Wow, I’ve got a curious anon right here! As a preface, I just want to let you know that I’m answering this from a United States perspective, and that some of this information might be different depending on where you are from.
1. How can you become an OT?
A master’s degree is necessary to practice OT. There are two typical routes that one can take to become an OT. The first is right out of high school by attending a 5 year combined BS/MS program. The second is after you have already earned a bachelor’s by going to a graduate program. After you complete the program, one must pass the NBCOT exam and become licensed in the state where you will be practicing.
2. Are there categories of OTs?
Yes! OT is a super broad field, and so some OTs (but not all) choose to specialize in a particular area. This area can be determined by what classes you take in the graduate portion of the program and some other special certifications that you can get. Here are just a few examples:
- Pediatric, sub-specialities include sensory integrative
- Environmental modifications
- Driving for those with disabilities
and so on!!! Once you become more involved in a program and go on fieldwork, it will be easier to narrow down whether or not you want to become specialized or certified.
3. How much do OTs make annually?
This depends on which area of the country (or world) you are working in, what setting you are working in, whether or not you are specialized, and how much experience you have. The best website to gain insight into this type of information is here. It says that the 2010 median salary is $72,320 per year.
4. What are the future projections of OTs?
AMAZING! Occupational Therapists have been on countless best job lists, and the field is expected to grow much faster than average! According to this video from CNN, the unemployment rate is less than 2%! This is sooooo much lower than the ever-growing national unemployment rate of about 7.6%. This is because of aging baby-boomers, increased awareness and advocacy, and a growing need for OTs in almost every area. This is definitely a good field to go into :)