Occupational therapists need a masterís degree from an accredited occupational therapy program. Occupational therapists must also be licensed.
Most occupational therapists enter the occupation with a masterís degree in occupational therapy. A small number of programs offer doctoral degrees in occupational therapy.
Admission to occupational therapy programs generally requires a bachelorís degree and specific coursework, including biology and physiology. Many programs also require applicants to have volunteered or worked in an occupational therapy setting.
Masterís programs generally take 2 years to complete; doctoral programs take longer. Some schools offer a dual degree program in which the student earns a bachelorís degree and a masterís degree in 5 years. Part-time programs that offer courses on nights and weekends are also available. Both masterís and doctoral programs require several months of supervised fieldwork, in which prospective occupational therapists gain real-world experience.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition