How Long Does It Take to Be an Occupational Therapist?

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Becoming an occupational therapist requires an undergraduate degree, a two-year master's degree and six months of supervised work. Pass state and national occupational therapy board tests before working with patients that have suffered an illness or injury, and consider information from a family doctor in this free video on medical careers.

Part of the Video Series: Medical Careers
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Video Transcript

Hello. My name is Dr. David Cathcart, and I'm from Heartland Regional Medical Center, in St. Joseph, Missouri. Occupational therapy, in medicine is one area that is fairly specialized. And the people that enter into occupational medicine usually require, in addition to a four-year degree, an undergraduate degree. They usually have to have a masters in occupational medicine. Then they usually require six months of supervised work. Occupational therapist, help people to regain their abilities' to perform everyday tasks. So particularly people that have had strokes, where they've lost the use of their hand, or perhaps they've lost the use of some of their speech. Occupational therapist help them regain that, or at least adapt to what they are capable of doing. So, they might help them with devices that might help them grab things, or pick things up, or they might help them with speech, there's speech therapy. But occupational therapist essentially, takes a person that has suffered some health consequence, either as a result of an injury or an illness. And then they take the capabilities that person has, and helps train them to function in everyday world. They usually make anywhere between thirty-five to fifty- thousand dollars on average. Some, of course, will do a little better, some, not as well. But, that's pretty much the average that an occupational therapist would get. The amount of time that someone would have to commit for occupational therapy career, four years of collage in an undergraduate program, and then two years masters program in occupational therapy. Then they would have to pass state and national boards. And then they would have to do, six months of supervised work. That's typically the requirements for someone entering occupational therapy. Thanks for taking this time to explore medical careers with me. Again, I'm Dr David Cathcart, with Heartland Regional Medical Center, in St. Joseph, Missouri.


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