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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Becoming an Occupational Therapist

Becoming an Occupational Therapist Cost


How Much Does Becoming an Occupational Therapist Cost?

 
average costMaster's Degree: $15,000-$70,000high costDoctorate: $43,000-$108,000
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Occupational therapists[1] help people accomplish everyday activities, and may serve children or adults with disabilities, people recovering from injury, or older adults experiencing physical and mental changes.

Typical costs:

  • A master's degree in occupational therapy typically costs $15,000-$70,000. For example, Milligan College[2] , a private college in Tennessee, offers the 79-credit master's degree in occupational therapy for $49,000. A public school, the University of New Mexico[3] offers a master's in occupational therapy from $15,000 for state residents taking the maximum number of courses per semester, to $70,000 for non-residents taking courses at a slower pace. A master's degree or higher in occupational therapy is the typical minimum requirement for entry into the field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics[4] .
  • There are only a handful of accredited doctorate programs in occupational therapy, costing $43,000-$108,000 and typically taking 3-5 years to complete. Washington University[5] in St. Louis, MO, estimates tuition costs of $108,000 over five years for their Occupational Therapy Doctorate program. The University of Toledo in Ohio estimates tuition of $42,800 for Ohio residents or $81,200 for non-residents over the eight-semester doctorate program. The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program at Belmont University[6] in Nashville, TN, costs $99,800 over seven semesters.
  • Board certification costs $500 and can be earned by taking the exam with the National Board for Certifying Occupational Therapy[7] , which meets the requirements to practice as an occupational therapist in most states. After passing the test, practitioners can use the title Occupational Therapist Registered.
  • State licensing fees are typically $90-$300. Washington's occupational therapist licensing fee is $175, while New York[8] 's fee is $294. All states require registration or licensure to practice occupational therapy, and links to state licensing boards can be found at the California Board of Occupational Therapy[9] .
Related articles: Becoming a Rehabilitation Counselor, Physical Therapist School, Occupational Therapist Assistant School, College

What should be included:
  • Occupational therapy students must attend a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education[10] in order to take the national certification exam. Occupational therapist programs should include coursework the physical, biological, and behavioral sciences as well as the application of occupational therapy theory and skills. In accredited programs, students should also have supervised work experience in the field for 24 weeks of their studies.
Additional costs:
  • Additional costs can add $10,000-$20,000 to a student's expenses in occupational therapy school. For instance, students can expect to pay $13,000 per year for room and board at Ithaca College[11] in New York, or $11,000-$16,000 at University of the Sciences[12] in Philadelphia. Additional fees at Boston University[13] include $12,000 for room and board, $1,000 for transportation, and $4,500 for books, fees and personal expenses.
  • Schools may require students to pay an equipment fee of $100-$700 each year to rent or use equipment. For example, Creighton University[14] 's program in Anchorage, AK, charges students $600-$700 each year for equipment fees over the four-year program, while Orlando's University of Central Florida charges a $50 per semester equipment fee. The University of Oklahoma[15] charges about $600 over an occupational therapy student's coursework for lab fees.
Discounts:
  • National organizations like the American Occupational Therapy Foundation[16] award scholarships of $150-$5,000 annually to occupational therapy students. A state organization, the Missouri Occupational Therapy Association[17] offers limited entry-level scholarships, and schools like the University of Kansas[18] regularly award scholarships to occupational therapy students.
Shopping for becoming an occupational therapist:
  • The American Occupational Therapy Association provides a guide to becoming an occupational therapist[19] . They also provide a list of accredited schools and programs[20] for prospective students.
  • Free study tools[21] for the certification exam are offered by the National Board for Certifying Occupational Therapy.
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External Resources:
  1.  aota.org/consumers.aspx
  2.  www.milligan.edu/MSOT/tuition.html
  3.  hsc.unm.edu/SOM/ot/Tuition.shtml
  4.  www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Occupational-therapists.htm
  5.  wumsfinaid.wustl.edu/admissions/faweb.nsf/WV/36A17CC8C48856208625724200682281?OpenDocument
  6.  www.belmont.edu/sfs/pdf/1112CostEstimator.pdf
  7.  www.nbcot.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=246&Itemid=159
  8.  www.op.nysed.gov/prof/ot/otlic.htm
  9.  www.bot.ca.gov/applicants/state_verification.shtml
  10.  www.aota.org/Educate/Accredit.aspx
  11.  www.ithaca.edu/finaid/tuition/
  12.  www.usciences.edu/controller/tuition.shtml
  13.  www.bu.edu/sargent/admissions/graduatefinancialaid/tuition-fees-payment/
  14.  www.creighton.edu/fileadmin/user/FinancialAid/Docs/OT_Alaska_1112.pdf
  15.  www.ouhsc.edu/financialservices/bursar/documents/TF_SP_12.pdf
  16.  www.aotf.org/scholarshipsgrants/scholarshipprogram.aspx
  17.  www.motamo.net/awards.htm
  18.  www.ot.kumc.edu/mot_scholarships.html
  19.  www.aota.org/Students/Prospective/OT.aspx
  20.  www.aota.org/Students/Schools.aspx
  21.  www.nbcot.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=35
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