Degree Needed For Occupational Therapist

Degree Needed For Occupational Therapist – One of the most common questions I see in occupational therapy Facebook groups and OT forums is:

“Should I spend all the time and money going to grad school to become an OTR if I’m currently a COTA?”

Degree Needed For Occupational Therapist

Seeing this so often, I wanted to gather some of the most common answers and food for thought among you with this big question on your mind.

Occupational Therapist Assistant And Physiotherapist Assistant

The pros and cons of this post come from custom interviews, as well as COTAs exploring the option, COTAs who transitioned to OTR, and COTAs who haven’t decided to become OTR.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a COTA is $61,730 per year. In comparison, occupational therapists (OTRs) with a master’s or doctoral degree earn an average of $85,570 per year (or $41.14 per hour), based on average salaries. Because of this, an OTR’s salary is 43% higher on average.

Of course, the amount you earn as a COTA or OTR may be higher or lower depending on your location, experience, and setting.

For additional information on occupational therapist salaries based on both OT and COTA real data, be sure to check out our article, Occupational Therapist Salary: 2,322 OT and COTA Data.

What Is An Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Many facilities such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, and schools employ fewer COTAs or in some cases no COTAs. In some cities, finding a clinical job as a COTA can be increasingly difficult, and many have indicated that this is why they return to school to become an OTR.

As an OTR, you control your patient’s care plan, treatment plan, discharge plan, and more. As a COTA, you are following OTR’s treatment plan and may not have many creative options based on OTR’s goals. for the patient

This may seem like a given, but many COTAs who transfer to OTR say they really expanded their knowledge of OT through an OT graduate program. If you are passionate about healthcare and helping patients on their therapeutic journey, your passion for the field may drive you to pursue an OT bachelor’s degree.

A popular non-clinical option is tutoring. Many OT schools will hire OTRs with masters or doctorates to become teachers.

Should You Transition From Cota To Otr? The Pros And Cons Of Making The Leap

Another common example is that it is usually much easier to start your therapy practice as an OTR. It would be much more difficult as a COTA if it was related to occupational therapy because you would probably have to have an OTR on staff.

These other popular non-clinical positions may be filled by COTAs, but often an occupational therapist with a bachelor’s degree or higher is more likely to be hired based on specific job requirements.

Note: I see many creative COTAs now starting their own non-clinical businesses that do not have direct patient care, so a non-clinical career is still very possible as a COTA!

While the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, these major drawbacks are often enough to deter many COTAs from deciding to go back to school to become an OTR.

Occupational Therapy Courses In India

Although the salary of OTR is higher than that of COTA, the cost of pursuing a Masters or PhD in OT is much higher. Many COTAs who plan to work another ten to twenty years say they will struggle to pay off their debt in retirement.

Using the national salary average and the average cost of a weekend master’s program, it will take at least 7.5 years to pay for your OTR degree, assuming all of your extra income goes toward paying for your OTR degree.

Taking a closer look, we took a major weekend OTA for the OTR Master’s program, which has six semesters worth $14,760, making the program total $88,560.

Using these numbers, the additional income you get using the difference between the national averages for COTA and OTR is $25,750 per year (or about $18,025 after deducting 30% for taxes). The table below shows how much interest will be added to your balance at the beginning of each year (8% annually) and how much will be deducted from the $18,205 payment each year.

School Of Occupational Therapy

If you put the extra $18,205 toward paying off your student loans, it will take you at least 6.5 years to pay off your OTR degree (with 8% annual interest over that time).

Including the time spent applying and interviewing schools, the six semesters (2 years) of the program, and the loan repayment time, your total time to complete an OT master’s program and pay off the loan is about 10 years.

That said, this example shows the fastest possible timeline and may not be realistic for most people. Chances are you’ll want to earn more money for regular living expenses and other things over the next 10 years. This calculation is primarily intended to illustrate the best-case break-even point.

The most common student loan terms are 10-20 years. Your monthly payment will be lower than with accelerated payments, but you’ll pay more for the program over the course of the interest period.

How To Become An Occupational Therapy Assistant: A Physical Career Full Of Learning Opportunities

Note: This is a simple example of determining the breakeven point and does not represent actual interest accrual or actual payment schedule. Tuition and interest rates may also be higher in 2023 and 2020 when we created this chart.

If you’ve decided to take the step to become an OTR, you’ve probably heard about COTA and the OTR “bridge” program. But if you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can choose to pursue a traditional master’s or doctorate in occupational therapy program. A cost breakdown of a bridge program and a traditional master’s or doctoral program can help your decision.

Because there are only a few weekend bridge programs, travel to or from the OT program location is usually required. Many programs require at least monthly school visits, which can be difficult for those with families.

Also, like traditional OTR programs, getting into a bridge program can be a challenge even with years of experience due to the large number of applicants.

Occupational Therapy Vs. Physical Therapy

This is a big reason why many COTAs decide that converting to OTR is not for them. As an OTR, you will spend a lot of time on paperwork every day; This means writing discharges with assessments, weekly progress notes and regular treatment notes.

Although OTRs still treat, they have become less frequent due to multiple evaluations and discharges with additional paperwork requirements.

In the end, you should definitely do what is right for your situation. Everyone’s personal situation will be different. Both careers are great choices, and there is no clear right or wrong answer.

I will say that I love being an OT and I’m glad I chose my OTR degree. If you want to work in occupational therapy, I’d say go for it, whether as a COTA or OTR. If you’re not sure whether occupational therapy is right for you and economics is a major concern, choosing to become a COTA or OTR can be a difficult decision that requires careful thought.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More

If you’re already mulling the decision to become a COTA, or have already made the jump, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What were the biggest deciding factors for or against converting to OTR?

And if you’re looking for more information on converting from COTA to OTR, be sure to listen to Sr. Flourish’s podcast on the topic here: Pros and Cons of Converting from COTA to OTR.

My OT Spot uses cookies to improve your experience. If you do not agree with it, you can opt out if you want Accept the settings

This website uses cookies to improve your experience while browsing the website. Among these cookies, cookies classified as necessary are stored in your browser, as they are essential for the basic functionality of the website to work. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. These cookies will only be stored in your browser with your consent. You have the option to delete these cookies. But not using some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience.

How To Become An Occupational Therapist

Cookies are essential for the website to function properly. This category only contains cookies that ensure basic functionality and security features of the website. This cookie does not store any personal information. When you start choosing a career path, you will have many questions and many decisions to make.

Many choose to pursue a career in therapy; Physical therapy or occupational therapy. If you are considering

Degree needed for therapist, occupational therapist assistant degree, degree for occupational therapist, occupational therapist degree plan, degree required for occupational therapist, occupational therapist masters degree, occupational therapist online degree, occupational therapist bachelor degree, occupational therapist undergraduate degree, occupational therapist needed, occupational therapist degree program, what degree is needed to be an occupational therapist

About admin

Check Also

How Many Years Does It Take To Become An Optician

How Many Years Does It Take To Become An Optician – Friends and family in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *