Where were North Carolina's Occupational Therapists Trained?
By Evan Galloway, Julie Spero
Jul 26, 2019
- Occupational therapists (OTs) treat patients with physical, developmental, or cognitive disabilities, focusing on the patient’s ability to perform activities for daily life. OTs work with patients in homes, schools, workplaces, and healthcare facilities.
- A master’s degree is required for an OT to become licensed. National OT organizations recently considered requiring a doctoral degree but determined that both a master’s or doctorate can be accepted as the entry-level OT degree.
- North Carolina does not have a doctoral OT program and fewer than 100 of the OTs in NC are doctorally trained. Six NC schools are pursuing accreditation for a doctoral program (see here and here). Four of the six would be new OT programs.
- In 2017, 1,269 (37%) of NC’s OTs were trained in one of the state’s five OT schools, four of which are represented in the chart below. Cabarrus College of Health Sciences graduated its first class of OTs in 2016.
- Most OTs are trained outside of NC. After NC, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida are the top contrbutors to NC’s OT workforce. (This pattern roughly coincides with the migration trends of the general population.)