Best 10 Schools to Study Occupational Therapy in Florida(2021)

In this post, the 10 best schools for studying occupational therapy in Florida have been adequately identified for your perusal. In any of the 10 best schools providing occupational therapy in Florida, read through the post to get the required details you need to study

Occupational therapists provide patients of all ages with therapeutic treatments to physical ailments. They may work with injured patients, disabled children, and aging adults.

What stops you from becoming one of the best occupational therapists in Florida? Is the difficulty in looking for the schools one of them? Then, you are definitely in the right place as we have compiled a list of best top 10 occupational therapy programs in Florida.

From the American Occupational Therapy Associations report, Florida presently has about 24 accredited OT programs.

That is, 10 ACOTE accredited occupational therapy schools that offer entry-level master’s degrees and 3 accredited schools for doctoral programs. In addition, 11 ACOTE accredited occupational therapy assistant schools that offer associate degrees.

These top best schools to study occupational therapy in Florida will train you to become one of the best occupational therapists (OT) or occupational therapy assistants (OTA) ever.

What Is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a client-centred allied health profession that uses valuation or assessment and intervention to identify, explain, develop, recover, or maintain the significant activities, or occupations, of individuals, groups, or communities.

In other words, its focus is on promoting health and well-being through occupation.

Occupational therapy treatment emphasizes are on helping people with a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives.

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), it is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities.

How do I become an occupational therapist in Florida?

To become an occupational therapist in Florida, you must follow these steps:

1. Earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited school.
2. Complete the Internship.
3. Get a National Certification in OT.
4. Apply for Licensure.
5. Maintain Professional Credentials.

Who does an occupational therapist treat?

An occupational therapist works with people of all ages, from premature babies to young children, adults in midlife, and seniors.

What type of bachelor’s degree is required for a master’s degree in occupational therapy?

Students with a bachelor’s degree in any field may apply to the program. However, having a bachelor’s degree in a related course and meeting up with the requisite course works will be an added advantage.

Who is a typical Occupational Therapy Assistant student?

An occupational therapy assistant is a program that accepts students from numerous age levels and backgrounds.

A typical class might include recent high school graduates, single parents, individuals seeking a career change, and adults re-entering the workforce.

How long does it take to earn a master’s of occupational therapy degree?

A master’s degree is the prerequisite for becoming a practicing occupational therapist, and admission to occupational therapy degree programs is competitive.

An average master’s degree program takes a student two to three years to complete.

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Are there any online occupational therapy programs?

Yes, there are online occupational therapy programs.

However, according to the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, there are presently no accredited entry-level occupational therapy programs offered entirely online.

What is an Occupation in Occupational Therapy?

In this context, occupation refers to the everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families, and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life. It includes things people need and are expected to do.

For instance, everyone has an occupation of living. Some of the occupations of life include: are among the “occupations” of life. 

  • Learning
  • Growing
  • Playing
  • Working
  • Managing our homes
  • Caring for our families


Occupational Therapy Treatment

The primary goal of occupational therapy is to help people participate in the activities of their everyday lives.

It teaches us how to adjust by providing treatment that can help if you have pain, injury, illness, or a disability that makes it hard for you to do your job or schoolwork, care for yourself, complete household chores, move around, or take part in activities.

From the explanation above, we can see that just like adults, children can also receive occupational therapy treatments. This is because a child’s main job is playing and learning.

Therefore, occupational therapists can evaluate kids’ skills for playing, school performance, and daily activities and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for that age group.

Occupational therapy treatments are carried out by both the occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant.

What do Occupational Therapists Earn?

From the report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, typically, occupational therapists earn $84,270 per year that is, $40.51 per hour.

However, from Glassdoor’s report, an occupational therapist earns $80,782/yr.

What is the Job Outlook of Occupational Therapists?

According to BLS, the employment of occupational therapists is anticipated to grow 18 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Furthermore, occupational therapy will continue to be a vital part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, autism, or the loss of a limb.

Who is an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

An occupational therapy assistant helps patients develop, recover, improve, and also, maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.

They can work in occupational therapists’ offices, in hospitals, and in nursing care facilities.

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What do Occupational Therapy Assistants earn?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of occupational therapy assistant is $57,620 per year and $27.70 per hour.

In addition, the report states that the median annual wage for occupational therapy assistants as of 2018 as $60,220. 

Occupational Therapy in Florida

Occupational therapy will remain an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities.

From the statistics above, one can say that occupational therapy is a profession that will last the test of time.

Therefore, to be able to pursue a career in occupational therapy, then, you need to enroll for an occupational therapy (OT) or occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program.

In Florida, most Occupational therapy programs are offered at the master’s level while Occupational therapy assistant programs are majorly offered at the associate level.

Notwithstanding, occupational therapy practitioners and students in Florida belong to an association; Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA).

