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How To Become An Occupational Therapist In New York

How To Become An Occupational Therapist In New YorkThe role of an occupational therapist in New York is to provide therapy treatments to patients with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses in order to help the patient develop, recover, and improve skills needs for everyday living and working. In order to become an occupational therapist in NY, you must follow certain steps. These steps start with your decision on a school, your educational requirements, your licensing exams, continuing education, and ends with finding an occupational therapy job in New York.


Job Shadowing

One of the first things that a prospective student should do is job shadow different clinical settings within the occupational therapy field. Settings may include; hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, schools, private practices, and home care. This is where you can decide if you want to focus more on the geriatric treatment side or the pediatric treatment side.


Educational Requirements

In order for you to be accepted into an occupational therapy master’s program, you typically have to have a bachelor’s degree in biology, psychology, sociology or liberal arts. A good amount of master’s programs also require you to have volunteered in an occupational therapy setting before being accepted. New York requires that occupational therapists have their master’s degree in occupational therapy. Some students will pursue their doctoral degree in order to expand their career opportunities. Part of the educational requirements to become an OT is completing your supervised fieldwork, which is usually a 24 week internship in an occupational therapy setting. The final education requirement is to pass the NBCOT (National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy) exam. Those who pass the exam will then be approved to apply for a New York state occupational therapist license.


New York State Occupational Therapist License

To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as an occupational therapist, you must have received your master’s degree in a New York State Registered or AOTA Accredited Occupational Therapist Program. You must have a minimum of six months of supervised occupational therapy experience satisfactory to the New York State Board for Occupational Therapy. Graduates of New York State registered or AOTA-accredited programs meet this requirement as part of their educational program.

For individuals who did not meet the experience requirement within their educational program, full-time experience must be under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. Part-time experience may be counted if you completed a minimum of 15 hours per week during at least two full days each week for continuous periods of not less than two months for a total of six months.


Find an Occupational Therapy Job in New York

Some licensed occupational therapists will sometimes transition into full time work at the facility that they previously completed their fieldwork study. Most occupational therapists will use healthcare staffing agencies – like Horizon Healthcare Staffing – to find the perfect job opportunity. If you are looking for an occupational therapist job in New York (Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, and Long Island), contact us today or submit your resume for consideration. We have a multitude of settings to work in. We offer occupational therapist job opportunities within NYC DOE schools, Long Island school districts, skilled nursing facilities, home care, and private practices.


Job Outlook

Occupational therapist was ranked #10 in U.S. News Best Jobs of 2012. In 2010, there were over 108,000 occupational therapy professionals. By the year 2020 it is expected to increase by 33% to 145,000 occupational professionals. The work schedule for occupational therapist usually consists of 70% full time work and 30% part time work. This is a young and growing profession. Don’t miss out on a chance to change the lives of many individuals.

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