We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Become a Therapist?

Leigia Rosales
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The term therapy may apply to a variety of different careers that may all be divided into two main categories — physical therapists and counseling therapists. Within the group of physical therapists can be found occupational, speech and language, and physical therapists. Counseling therapists can include psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors. Given the wide variety of occupations that can be classified as therapists, it is not surprising that the educational path required to become a therapist can also vary. In most cases, however, in order to become a therapist, an individual must complete a minimum of an undergraduate level education with most therapist careers requiring a master's or doctorate degree.

Many therapists help people with physical problems or limitations. For instance, an occupational therapist works with disabled individuals by helping them learn how to complete daily tasks, such as getting dressed or preparing simple meals. A speech and language therapist works with individuals who suffer from a speech impediment or who must learn to talk again after an accident or stroke. A physical therapist is a broad title that includes people who provide therapy to individuals who have physical injuries or limitations.

Within the United States, individual states regulate most physical therapy careers, making the requirements differ slightly from one state to the next. As a rule, however, in order to become a therapist in any of the physical therapy areas, an individual must complete an undergraduate degree. A master's degree, however, is frequently required for licensure and a doctorate is often recommended. Aside from the required education, many states also require a number of hours of on-the-job training or internship training as well. After completion of the required education and training hours, most states require passage of a state licensing examination in order to become a therapist.

The other area in which one may become a therapist involves counseling or mental health therapy. The term "therapist" can refer to a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, although the most common usage is to refer to a psychologist or psychiatrist. While a counselor may be someone with an undergraduate education in any one of a number of disciplines, a psychologist or psychiatrist will have additional education and be licensed by the state wherein he or she practices. In order to become a psychologist, an individual must usually complete a master's degree as well as pass the required state licensing process. A psychiatrist is actually a medical doctor, which requires an additional four years of medical school and a residency after completion of an undergraduate degree, as well as the successful completion of a number of state examinations.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Leigia Rosales
By Leigia Rosales
Leigia Rosales is a former attorney turned freelance writer. With a law degree and a background in legal practice, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers. Her ability to understand complex topics and communicate them effectively makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
Leigia Rosales
Leigia Rosales
Leigia Rosales is a former attorney turned freelance writer. With a law degree and a background in legal practice, she...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.