorate. This degree can often take seven or eight years to complete, but is necessary for those who want to do research or even teach occupational therapy at the college level.
The doctorate is not required for practicing occupational therapists, so it is a rare degree. Thankfully, it is offered online to those who want to earn this advanced degree from the comfort of home. Salaries for those with doctorate degrees in this field average well over $100,000 annually.
Online occupational therapy degrees are a great way to begin work in a growing field. Whether you want to work as an occupational therapy aide, assistant or licensed therapist, an online degree can help you reach your career goals.
With a Health Care Background You Can Find a Rewarding Career in Life Care Planning
Life care planners help patients find ways to best manage their day-to-day lives along with issues such as planning for necessary long-term care and discovering the options for providing the best quality of life possible for the patient. Occupational therapists, physical therapists, rehabilitation counselors, case managers, social workers, psychologists, nurse practitioners and others in a health care related field may be qualified to attain Life care planning certification. Online programs are available to those interested in expanding their health care career options.