What Can You Do With a Master's in Occupational Therapy?

A master's degree in occupational therapy can help prepare you for not only for a career as an occupational therapist, but several other careers including a college instructor or director of a therapy clinic.

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Achieving a master's degree in occupational therapy prepares you for a variety of roles related to occupational therapy. The following are a few of the career options you can consider with your degree.

Careers with a Master's in Occupational Therapy

Jobs Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2016)*
Occupational Therapist $81,910 24%
Clinic Director $72,835** (2018) 20% (Medical and Health Services Managers)
Health Specialties College Instructor (Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary) $99,360 26%
Rehabilitation Manager (Medical and Health Services Managers) $96,540 20%
Pediatric Occupational Therapist $60,360** (2018) 24%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale

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Career Options

A master's in occupational therapy prepares an individual for a role in a wide variety of careers related to improving a person's physical and mental well-being. Here are a few career options you will have access to with your degree.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists are responsible for treating injured individuals. They must be familiar with review a patient's medical history and observing how well a person performs during various tasks. A physical therapist has to make evaluations of a person's home and workplace to better identify areas of need. Afterward, they can conceptualize ways to improve those environments. They may also be asked to identify special equipment that can help an individual maximize their ability to operate in an environment. A job as an occupational therapist requires a master's in occupational therapy.

Clinic Director

Another way in which you can draw on your knowledge of occupational therapy is in the role of a clinic director. This role requires you to act in a managerial role while also using your knowledge of the field to provide input on a clinic's layout, the ordering of equipment, and the quality of care given to patients. You will apply your occupational therapy skills but also be charged with hiring and managing staff.

Health Specialties College Instructor

Another role you can take is as a faculty instructor, a position that requires at least a master's degree. In this position, you'll draw on your knowledge of occupational therapy to teach students about the field. You'll need to develop coursework for in-class instruction and help students apply their skills in laboratory settings so that they develop a feel for applying occupational therapy skills among clients.

Rehabilitation Manager

Rehabilitation Managers manage rehabilitation departments as part of a larger health care organization. Though you can qualify for this role with a bachelor's and certification in occupational therapy, a master's degree positions you more competitively for the role. You will be asked to oversee various rehabilitation services, assess issues that arise in your departments, and ensure all operations comply with organization rules and various laws. This role requires an understanding of therapeutic interventions and effective management strategies.

Pediatric Occupational Therapist

A pediatric occupational therapist is someone who performs occupational therapy specifically in the field of pediatrics. These individuals work with kids up to the age of 18. These therapists work within teams to set goals for these children and motivate those children toward their goals using evidence based interventions. You will need to be able to evaluate and treat children with a variety of disabilities.

Attaining a graduate degree in the field of occupational therapy qualifies you as an occupational therapist. In addition to being prepared for a career in occupational therapy, you will also be prepared for teaching the subject to college students, directing a clinic, and more.

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