The world of occupational therapy is constantly evolving; those who work in any aspect of the profession must always be ready to gain new skills to stay relevant in the industry. An advanced degree will help you gain a better understanding and knowledge of a particular field or industry. You will be able to learn the knowledge and skills required to advance your career and earning income. A masters degree program is an investment in you and into your career.

Master's Degree Benefits:

  • Gain an edge over other candidates
  • Managerial industry skills
  • Career advancement
  • Increase earning potential
  • More job opportunities
  • Open more employment opportunities

Career Options with a Masters in Occupational Therapy:

  • Occupational Therapy Manager in Offices of Other Health Practitioners - $88,220
  • Occupational Therapy Manager in General Medical and Surgical Hospitals - $88,200
  • Occupational Therapy Manager in Elementary and Secondary Schools - $78,890
  • Occupational Therapy Manager in Home Health Care Services - $94,270
  • Occupational Therapy Manager in Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) - $91,810

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Therapy Managers, on the Internet at (visited March 24, 2022).

Graduate Degree Types for Occupational Therapy Concentrations:

  • M.S. in Occupational Therapy
  • M.A. in Occupational Therapy
  • MBA in Occupational Therapy

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


A master's degree in occupational therapy is designed to take two years to complete. These high learning education programs are designed to help students build higher level skills and knowledge in their particular field of study. Some students can finish in less than two years by either going to summer school or getting credit for work and life experience. On the other hand, some students need more time to finish because of work or family obligations.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

It is important to align your career goals with the school and program that you select. If you wish to enter a field like occupational therapy, then you should select a graduate school that offers doctorate coursework in occupational therapy. Further, you can look for schools that provide hands-on experiences like internships and projects with real-world companies.

The two most prominent types of master levels in occupational therapy are: Master of Arts degree (MA degree) in occupational therapy and a Master of Science degree (MS degree) in occupational therapy. An MA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about occupational therapy. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.

The Master of Science degree in occupational therapy, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Master of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Master's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Master of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for a graduate below:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Healing with the Arts
  • The Science of Well-Being
  • Conflict Management
  • Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills
  • Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Providers
  • Major Depression in the Population: A Public Health Approach
  • Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise

Only 61% of students actually manage to finish their master's degree on time. There are a variety of factors that could potentially play a part in unexpectedly extending your college career, such as:

Work. Working over 25 hours per week can get in the way of academics.

Credit Hours. Most colleges will define a full masters course load as 9 credit hours per semester. If you do the math, you will see that you actually need to take 12 credit hours per semester in order to graduate on time.

Transferring. Many students end up transferring during their college career. Many times, there are hiccups with transferring credits. This can put you behind, or even cause you to end up losing your credits altogether.

Be aware of these common mistakes, so that you don't make them yourself.

The cost will depend on several factors. Are you pursuing your doctoral occupational therapy degree online or in a traditional setting? If you attend your courses on campus, you will also need to pay for food, room and board, and other fees. This can increase the cost of your occupational therapy education significantly unless you have a plan in place to keep these costs low. If you attend a public, state school, it will depend on whether or not you are a resident. In-state students usually pay much lower rates than out-of-state students. However, this can be overcome by attending classes online, as most institutions charge in-state rates for all online courses. Either way, you need to research the costs for each graduate program you are considering applying to, as each institution will have their own rates.

If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy to attain a doctorate occupational therapy degree, you will certainly want some job placement assistance as you near graduation. Discuss this with your admissions counselor when you are considering the right program. In fact, you might want to broaden that discussion by asking about how your school handles internships and if co-op programs are available. Experiential learning can help you not only gain the skills needed to land a job, but you can also cultivate a professional network that will help you build the career you deserve.