What is the Difference Between a Master’s and Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy is a wonderful profession with excellent job opportunities. Occupational therapists are qualified and licensed persons who help others to get back to his/her life roles after any disorder or disabilities. Occupational therapist practices in different settings and with different age groups.
The demands of Occupational Therapy professionals are increasing that’s why many students are preferring occupational therapy as their career choice.
Pro Tip- Get complete information regarding OT, its roles, working pattern, work settings, etc. And when you are satisfied or think that you can do this. Select any entry-level program and start your career as an Occupational Therapist. 🙂
Which degree is required to become an Occupational therapist?
Occupational therapists could practice with a bachelor of science degree until 2007. Now the scenario is totally different and the basic requirement has changed to Master degree or Occupational therapy Doctorate.
To start practicing as an occupational therapist, its mandatory to pass the NBCOT certification examination after clearing the Entry level program i.e. (MS or OTD)
Many schools in the USA offer MSOT and OTD program, both the programs are accredited as an entry-level option by the ACOTE.
Pro Tip- Before selecting any particular OT school, get information regarding degree options available (MSOT and OTD), Duration of the program and Fee structure.
Entry level options-
There are 2 entry-level options available for entry into the OT profession.
- MSOT (Master of Science in Occupational Therapy)
- OTD (Occupational Therapy Doctorate)
>> MSOT/ MOT– most preferred entry-level program. Most numbers of OT schools offer the MSOT program.
>> OTD– Newly designed OT program for entry into the profession. A good option for the candidate who prefers research and academics.
What is the Difference between MOT and OTD-
This Question has become very common because many students are searching for occupational therapy schools and OT entry-level programs. The students may sometimes confuse with the options available to them.
The most preferred option is MS program, but nowadays students prefer to get OTD degree for future perspective.
MSOT/ MOT VS OTD-
|Program duration||2- 2.5 years||2-3 years|
|Program Fees||—||Higher than MOT|
|Study focus||Theory and practicals||Evidense based practice, Research and advocacy|
|Capstone project||Not required||Usually required|
|Academic position||MS is not sufficient, Ph.D or Post professional OTD required.||Good for teaching and research faculty.|
Similarities between MOT and OTD (entry level)-
- The pre-requisites required in both courses are similar.
- MOT vs OTD Salary– Entry level salary is similar, it doesn’t matter you have MOT or OTD degree.
- Both programs include extensive theory classes, practical’s and fieldworks.
As per the new AOTA resolution, all the current entry-level courses must update them into the entry-level Doctorate program. Other related fields like physical therapy already started their efforts to make the entry-level program from master degree to Doctor of Physical Therapy. The trend is moving towards the Autonomy and independent nature of the practice.
A higher entry-level qualification provides more confidence in the new practitioner but may require a little more time to enter the profession.
What is best for you MOT or OTD-
Hmm… this is a tricky question. And the answer depends upon the priority, course duration, fee structure, campus location, facilities, and scholarships.
Currently, MSOT/MOT is a better option if you want to start your practice soon. When you start earning and feel comfortable to study more, you can take post professional Online OTD program.
Whether you decide to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree, in today’s changing healthcare environment continuing your education by enrolling in a graduate degree program will benefit both you and your clients. Not only will you become more competitive in the workplace, but also you will have the skills you need to become a stronger clinician and better advocate for your clients and the profession.