Become an Occupational Therapist in 2 Years
Occupational therapists help people live normal lives after injuries & accidents. Becoming an Occupational Therapists can be done in just 2 years or less. Due to Covid-19 lots of online courses covered by financial aid are now available.
Becoming an occupational therapist is important to you because you care. It is also important to you to become an occupational therapist fast because you are excited about starting your career. Are there online courses available for becoming an occupational therapist? Are flex schedule courses available to accommodate you working or raising children while obtaining your education?
Occupational therapists are essential to treating people with disabilities, illnesses and injuries so they are capable of living lives as normally as possible. Modern times dictate the need for many people to need help restoring elements of normality in their lives, especially after being sick or otherwise incapacitated, regardless of severity. Read ahead for important information about how to become an occupational therapist in 2 years.
Occupational Therapy 101
The concept of therapy encompasses many elements of a person’s health, be it current or future. An occupation is partially defined as something a person does to spend time. It is also defined as something a person does for a living. There is a version of physical therapy engaged in by people who suffered injuries and require professional assessments and treatment before retuning to work. Occupational therapy is not that type of therapy, however. An occupational therapist (OT) is a professional healthcare worker who helps people re-learn basic skills and develop new skills needed post-injury, accident or illness.
A physiotherapist helps patients rehabilitate and restore literal physical functionality to their daily lives. This includes walking, lifting, dressing, bathing and more. An OT focuses on how a patient’s level of functionality allows them to do, or not do, the things in their daily lives most important to them and their overall wellbeing.
How Does One Become an Occupational Therapist (OT)?
Becoming an OT requires a sincere desire to help people overcome their most serious physical and medical challenges. The career also requires numerous practical and logistical steps to be taken, including obtaining a valid and accredited education. Once your initial education is obtained, what other steps are required to become an OT?
There are specific examinations involved in becoming an OT. Once those examinations are successfully completed it is possible to begin gaining experience in the occupational therapy career field. This step is not necessary but it is helpful. It is necessary to advance your education and pass additional examinations prior to becoming an officially licensed occupational therapist in your state, however.
Education Needed to Be an Occupational Therapist
To become an OT one must first obtain an associate degree in occupational therapy. An associate degree program normally takes two years to obtain. It is possible to obtain an OT associate degree in less than two years via an accelerated program using flex scheduling. After obtaining your associate degree you are required to pass the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) examination. Once this examination is passed, you are able to begin working in the occupational therapy career field as a certified, albeit unlicensed OT.
To become a licensed OT you are required to obtain a master’s degree in occupational therapy. This type of master’s degree prepares you for the Occupational Therapy Registered (OTR) examination. Passing the OTR examination allows you to become a licensed OT in your state. Fees to obtain your OT license range from approximately $50 to $250. Additional fees for additional verification and identification procedures might be required.
Online Courses & No-Cost Flex Schedule Availability
In modern times it is possible to obtain an occupational therapy degree online. In fact, most schools in 2021 and for the foreseeable future have adapted to a virtual learning environment due to COVID-19-based limitations. You want to obtain your OT degree in two years or less. Your life is also significantly busy. What is no-cost flex-schedule availability?
A flex schedule, also referred to as a flex term, is available at no extra cost at many schools. A flex schedule allows you to start your semester later than initially slated. A flex schedule also allows you to reduce the amount of courses taken each semester en route to obtaining your OT degree. It is also possible to utilize flex schedule availability to accelerate the completion of your degree program. This aspect of flex scheduling is especially useful to students looking to obtain an associate degree, pass a COTA examination and also begin working as an OT in two years or less. Flex scheduling also offers convenience for students with children or who are already working other jobs while studying. Essentially a flex schedule allows you to receive your occupational therapy education on your own terms, especially when it is offered at no extra cost.
Financial Aid for Occupational Therapy Degree Programs
Financial aid for occupational therapy degree programs is available in numerous forms. It is possible to apply for federally funded financial aid using the Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Grant money, which is different from student loans because it does not have to be paid back, is possibly available in the form of a Federal Pell Grant. Other grants, scholarships and state/locally-funded financial aid programs are also available. For example, the U.S. military pays for your college under specific conditions. It is also possible to research websites such as collegescholarships.org, which provides a host of resources for possible financial aid options.