Hi! I am considering going to back to become an Occupational Therapist. I'm currently a Licensed Social Worker and graduated from grad school in 2008. I am still paying about $38k in student loans from grad school. I love social work, but am having a hard time making more money. I work 6 days a week for the last 5 years and it is getting a bit tiring. I feel stuck in the field, and could probably find another job but the pay increase wouldn't be much unless it was through the government.
I have considered returning back to school and changing careers. I can always do private practice social work for extra money later in life. I came across Occupational Therapy and found it to be interesting. I would still be helping individuals, but in a more hands on type of way. I found a college in PA that has a weeekend entry-level master's program in 3 yrs. I have 4 prerequisite courses that I need to take at community college before I apply.
So, I would not graduate until 2017 and I would be 35. I would also be oweing back close to another $40k in student loans so that would put my debt around $80k in loans. Kind of makes me scared, but it seems that the would have a pretty signficant pay increase where it wouldn't be difficult to make the loan payment.
I know grad school is hard, but I'm willing to put in the time and energy studying. Here are a few of my questions:
Do you have more exams or writing assignments? Are the exams multiple choice or more of case study senarios?
Is the certification exam hard to pass if you study? The college I'm looking at had a 100% pass rate for 24 student last year.
What kind of certifications can OT earn? I read about Hand Therapy certification which is something you can apply for after I think 5 years of 4,000 hours.
Do you need to have other certifications to make more in the field?
Which field pays more..SNF, acute care of sport medicine?
Thank you for listening. Any info is much appreciated