Hi All, welcome to Brain Checker’s blog, in today’s article we will be talking about CAREER IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY | TYPES | COURSES. I am Keya Raje, a Counseling Psychologist and Co-Founder, Brain Checker, I have been working as a Career Counselor and Mental Health Professional for last 10+Years. In this article, we will be talking about CAREER IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY | TYPES | COURSES. So let’s begin.

Occupational therapy incorporates the purposeful profession which enables the physically or mentally challenged people to enjoy their everyday lives. Occupational Therapy is the branch of science that deals with curing and rehabilitating the physically, emotionally and mentally disabled and challenged people. It focuses on adapting to the environment according to the patient, as well as teaching and educating them about the necessary skills needed in performing daily activities. This was also known as ‘Moral Treatment’ in the past.

Occupational Therapists are professionals who:

  • Deal with physically, mentally, morally, and mentally challenged people.
  • Manage the dysfunctions caused due to social, biological, and economic reasons.



Why Would Someone Need Occupational Therapy?

Anyone who struggles to perform everyday tasks may need occupational therapy. This can include individuals who have had a history with or are currently experiencing:

  • Stroke
  • Poor vision
  • Diabetes
  • Joint replacement
  • Poor balance
  • Chronic pain
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cancer
  • Brain injury
  • Mental health issues.
  • Behavioral issues

 Types of Occupational Therapists

There are various types and specializations in occupational therapy jobs. Candidates can choose and pursue occupational therapy as a career in any of the specializations depending upon their interest and passion. The following section gives the types of occupational therapist jobs.

  • Pediatric: The role of the pediatric occupational therapist is to provide assistance to infants, children and youths in a variety of settings. They help the children to develop the skills which they require to grow into independent adults. Pediatric occupational therapy helps in the development of cognitive skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, self-care and social skills.


  • Mental Health Services: Occupational therapy in mental health services helps people of all age categories who are diagnosed with mental illness. They teach patients to deal with stress and teach them how to lead a productive life by balancing their daily responsibilities. This type of OT enhances existing skills, creates opportunities, promotes wellness, restores skills, modifies the environment and prevents relapse.


  • Neurological: Neurological occupational therapy enables the patients to manage their daily activities which require their physical, social and emotional contribution. It has the skills to understand the challenges faced by patients with neurological impairments.


  • Learning Disability: Children with a learning disability will have difficulty in school, playing with others or socially interacting with friends. An occupational therapist helps such children to enhance their sensory processing skills (understanding, responding to sensory information and registering), fine motor skills (writing skills), attention and social behaviour.


Courses for Occupational Therapy

There are several Occupational Therapy Courses starting from certificate o Postgraduate courses that can be pursued by students who wants to become an Occupational Therapist. Some of the courses of Occupational Therapy and its duration in different courses along with its descriptions are mentioned below.


Certificate Courses

Certificate in Occupational Therapy Course can be pursued both in online and offline mode. Online Occupational Therapy Course is for those who want to pursue the degree without going to any institute or medical college.

  • To earn online Certificate in Occupational Therapy, you must have to pass the 10th/ equivalent to it / 10 + 2 grade in Science with Physics, Chemistry and Biology
  • In this online course, you can learn how to work with children as well as adult to deal with their mental, psychological, health or emotional problem and how to build self-esteem and self-confidence in them

Diploma Course

  • Diploma in Occupational Therapy is a 2-3 year diploma course, which is offered in Medical colleges and institutes.
  • To pursue the degree in Diploma Course in Occupational Therapy, one must have to pass 12th grade in Science with Physics, Chemistry and Biology with 55% marks from a recognized institute or college.
  • In this course, one can learn how to deal with the patients during and after the medical treatment. They help the patient in mental, emotional, psychological rehabilitation.

Bachelor’s Courses

  • Bachelor in Occupational Therapy or Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy is 3-4 year duration of course with 6 month of compulsory internship program.
  • After passing the 12th grade or equivalent to it with Physics, Chemistry and Biology and English with minimum 50% marks (40% for SC/ST/ OBC/EWS), the students can apply for a Bachelor in Occupational Therapy.
  • The medical college or institution may take a Common Entrance Test for the students who want to pursue a degree in the course.
  • In this course, the students will be able to understand the psychological or mental illness of patients and its effects in physical illness and dealing with patients during treatment, rehabilitation and discharge.

Master’s Courses

  • It is a 2-year Post-Graduate degree program.
  • The eligibility criteria for taking admission into this course is that you must have to pass the Bachelor in Occupational Therapy with 55% minimum qualifying marks from a recognized university or medical institute.
  • The students all have to complete the 6 months Internship program after the completion of a 4-year graduation degree.
  • The students can do the internship in any medical college and hospitals and clinics.
  • In Master in Occupational Therapy, the students can learn how to deal with the adults and children during and after the medical treatment.


PhD Courses

  • Doctorate in Occupational Therapy is a 2-4 year doctorate degree.
  • To pursue this degree, you must have to be a post-graduates degree holder in Masters in Occupational Therapy Course with 55% minimum marks.
  • In this course, research facilities in various fields are available for the research scholar.


How to Become an Occupational Therapist in India

In India, to become an occupational therapist, candidates should first shadow a senior Occupational therapist who is already working in a practice setting to know the advantages and disadvantages of the job. It will also help in analysing if the candidates could work well in such an environment.

  • School-level preparation: At the school level, if candidates wish to pursue occupational therapy as a career, they should opt for the group which has physics, chemistry and biology as compulsory subjects. At the school level, candidates should also have English as a compulsory subject. They should work and enhance their social skills and communication skills. In the class 12 board examination, candidates should pass with at least 50% marks in aggregate.


  • UG Preparation: At the undergraduate level, candidates should opt for the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy program in a recognized university and complete the degree with at least 50% marks in aggregate. After successfully completing the BOT program, candidates should take up an internship program in the occupational therapy field for a duration of 6 months. Then candidates should register themselves in the National Certification Examination to get a license to practice occupational therapy as a profession.


How to Become an Occupational Therapist Abroad

Candidates can pursue occupational therapy courses from various foreign universities. The candidates who wish to study in the foreign colleges have to go through more stringent entry criteria. Some of the major criteria are as follows:

  • They need to maintain a consistently good academic record preferably 70% and above


  • The candidates are required to pass the english proficiency such as IELTS or TOEFL examination to gain entry in foreign colleges.


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About the Author: Dr. Ashwin Raje

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