2022 Guide: Online Masters in Occupational Therapy Degree Programs

People who work as occupational therapists help individuals who have experienced illnesses, injuries, accidents, disabilities, or other physical challenges overcome difficulties in order to complete everyday activities. Occupational therapists can help patients learn to do a huge variety of tasks, from things like helping an individual who has lost fine motor skills learn to use utensils to eat food during mealtimes, to teaching new memorization techniques to people who have experienced memory loss. 

What Is an Online Master’s in Occupational Therapy No GRE Required?

To become an occupational therapist, a student must complete a master’s degree in occupational therapy (and, it can also be beneficial to attend an accredited occupational therapy program, which can open up more job opportunities for students post-graduation). Some master’s degree programs in occupational therapy take place completely online, and students can design their online course of study to match the amount of time and energy they have to expend. Students who want to earn their degree quickly and start working sooner can take accelerated programs, while those who want to earn a degree while simultaneously working a full-time job may participate in a part-time program, which can take several years to complete.

If you want to become an occupational therapist in a flexible, convenient way, consider an online master’s program that also does not require a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score for admission. Many online occupational therapy master’s programs don’t require you to take any standardized tests as part of the application. So, you’ll only have to apply using essays, recommendations, academic transcripts, and any other application requirements a program delineates. Choosing a no-GRE-required program saves you from having to spend time, energy, and even money to study for a generalized test that does not relate to occupational therapy, and it allows you to focus on gathering an application that showcases you are qualified for a master’s degree and are also a good candidate to become an occupational therapist.

During their master’s programs, occupational therapists study a range of topics that prepare them to help a variety of patients in practice. Students learn about health, illness, recovery, and occupational therapy in practice in various life stages—starting with childhood, then moving to adolescence, adulthood, and geriatrics. In an online master’s in occupational therapy program (with no GRE required), classes include lectures, small discussion groups, problem-based learning, group problem-solving sessions, and hands-on learning experiences. Also, in an occupational therapy graduate program, students are teamed up with faculty facilitators who oversee their clinical cases. Each clinical case calls on students to use the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom and apply it to real-world settings. Most programs focus on three aspects of occupational therapy: evaluation of patients and determining appropriate treatments, general health knowledge and education (as well as advocacy), and exploration of evidence and information for critical-thinking and accurate decision-making.

Once students graduate with their online master’s in occupational therapy, they are prepared to work in a variety of settings. Some occupational therapists may work in hospital settings or rehabilitation centers, while others work in generalists’ offices. Graduates of an occupational therapy master’s program are also prepared to teach students about health and occupational therapy, and they may end up working in an educational setting or school. Occupational therapists who complete master’s programs are also trained to work with any kind of patient, including people of all ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and all walks of life.

Occupational therapy program graduates who do not want to work directly with patients will have a variety of other job opportunities available to them. They can serve as consultants or advocates, working in policy or the nonprofit sector. They can work in labs, helping to research new treatment methods or learn about the cause of injuries or disabilities in patients. Occupational therapists who decide that they want to teach can lead other occupational therapy students in clinical training, become teaching associates, or be a guest lecturer in a university or graduate school setting.

If you are an aspiring occupational therapist, and you want to complete your master’s degree program online, you can submit an application by gathering transcripts, professional and educational references and recommendations, and biographical information, and also by answering any written questions within the specific application (no need to worry about any standardized testing!) Occupational therapy online master’s programs vary based on the length of the program, its cost, and whether it offers specialties or concentrations. Seek out the program that is best suited for your needs and goals, and apply to the school that you think will set you on the career path that you’ve always dreamed of. 

If you want to study online to become an occupational therapist, consider a program that is completely remote or choose one that is hybrid. Remote programs allow you to study and earn your degree without ever stepping foot on campus. A hybrid program allows you to do a lot of your learning online, but also has some activities or classes on-campus (and often allows you to do lab and clinical work in-person).

How Much Does an Online Master’s in Occupational Therapy (No GRE Required) Degree Cost? 

When you earn your online master’s degree in occupational therapy, the tuition you pay will cover the credits you are required to earn from the program you are attending. Every program differs in terms of required credits and courses, as well as in terms of cost. However, most programs require somewhere between 56 and 64 credits (some programs require fewer, while some require more). And, in terms of cost, students can expect to pay anywhere between $19,000 and $78,000 for their degree. The price of tuition depends on a variety of factors about the school and program, including who is on the faculty, what clinical experience they offer students, the reputation of the school, and much more.

The cost of an online master’s in occupational therapy can also depend on the speed at which a student has decided to finish a course. An accelerated program or course of study tends to be cheaper than a full-time or part-time program, because more learning is packed into fewer credits.

If you are completing your master’s degree completely online, you’ll have some costs to cover during your studies beyond tuition. These costs include things like a computer, internet connection, books, schools supplies, and more.

Average Salary for an Online Master’s in Occupational Therapy No GRE Required

Occupational therapists are sought-after specialists who are consistently needed in society. Because there is a constant demand for occupational therapy skills and services, and because these skills and services are extremely specialized (and had to be acquired via a graduate education), you can expect to be paid well as an occupational therapist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapists can expect to earn a median annual salary of $86,280 per year or $41.48 per hour. Your salary as an occupational therapist will depend on who your employer is, what kind of institution you are working in, what type of specializations you have acquired, and more.

