How do I Begin my Occupational Therapy Career?

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  • Written By: Klaus Strasser
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 17 May 2019
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To begin your occupational therapy career, there are two main points you may want to consider. First of all, most occupational therapists have a university or college degree. This means that you will most likely have to complete an academic program at an accredited institution. Secondly, it can be important to think about what area of occupational therapy interests you. Occupational therapy is a dynamic field, and there are many possible opportunities for employment. Some occupational therapists work as instructors for universities and colleges, while others have their own private practice or work in therapeutic settings.

Occupational therapy generally refers to the treatment of patients who experience problems or limitations in relation to performing common everyday activities. These therapists attempt to alleviate the difficulties by helping patients become able to work and perform other activities. Since there are many reasons that a person may be experiencing such difficulties, occupational therapists generally must be able to diagnose a wide variety of symptoms, such as physical, emotional, or mental issues. Most treatment strategies for treatment rely on a unique approach to each individual case.


Choosing the right academic institution can often be one of the most important decisions you make regarding your future occupational therapy career. It is generally a good idea to select a school that offers an accredited degree program. It can also be beneficial to select one with a strong occupational therapy curriculum and a history of training therapists. Reviewing the webpages of various occupational therapy departments, courses, and programs can help you become familiar with the educational options that are available to you.

Occupational therapists work in a number of different environments, such as clinical, research, and academic settings. To begin your occupational therapy career, it can be recommended to focus on a specific area of the field. This may help you plan your education and career paths accordingly. For example, some occupational therapy programs will offer internships in clinics. If you want to work, as a therapist, in a clinical setting, this course of study might be the ideal beginning step to help you realize your dream.

In Canada and the United States, occupational therapists in private practice must have a master's degree. If this type of occupational therapy career interests you, it may be a good idea to choose an undergraduate program that would allow you to eventually pursue post-graduate studies. In North America, most master's degree programs in occupational therapy take approximately three years to complete.



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