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Is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy Worth It?

September 29, 2020

To answer the question directly – yes, it is!

Evidence-based research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 16% from 2019 to 2029. In that period, an estimated 23,700 jobs are expected to open up!

The science of rehabilitation that enables physically, emotionally, mentally, or neurologically disabled and challenged people to restore normalcy in their lives is called occupational therapy. The professional who helps people who are disabled, injured, ill, or have special needs to develop the skills they require for managing their daily work is called an occupational therapist.

By working with patients, understanding their needs, and drafting the required plans (from entry-level to the time they are independent), the ultimate goal of occupational therapists is to rehabilitate his/her clients to a level/position where they can lead a self-sufficient lifestyle.

From hospitals and clinics to schools and nursing homes, OTs work in a variety of settings and institutes in a good position. If you’re skeptical about your vision of pursuing a doctorate in OTD, if it is worth it to spend your time earning your doctor of occupational therapy degree (OTD), or what is the value of earning a clinical doctorate education, then you’ve arrived at the right place.

This article works as a comprehensive guide providing students with all the necessary information at several levels about career and education required in this field.


Earn your degree in ot from NEIT and begin your new career path today!




Why Pursue an entry-level OTD program

Why Pursue an entry-level OTD program

It begins with your vision, interest, passion, and fascination towards helping people with their needs and making their lives better. If you have a calm, pleasant nature and are good at interacting with people, then it is evidence that this is the best field for you to touch the heights of success.

Students can complete their education from a good institute by achieving the required credits and gain much-needed exposure and attain the required level and position in their career. There is a wide range of advantages to pursuing an entry-level OTD program.

The biggest benefit is the tremendous availability of job opportunities – entry-level and advanced – that also improve as you receive the required experience & education. OT jobs are ranked 13th in the top 100 best jobs and 11th in the best health professions by US News and World reports – indicating the value of a career in this field.

How to know if you’re made for this career or not?

Before you apply for an entry-level position or education, here are some evidence-based reasons you must learn to consider this profession and its value:

  • You love to add value to people’s lives:

Occupational therapists are required to provide more than just medical advice to their patients. They pull out everything in their arsenal to help their patients overcome their post-traumatic cognitive disabilities and return to their normal lifestyle.

They want to assist their clients with value, compassion, and care at every level, and search for theory and vision that’ll help them take care of their own needs. If you’re intrigued, you might want to gain an occupational therapy (OTD) degree/education from a renowned college/institute like New England Tech and pursue this position.

  • If you value a flexible and diverse work environment:

An entry-level occupational therapist would have the advantage of working in different environments. This is a career and profession with many paths. You can start this profession by helping older patients and shift into a school setting.

You may also get to work with technology such as training for 3D printing of functional prosthesis. Obtaining an OTD – entry-level and doctoral will help you learn new skills, advanced as well as entry-level medical technologies and theory.

The more you search for the reasons the more you’ll get but it ultimately depends on your vision and the kind of profession you want to opt for.

Salary of an Occupational Therapist

As mentioned already, professional OTs are among the highly-paid professionals in the job market.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, back in 2019, $84,950 per year was the median wage for occupational therapists ($40.84 per hour), and the number of jobs was 143,000.

Salaries of OTs also depend on certain factors such as the location of the job, the employer, experience, and his/her skills and talent. For example, OTs who practice in urban environments have more value and earn more than the ones in rural backdrops.

Is a Doctorate/Doctoral Required for Occupational Therapy?

Well, the next few years down the line, this question will turn into a compulsion.

As mandated by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), all entry-level occupational therapy positions will require a doctoral degree starting July 1, 2027.

Only the students who graduate after the given date could be affected by this mandate. Although it doesn’t affect current students or students planning to enroll and graduate before July 1, 2027, a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy helps you qualify for the highest profession in this field.

As per the AOCTE mandate, OTs who currently practice with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational therapy can continue to practice and will not need a doctoral degree. Only the new practitioners after July 1, 2027, will require a doctor of occupational therapy degree (OTD).

