Career Attributes

  • $82,329
  • 130,400
  • 3.0
  • 23.8%
  • Master's degree
  • Psychology
More Attributes


Most occupational therapists enter the occupation with a master’s degree in occupational therapy. A small number of programs offer doctoral degrees in occupational therapy. Admission to occupational therapy programs generally requires a bachelor’s degree and specific coursework, including biology and physiology. Many programs also require applicants to have volunteered or worked in an occupational therapy setting.

Master’s programs generally take two years to complete; doctoral programs take longer. Some schools offer a dual degree program in which the student earns a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years. Part-time programs that offer courses on nights and weekends are also available. Both master’s and doctoral programs require several months of supervised fieldwork in which prospective occupational therapists gain real-world experience.

What are Occupational Therapists like?


Based on our pool of users, Occupational Therapists tend to be predominately social people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Occupational Therapists by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 265 Sokanu users

Are Occupational Therapists happy?


Occupational Therapists rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 28th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Occupational Therapist Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Occupational Therapists

The most common degree held by Occupational Therapists is Psychology. 45% of Occupational Therapists had a degree in Psychology before becoming Occupational Therapists. That is over 6 times the average across all careers. Biology graduates are the second most common among Occupational Therapists, representing 17% of Occupational Therapists in the Sokanu user base, which is 4.8 times the average.

Occupational Therapist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming an Occupational Therapist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Occupational Therapists % of population Multiple
Psychology 44.7% 6.9% 6.4×
Biology 17.0% 3.6% 4.8×
Miscellaneous Health Medical Professions 6.4% 0.2% 32.1×

Occupational Therapist Education Levels

76% of Occupational Therapists have a master's degree. 19% of Occupational Therapists have a bachelor's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 0%
Bachelor's degree 19%
Master's degree 76%
Doctorate degree 5%

How to Become an Occupational Therapist

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good occupational therapist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

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Further Reading

  • How To Obtain Your Occupational Therapy Degree

    In terms of educational requirements, occupational therapists must have at least a master’s degree. Their degree field must be in occupational therapy and they will need a state license to practice.

  • How To Become An Occupational Therapist

    Occupational therapists need at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy; some therapists have a doctoral degree. Occupational therapists also must be licensed or registered.

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Recommended Books

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  • Occupational Therapy for Physical Dysfunction

    Featuring engaging and practical coverage, the Seventh Edition includes the latest research in the field, new activity analysis case examples, new photos, new online videos, and a streamlined organization that includes 45 chapters in the print textbook with three additional chapters posted online.

  • Willard and Spackman's Occupational Therapy

    This market leading text provides the most comprehensive and current presentation of occupational therapy concepts and practice. The 12th edition of this classic text invites students with a fresh, four-color design and new photos and illustrations, as well as the fully updated text.

  • Clinical and Professional Reasoning in Occupational Therapy

    This comprehensive textbook lets readers develop the strong theoretical and practical foundation needed for effective decision-making in occupational therapy. Emphasis on both clinical and professional reasoning gives readers the skills needed to make informed decisions as practitioners, managers, and educators.

  • Occupational Therapy: What It Is and How It Works

    Interested in learning more about occupational therapy? This highly approachable, general information book defines and describes the scope and universe of occupational therapy practice in a readable, enjoyable way. It addresses the history and evolution of the occupational therapy profession, as well as the changing roles of the occupational therapist (OT) and occupational therapist assistant (OTA) in the health care environment.

  • The Intentional Relationship: Occupational Therapy and Use of Self

    This groundbreaking new book addresses a critical aspect of the occupational therapy practice-the art and science of building effective, fulfilling relationships with clients. A distinguished clinician and educator, Renee Taylor, PhD, uses a new conceptual practice model, the Intentional Relationship Model, to define how the client and the therapist each contribute to the unique interpersonal dynamic that becomes the therapeutic relationship.

Career Attributes

  • $82,329
  • 130,400
  • 3.0
  • 23.8%
  • Master's degree
  • Psychology
More Attributes