Becoming an occupational therapist

Ever considered a career in occupational therapy? In this blog, we share insight into everything you need to know, including educational requirements, routes to entry and registration protocols.


1. Educational requirements


Typically, you need a degree in occupational therapy approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This is usually a three or four-year full-time course. Make sure to choose a program that is accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).


2. Work experience 


Many occupational therapy programs require or recommend work experience before or during the application process. This can include voluntary work, shadowing, or paid employment in health or social care settings.


3. Register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)


Once you have successfully completed your degree, you need to register with the HCPC, which is the regulatory body for healthcare professionals in the UK. This is a legal requirement to practise as an occupational therapist.


4. Enhance your skills


Continuing professional development (CPD) is essential in maintaining and enhancing your skills as an occupational therapist. RCOT provides resources and guidance on CPD.


5. Job search


Look for job opportunities in the field. Consider various settings such as hospitals, community health services, schools, and private practice. Working with a specialist recruiter (such as Amaré) can help you narrow your search while gaining market insight from our experienced consultants.


6. Specialisation


As you gain experience, you may choose to specialise in a particular area of occupational therapy, such as mental health, paediatrics, or rehabilitation.


7. Membership with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)


While not mandatory, joining the RCOT can provide you with professional support, access to resources, and networking opportunities.

8. CPD and revalidation

HCPC requires occupational therapists to engage in CPD and undergo a revalidation process every two years to maintain their registration. Check out our handy blog on upcoming CPD events if you’re in need of some inspiration!

Here at Amaré Health, we recruit occupational therapists as well as other healthcare roles. Get in touch with the team on 0203 929 4017 today to find out more about our current opportunities.