Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to enable them to perform activities associated with work and/or daily living. By preventing injury, adapting an activity for a client with injury or disability, or restoring skills following injury, the ultimate goal is to give the client more independence and a better quality of living. Occupational therapists perform evaluations of the client, which may include the client’s home or work environment, to identify the client’s goals and challenges, and then recommend treatment and/or adaptive strategies. OTs are found in a wide variety of practice settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, school systems, home health services and workplace/industrial settings. The OT field is rapidly growing as demand steadily increases and interest in the profession expands. US News and World Report named OT as one of the 15 best healthcare careers of 2022.
There are currently two entry-level degrees: master’s degree and doctorate degree. The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) degree program length is usually 2 years. The Doctorate in Occupational Therapy degree (OTD) program lasts 3 years.
There are currently 4 fully-accredited entry-level OT programs in North Carolina:
The following entry-level programs have "developing" or "applicant" accreditation status:
Appalachian State University (OTM)
Duke University (OTD)
Pfeiffer University (OTM)
UNC at Pembroke (OTM)
For experienced OTAs who already possess a bachelor's degree or associate's degree, Cabarrus College of Health Sciences offers an accredited "bridging" program leading to an OT degree.