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Physical & Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy Careers

Can I pursue a career as an Occupational Therapist with a Psychology degree?

The quick answer to this question is that you can pursue a career as an Occupational Therapist (OT) with a Psychology degree. An OT assists people (regardless of age) develop, recover, and improve the skills they want and need for daily living and working. They achieve this by using everyday activities (e.g., eating by oneself, driving, working). Examples of helping people include assisting children with disabilities in school, adults with injuries, and elders dealing with the changes of aging (both cognitive and physical). As far as where OTs work, the locations vary a lot including hospitals. clinics, rehabilitation centers, and schools.

Just to be clear, an OT is not a physical therapist. Although both may use similar techniques sometimes it is important to understand that an OT works with the environment to help people have an easier time with daily activities. Also, an OT receives specific training with those who have mental and emotional problems. Conversely, a physical therapist works with people to help them regain physical abilities (e.g., mobility, strength, balance and flexibility).

To be an OT you must go to graduate school. One thing to keep in mind if you want to go to OT graduate school is that you may need to take certain courses that Psychology majors do not always take (e.g., Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry). Currently you can be an OT with a Master's or Doctoral degree, although by 2025 you will only be able to earn a Doctoral degree. A Master's degree takes 2 years of study, whereas a Doctoral degree typically lasts 3-4 years. As is often the case, the more years of training you have, the more job opportunities are available. When you go to graduate school, it is generally expected that you will a full-time student. Tuition waivers, scholarships and stipends (a payment granted to a student) may be available.

Finally, to be an OT you must be licensed by the state you plan to practice in.

Salary Information

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median yearly income for an Occupational Therapist at $83,000.

Click here to see career salary information for ALL careers listed in scoutiescareersinpsychology.org.

Click here to read important steps to a career as an occupational therapist. Check out the American Occupational Therapy Association website about career and education issues. Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

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Physical Therapy Careers

A career as a Physical Therapist after graduating with a Psychology degree

Once you graduate with a Psychology degree, you might consider a career as a Physical Therapist (PT). A PT does a variety of tasks. As health care professionals they diagnose and treat people of all ages who have conditions limiting their movement and ability to carry out basic functions in their life. PTs work with these individuals to help them deal effectively with these limitations. This can include athletes with specific injuries, the elderly and individuals with certain diseases. As far as where PTs work, the locations vary a lot including hospitals, private practices and nursing homes.

Just to be clear, a PT is not an occupational therapist (OT). Although both may use similar techniques sometimes it is important to understand that a physical therapist works with people to help them regain physical abilites (e.g., mobility, strength, balance and flexibility). Conversely, an OT works with the environment in order to help people deal in an easier way with with daily activities. In addition, an OT receives specific training concerning those who have mental and emotional problems.

To be a PT you must go to graduate school. One thing to keep in mind if you want to go to PT graduate school is that you will need to take certain courses that Psychology majors may not take. These include STEM courses like Anatomy, Biology, Physiology, Chemistry, and Physics. It is very important to know that PT programs in the US now only offer the Docotor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. These programs typically last 3 years and include a clinical internship. Keep in mind that when you go TO PT school, it is generally expected that you will be a full-time student. In addition when you attend PT school tuition waivers, scholarships and stipends (a payment granted to a student) may be available but you need to check with the schools you are considering. Finally, to be a PT you must be licensed by the state you plan to practice in.

Salary Information

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median yearly income for an Physical Therapist at $89,000.

Click here to see career salary information for ALL careers listed in scoutiescareersinpsychology.org.

Click here to read important steps to a career as a Physical Therapist. To learn more about applying to a Physical Therapy program check out this link. Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

Click here to return to homepage of scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

Click here to return to the Careers by Category page.

Click here to return to the Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy Careers page.

Click here to read about Occupational Therapy careers.

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