It was incorporated on October 7, 1997, FOTA is a state-based professional organization and public voice for the occupational therapy profession in Florida.

It is a non-profit volunteer organization that provides a professional community for its members.

The main role of the association is to promote the occupational therapy profession, create public awareness, support the therapist in continuing education, improve and maintain the quality of the occupational therapy profession in the state of Florida.

The FOTA is an affiliated state body of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Other important bodies are:

  1. World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)
  2. National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT)

Ranking Factors for Occupational Therapy Programs in Florida

Below are the factors used in ranking the top occupational therapy programs in Florida!

  • Employability ratio
  • Number of programs
  • Acceptance rate
  • Exam Success rate
  • Graduation rate
  • Accreditation

10 Top Best Occupational Therapy Schools in Florida

These are the top schools to train occupational therapists at the master’s and/or doctorate level (OTD).

Each school’s score reflects its average rating on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding), based on a survey of academics at peer institutions.

We have created a 2020 ranking of the best colleges in Florida that offer Occupational Therapy degrees to help you find a school that fits your needs.

Each school’s ranking is based on the collation of our data from reliable government sources, student surveys, college graduate, and editorial review.

Meanwhile, Glassdoor reports that occupational therapy assistants earn $30/hr.

University of Florida

P.O. Box 100164 Gainesville, FL 32611-0154

Tuition: $12,740 per term

Since 1961, the University of Florida OT program has received continued accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®).

Currently, the UF Department of Occupational Therapy offers an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) beginning from the fall semester of 2018. The program has recently got the Candidacy Status by the ACOTE.

The Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program has ACOTE accreditation status.

However, the MOT program has stopped accepting new intake for proper transitioning to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD).

Notwithstanding, current students and UF Pre-OT Health Science students are allowed to complete their degree programs.

Visit the Official Website

Nova Southeastern University

3200 S. University Drive Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33328-2018

Tuition: Masters: $30,094

Masters Graduation Rate: Masters; 97%

Doctorate Graduation Rate: 85%

Nova Southeastern University offers 2 entry-level occupational therapy programs: Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) & Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD).

In addition, NSU also offers 2 post-professional occupational therapy programs: a Clinical Doctorate (Dr. OT) & Research Doctorate (Ph.D.). The OT post-professional programs are online programs

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Florida International University

11200 SW 8th Street, AHC 3,443 Miami, FL 33199

Tuition:

Residents: $52,405 (for 80 credits)
Non-residents: $96,089 (for 80 credits)

Graduation Rate: 92%

Students to Faculty Ratio: 27:1

FIU Occupational Therapy’s entry-level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MS-OT) program prepares graduates by emphasizing evidence-based practice, interdisciplinary collaborative learning, research, cultural awareness, fieldwork engagement, and leading technology.

This emphasis are necessary to help students develop effective solutions that facilitate participation for the people we serve.

The master of science of occupational therapy is a 2.5-year, full-time program (including summers) that combines intensive hands-on instruction, an advanced curriculum, fieldwork and also, research opportunities for a comprehensive learning experience.

In addition, the first five semesters focus on didactic courses and introductory fieldwork, with the last two engaged in Level II fieldwork experiences.

It’s also important to note that FIU Occupational Therapy is the only program in Florida, and one of three in the U.S., using In Motion neurological training robots for motor recovery research and clinical practice.

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Florida Gulf Coast University

10501 FGCU Boulevard South Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565

Tuition:

1st fall – $127.00/course

1st spring – $141.00/course

Summer – $45.00/course

2nd fall – $175.00/course

2nd spring – $10.00/course

Graduation Rate: 99%

Students to Faculty Ratio: 22:1

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Occupational Therapy takes four academic semesters and 24 weeks of fieldwork education to prepare graduates to practice as generalists in the profession of occupational therapy.

Furthermore, the M.S. in Occupational Therapy Program prepares students to work in a wide variety of settings, using principles and intervention approaches related to occupation.

Also, for them to supervise occupational therapy support personnel.

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Barry University

11300 Northeast Second Avenue, Miami Shores, FL 33161-6695 

Tuition:

Masters level – $990.00 per credit

Doctoral level – $1,125.00 per credit

Graduation Rate: 99%

Students to Faculty Ratio: 12:1

Established in 1940 by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Barry University, a private Catholic institution offers one of the top occupational therapy programs in Florida.

This OT school offers an entry-level Master of Science in Occupational therapy.

The program integrates face-to-face and distance education.

Occupational therapy classes on campus are scheduled for two weekends each month in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

This is to enable adults to continue working or raising their families while preparing to become an occupational therapist

Also, note that the Masters in Occupational Therapy Program only accepts students once a year to begin in the fall term.

The occupational therapy school also offers a doctorate in occupational therapy (OTD); a post-professional online program.

