Occupational Therapist

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):


Hourly Wage:

$22.44-$50.37 (Mean $37.29)
*based on 2016 Alaska DOL data

One-page Description (PDF):

Occupational Therapist

Professional Activities

Occupational therapy focuses on enabling people to do the activities of daily life. Occupational therapists help people with disabilities learn or regain the skills they need to live independent, productive, and satisfying lives. They often work as a member of a team of professionals who combine their individual fields of expertise to meet the needs of the client.

Occupational therapists select appropriate activities suited to the physical and mental capability, developmental level, and interests of each client. Goal-directed activities are designed to facilitate recovery and to improve independence in daily living or work related skills. Occupational therapists must also have an in-depth knowledge of the techniques used for redesigning living and working settings to provide accessibility for people with disabilities. Specialty areas in occupational therapy include hand rehabilitation, pediatrics, physical rehabilitation in areas such as neurology and orthopedics,  school system practice, mental health, community-based practice, gerontology.

Occupational therapists work in many different types of environments, including: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, community centers, home health care, nursing homes, mental health centers, school systems, and private practice.

In rural Alaska, occupational therapists are employed by health care facilities, educational organizations, school systems, infant learning programs, and city, state, or federal agencies.

Educational Requirements

  • Graduation from high school with coursework in English, science, and math.
  • A bachelor’s degree in any field and completion of required pre-requisites for the occupational therapy program you will be entering.
  • A master’s degree or doctoral degree in occupational therapy is needed to enter the profession and to be eligible to sit for the national certification examination.
  • Students who have successfully completed an accredited degree program may be eligible to sit for the Occupational Therapist Registered OTR® examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®).

Academic Programs

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) has partnered with Creighton University to provide Alaskan residents holding a B.S. degree the opportunity to obtain an entry-level doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD).  Students are admitted through Creighton University, which is based in Omaha, Nebraska. All lectures are viewed online and the associated clinical labs are taught on the UAA campus by adjunct faculty who are experienced occupational therapy clinicians.  Alaskan residents are given priority over out-of-state applicants. The OTD program is full-time, requiring students to relocate into Anchorage while attending the program.  Course requirements are completed over a 3 year period, which also includes fieldwork experiences.

For more information, contact:
Diana Steer, OTL
Academic Coordinator, CU/UAA Occupational Therapy program
College of Health
University of Alaska Anchorage
Phone: (907) 786-4490
Email: dlsteer@uaa.alaska.edu
Website: https://www.uaa.alaska.edu/collegeofhealth/departments/ot/index.cfm

For information regarding Academics and Admission, contact:
Creighton University
School of Pharmacy and Health Professions Admission Office
Phone: 402-280-2662 or 800-325-2830, Ext. 1
Email: phaadmis@creighton.edu

For a list of other accredited occupational therapy programs in the United States, visit the American Occupational Therapy Association website below. (See Education and Careers-Find a School)


State Contact:

Alaska Occupational Therapy Association
3705 Arctic Blvd., PMB 1616
Anchorage, AK 99503
Website: http://www.akota.org

National Contact:

The American Occupational Therapy Association
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-3449
Phone: (301) 652-6611
Website: http://www.aota.org

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