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Occupational Therapy Major

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Occupational Therapy

788 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
7,051 Master's Degrees Annually
#34 in Popularity
$85,350 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Occupational Therapy Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many occupational therapy/therapist graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 7,051
Doctor’s Degree 1,138
Bachelor’s Degree 788
Associate’s Degree 135
Graduate Certificate 30

What Occupational Therapy Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to occupational therapy were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Occupational Therapy Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in occupational therapy should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Occupational Therapy Majors

occupational therapy majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Abilities for Occupational Therapy Majors

As a occupational therapy major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Occupational Therapy Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with occupational therapy:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Low Vision Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists 23.8% $84,270
Occupational Therapists 23.8% $84,270

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy?

788 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
93% Percent Women
14% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 93% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of occupational therapy majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Occupational Therapy Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 42
Black or African American 21
Hispanic or Latino 31
White 641
International Students 5
Other Races/Ethnicities 48

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Occupational Therapy, too. About 0.6% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Occupational Therapy Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $85,350 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to occupational therapy. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Occupational Therapy Major  ( 85350 to 122320 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with occupational therapy require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to occupational therapy have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 20.5%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.5%
Master’s Degree 53.3%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.5%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.5%
Doctoral Degree 9.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 5.8%

Online Occupational Therapy Programs

In 2018-2019, 213 schools offered a occupational therapy program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 1 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 13 2
Bachelor’s Degree 8 1
Post-Baccalaureate 1 0
Master’s Degree 177 10
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 19 6
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 60 20
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 4 1

Is a Degree in Occupational Therapy Worth It?

The median salary for a occupational therapy grad is $85,350 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 114% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $909,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to occupational therapy.

Major Number of Grads
Physical Therapy/Therapist 12,865
Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Counselor 1,232
Rehabilitation Science 1,164
Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy 1,079
Other Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions 1,062
Art Therapy/Therapist 711
Music Therapy 655
Orthotist/Prosthetist 333
Kinesiotherapy/Kinesiotherapist 144
Assistive/Augmentative Technology and Rehabilitation Engineering 104
Dance Therapy/Therapist 37
Animal-Assisted Therapy 31

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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