Occupational therapy is a health care profession that focuses on helping people of all ages regain, develop or master everyday skills to live independent, productive and satisfying lives.
Why Choose Occupational Therapy?
Populations and settings common in occupational therapy practice include:
Helping children with disabilities to better participate in school and social life
Helping adults recover and regain function after an illness or injury
Helping provide mental health treatment and prevention services for people across the lifespan. Interventions focus on improving each client’s function and independence
Helping older adults experiencing physical or cognitive changes to remain healthier and more independent
Why Choose Occupational Therapy?
OT is individualized. OT’s base their treatment on their client and/or family’s goals, whether it’s cooking meals, driving independently, succeeding at school or building better relationships.
Occupational Therapists are in high demand. Employment for OTs is expected to increase at a much higher rate than average over the next decade. The average salary for an occupational therapist was $85,570 in 2021 (source). The occupational therapy profession is also actively looking to diversify its workforce.
Occupational therapists treat the whole client, considering each individual’s coordination skills, cognitive ability, emotional needs holistically with their environmental demands to create better outcomes.
You’ll choose from dozens of different types of clients and work environments. OTs work in schools, hospitals, rehab facilities, early intervention, mental health programs and countless other settings. Their clients range from toddlers to the elderly, adapting to physical, emotional, social or cognitive challenges.
Occupational Therapy Degrees at Salem State
Salem State has been training leaders in occupational therapy for over 20 years. Students are on campus two evenings per week, allowing them to continue to meet their daytime demands, like work and caregiving, while obtaining their degree.
A master’s degree is required for entry level practice as an occupational therapist. We offer two unique pathways to an MS in occupational therapy based on students’ educational background and experience.
The BS/MS in Occupational Therapy is only for students who have already completed an accredited two-year occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program. Students transfer credits from their associate’s degree, giving them a head start on their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. This program is offered part time, with evening hours to accommodate working students.
The Direct Entry Master of Science program is for students who want to become occupational therapists and have already completed a bachelor’s degree in a field other than occupational therapy. The program is offered part time, with classes in the evening.
Undergraduate Paths to Occupational Therapy
If you are just starting college and hoping to become an occupational therapist, several undergraduate degree programs can provide an excellent foundation to the direct entry master’s in occupational therapy program.
Sport and Movement Science
Early Education and Care
However, we highly value a variety of perspectives and lived experiences in the program and have graduated students with backgrounds in business, management, and visual arts as well.
The focus of the occupational therapy program is to prepare the OTA adult learner for transition to a master's entry-level practitioner through a flexible, part-time evening program, which encompasses a philosophy of progressive education. This program will meet the standards, skills, values and ethics set forth by the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
This program is designed for students who have earned a baccalaureate degree in another area of study and wish to become qualified as an occupational therapist. The focus of the direct entry master’s in occupational therapy is to prepare excellent practitioners who are dedicated to providing occupation-focused, client-centered, and evidence-based services and are committed to leadership in the field. The program’s design is a part-time evening cohort model.
The program meets the standards, skills, values, and ethics set forth by the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Graduates from the direct entry program meeting all requirements will be eligible to sit for the Occupational Therapy Certification Examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education c/o Accreditation Department American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200 North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929 (301) 652.6611 firstname.lastname@example.org acoteonline.org