Most occupational therapists choose to be employed by a hospital, medical practice, or rehabilitation center. These facilities regularly have patients come through who can benefit from the services of an occupational therapist, which means that a therapist is regularly in demand and busy in these facilities. While they will likely be compensated fairly and well, some occupational therapists may choose to open their own practices or businesses. These practitioners may choose to provide home healthcare or to work with people who are not recovering in an institutional setting. As a clinician in private practice, occupational therapists can set their own rates, and they may be able to earn more than they could working for an employer.

Occupational therapy degrees allow you to work with people to help them manage their mental healthcare. If you have a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing, there are many positions you can hold and facilities in which you can work including private practices, mental health hospitals, mental health units within general hospitals, inpatient clinics, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation facilities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and even in a home healthcare setting.

In addition to working with patients (or instead of working with patients), some occupational therapists will choose to teach or consult. Those who pair clinical work with teaching or consulting work can earn a high salary.

What Is the Job Outlook for Online Master’s in Occupational Therapy (No GRE Required) Holders?

Occupational therapists are professionals who are always needed in society. As long as people have accidents or weaknesses with their independent functioning, occupational therapists will have work to do, helping people live more independent, fulfilling lives. Because they are always in demand, the job outlook for occupational therapists in America is good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow by 16% between 2019 to 2029. This is much faster than the average job growth expected in general in that same time period, which means that graduates of online master’s programs in the industry can most likely expect to be able to find a job or work right after graduation. Because it is a job seeker’s market in the occupational therapy field, new graduates should be able to be more thoughtful about choosing a professional setting that best suits them, including the work environment, type of patient, type of work, and more.

Experts believe that one reason the need for occupational therapists will increase in coming years is that baby boomers are growing old, and even younger generations will live into old age far more frequently (and longer) than people ever have before. Occupational therapists are often helpful for the elderly who need help to function on their own, and who may also benefit from the neurological help that occupational therapists can offer.

If you get your master’s degree in occupational therapy (no GRE required), you may hold one of the following jobs:

  • Occupational therapist in a hospital setting
  • Occupational therapist in a rehabilitation setting
  • Occupational therapist in an occupational therapy-specific practice
  • Occupational therapist in a nursing care facility
  • Home health practitioner (occupational therapy)
  • Health educator in private or public schools
  • Health educator in a university setting
  • Disability evaluator in schools
  • Parental education (for parents of disabled children)
  • Coach/teacher/support for individuals with autism
  • Support and education for the elderly (for more independent lives)
  • Occupational therapy consultant (to help other facilities be adequately set up and prepared to offer occupational therapy to patients who need it)
  • Supervisor of occupational therapy assistants
  • Supervisor of occupational therapy or rehabilitative aides
  • Early interventionist with small children (exhibiting developmental delays)
  • Guest lecturer
  • Healthcare and policy advocate
  • And many, many more!

Courses in Online Master’s in Occupational Therapy No GRE Required Degree Programs 

When you decide you want to become an occupational therapist and earn your master’s degree online (with no GRE required), you will spend time learning about the nature and cause of injuries and illnesses, the proper way to treat certain disabilities or physical challenges, how to diagnose or problem solve to understand what a patient needs, and how to work with a wide range of patients effectively, no matter their background. 

To study in an online master’s program in occupational therapy, you have to have earned your undergraduate degree first. Many occupational therapy graduate students have graduated from college with a BS, and many earned degrees in a field related to occupational therapy (e.g., biology, psychology, etc.)

Once you are in the master’s program for occupational therapy, there are some standard courses in most curricula that you can expect to take in order to graduate. Here are some of the most common courses you will find in an online master’s program:

  • Theoretical Foundations of Occupational Therapy
  • Human Occupations
  • Professional Roles
  • Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy
  • Documentation in Practice
  • Occupational Therapy Research Analysis
  • Childhood Occupational Therapy
  • Pediatric Occupational Therapy
  • Assistive Technology
  • Splinting
  • Geriatrics and Occupational Therapy
  • Older Adult Occupational Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy Management
  • Adolescence and Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Adolescent Health
  • Fieldwork in Adult Health
  • Research seminar
  • Interprofessional practice
  • Occupation-based practice with children
  • Neuroscience fundamentals
  • Conditions in Childhood
  • Development in Children
  • Childhood Interventions
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Conditions in Later Life
  • Cognition and Occupation
  • Using Hands
  • Advanced Neuroscience for Occupational Therapy
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Occupational Therapy
  • Models of Service Delivery
  • And many, more!

Most online graduate programs in OT do not require students to specialize. Instead, they make it a focus to prepare graduates to work with people across the lifespan. Fieldwork is done during these programs with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, and geriatrics. Students may get a sense of the type of patient they most like working with during fieldwork. Also, there are several common conditions that result in people needing to work with occupational therapists. Therapists may come to specialize in working with one type of patient, who has suffered from one specific type of challenge. Some of these conditions include: spinal cord injuries, autism, strokes, cancer, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, head injuries, and more.

FAQs on Online Master’s in Occupational Therapy No GRE Required

Summary Information

Options

  • Students can take accelerated or part-time courses.
  • Programs are all remote or hybrid.
  • Fieldwork is done with a variety of clients to help therapists who want to specialize in practice.

Benefits

  • Therapists do meaningful and fulfilling work helping people.
  • Salaries are high for these positions.
  • The field is expanding and the job outlook is great.

Costs summary

  • Tuition is based on the number of credits you need.
  • Online and accelerated programs are affordable options.
  • Remote students must pay tuition and cover the cost of their own class materials, books, internet connection, and computer.
Scroll to Top