With favourable flexibility, this distance-delivered program is designed for NBCOT certified occupational therapists who wish to pursue their studies beyond the master’s level.

Admission Requirement

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • 3.2 cumulative college grade point average
  • Grades of “B” or better in prerequisite courses
  • Satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score. (The GRE Designated Institute Code assigned to Barry University OTCAS is 2207. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will transmit your official GRE scores electronically to the OTCAS if you designate our program as a score recipient.)
  •  Two professional letters of recommendations through OTCAS
  • Evidence of 40 hours of observation or volunteer works in an occupational therapy clinic to inform yourself about this career.
  • Applicants are required to submit the Verification of Observation Hours to OT CAS. 

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Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

334 Palmer Avenue, Room 318 Tallahassee, FL 32307-3500

Tuition:  $3,651.00 (for 9 credits per term)

Graduation Rate: 96%

The Division of Occupational Therapy, one of the five Divisions within the School of Allied Health Sciences, was established in 1989. 

Before now, the university offered bachelor degree programs in occupational therapy with over 200 students graduating from the program before the program’s transition to an entry-level master’s program.

However, as of 2006, the last set of students graduated from the program with the first set of masters in the OT program graduating in 2007.

Basically, a master’s in occupational degree program consists of 81 credit hours, including 2 years of academic coursework and 6 months of fieldwork.

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Adventhealth University

671 Winyah Drive Orlando, FL 32803

Tuition:

Masters – $72,000(for 7 trimesters)

Associate Degree –$42,325 (for 3 semesters)

Graduation Rate: 98%

Students to Faculty Ratio: 8:1

The Occupational Therapy Department provides an environment where students can pursue expertise in occupational therapy same time, developing themselves spiritually, intellectually, and socially. 

The university offers both accredited masters and associate degree programs in occupational therapy.

In addition, this OT school provides standard facilities to the students. For instance, there are so many important labs in the department such as the occupation lab, occupational therapy performance lab, and skills therapy.

Associate Degree

With a graduation rate of 97%, the occupational therapy assistant program provides core and program-specific classes that prepare students for handling real-world situations with a human touch while upholding the highest professional standards.

Furthermore, the program consists of 4 core areas of practice:

  • psychosocial
  • geriatrics
  • adults with physical disabilities
  • Pediatrics.

Each core class has a corresponding practicum, which gives students the room to learn in the classroom while applying their knowledge in a clinical setting. 

Basically, an associate degree for occupational therapy assistants consists of three semesters.

The first two semesters have one OTA class each with several general education courses.

On the other hand, the last semester of the OTA program consists of two (2), eight (8) week level II internships.

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Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale Campus

1500 NW 49th Street Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309

Graduation Rate: 84%

Keiser University is one of the top occupational therapy schools. It offers the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Bridge Program for the Certified Occupational therapy Assistant (COTA).

In addition, the OT program includes an on-campus and online way of learning. Furthermore, the occupational therapy program integrates didactic, face-to-face, and clinical experiences to prepare students to achieve success on the NBCOT® exam.

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The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Florida Campus – 1 University Boulevard St. Augustine, FL 32086-5783
Miami Campus – 11410 NW 20th Street Miami, FL 33172

Masters Tuition:

$14,022 per trimester for Full-Time MOT students

$8,824 per trimester for Flex MOT students  

Graduation Rate: 91%

Doctorate Tuition: Full time – $12,948 per trimester for OTD students 

The University of St. Augustine offers a master of occupational therapy program at 3 different campuses, 2 in Florida, and one in Texas.

Also, all the MOT programs are accredited by the ACOTE.

USAHS offers two tracks towards the MOT: residential and flex (weekends and online).

The residential/full-time programs last for 2 years that is, 6 trimesters. On the other hand, the flex (online/weekend) MOT programs last for 3 years; 9 trimesters.

In addition, USAHS offers a doctorate program in occupational therapy at the Florida main campus.

Furthermore, they offer their students two different paths to earn their Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree.

While the full-time program lasts for 2.7 years with 117 credit hours over 8 trimesters, the flex program lasts for 4 years with 117 credit hours over 12 trimesters.

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Gannon University – Florida Campus

105 Commercial Center Drive Ruskin, FL 33570

Tuition:  $17,110 per semester    

Ganon University is one of the top schools to enroll in for an entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate program.

This program is a Bachelor’s to Doctorate program that offers opportunities for in-depth study of, and clinical experiences with, clients of all ages who have limited capacity to perform to their expectations in their everyday lives or are at risk of developing a limiting condition. 

Visit the Official Website

Conclusion

From the report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapy is projected to be among the fastest-growing careers in the United States.

Therefore, pursuing a career in occupational therapy will certainly not be a bad idea.

I hope this article guide you as you make your choice. You can as well visit Jobreaders.org for more information

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