American occupational therapy association (AOTA) is a national professional association that ensures to safeguard the interests of occupational therapists and other related health professions. AOTA educates the public as well as promotes quality health care treatment.

Maximizing health care value and research, the American occupational therapy association sets certain standards of well-being and comes up with effective solutions.

How Does Life Change After an OT Doctorate?

Once you earn your OT doctoral (OTD), there’s an array of job opportunities – entry-level and advanced. You become eligible to apply for prestigious OT jobs that require doctoral degrees.

Now, you can work in a whole new environment and/or apply for a higher position in your current workplace. On completion of your OT doctorate, you are now well-versed with the advanced technologies and methods which help you apply the best therapies to patients. This also means more money – Research reveals that these OTs make approx. $86,849 – $91,105.

The things you learn and study helps you value this profession and may inspire you to evolve your career in a direction that can make you the next big thing in the industry. You must want to search and select an institute that delivers education that can help you take up leadership roles at work – and not just leave you for entry-level positions.

Several opportunities at a different level open up after an OT doctoral that makes you more aware of your professional development. Also, your value as a professional OT also improves in the industry!

Benefits of a doctorate in OT

Occupational therapy degree benefits

As per the reports from the U.S. BLS, on average, those with a clinical doctorate tend to amass higher lifetime earnings than those with bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

This sends out a strong message to employers that you’ve dedicated your efforts to learn more. This will automatically lead you to a new level of opportunities and leadership positions.

The several benefits of an occupational therapy doctorate begin with opening up a new profession. If you want to spread your knowledge, you can become an occupational therapy professor or teacher at a university or any educational institute. You can also open your clinic or become the head of a department at a hospital.

A doctoral/doctor in occupational therapy engages you directly with patients’ care and helps you build a career that just a bachelor’s or master’s degree may not.

The American occupational therapy association conducts several programs to improve consumer access to health care as well as helps the public learn about it.

Interested in Occupational Therapy Program? Your Search Ends Here – Earn Your OT Doctorate Online

Whichever occupation you may opt for, internal satisfaction is always important. When it comes to occupational therapy, a survey study found that roughly 67% of non-school occupational therapists and nearly 94% of school-based occupational therapists reported a rating of good or better for their overall job satisfaction.

Client interactions, interpersonal relationships with coworkers, and several other benefits associated with this profession make it one of the most sought-after professional options.

If occupational therapy is the type of profession you’ve been looking out for, your search ends here. Students can earn their doctor of occupational therapy online from a reputed institute by learning from the comfort of their home with NEIT.

NEIT school of occupational therapy provides a broad range of online occupational therapy programs and courses – entry-level and doctoral. It’s always better to have an occupational therapy (OTD) degree from a reputable college than a mere master’s degree.

Offering an entry-level OTD program at NEIT, students can make maximum use of the university campus for any program they enroll in. You are always welcome to email us. Our program is accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

This association, as mentioned above, represents the interests of occupational therapists, other related health professions, research-based health care sciences, and health care programs. American occupational therapy association or AOTA accredited courses help students develop the vision to practice, gain valuable education, and research in this field.

Occupational therapists enjoy their work, get paid well, and have a wholesome career! Given that you are prepared to go the extra mile and work hard, an occupational therapist can be an excellent career option. Drop us an email for more information about this degree.


Earn your degree in ot from NEIT and begin your new career path today!





Do you call an OTD a doctor?

No, you can’t call an occupational therapist (OT) a medical doctor. OTs are clinicians who have a bachelor, master, or doctoral level education.

Is occupational therapy a Ph.D.?

No, to practice occupational therapy you need to have a Master of Science in OT. In case the requirement changes to entry-level doctorate, the minimum requirement for practicing OT would be a Clinical Doctorate in OT.

How many years does it take to get a doctorate in occupational therapy (OT)?

It usually requires 2 to 3 years of post-graduate study, depending on the school and the student’s educational preparation to get a doctorate in OT.

How much does an OT with a doctorate make?

Research suggests that occupational therapists with a doctorate make approx. $86,849 – $91,105. This may change depending on the economic and geographic conditions.

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