Occupational Therapy

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Jun 22, 2023 18:21PM IST

Occupational Therapy Courses Overview

Occupational Therapy is a healthcare branch that treats patients with sensory, physical, mental and cognitive ailments hindering the ability to perform day-to-day activities. An Occupational Therapist is a professional responsible for using therapeutic techniques that rehabilitate and maintain the capacity of the patients to perform daily chores. An Occupational Therapy course can be studied after 10+2 and may require six months to 10 years of study. 

Students can complete a certificate, diploma, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy. Some of the popular entrance exams for Occupational Therapy courses are KMCHCOTEE, CMCVEE and AIIMPREE. The course can be done in both offline and online modes, however, students must remember that only certificate and diploma courses may be offered online. 

An Occupational Therapy course is best suited for those who wish to focus on treating the patient holistically rather than addressing a particular disease or ailment. They teach patients to be independent and use tools for the improvement of their quality of life. The top universities to pursue Occupational Therapy in India are KMCH College of Occupational Therapy, Jaipur Occupational Therapy College and Hospital, Bihar College of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy and All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The course fee ranges from INR 5,000 to INR 1,00,000.

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Occupational Therapy Course Highlights

For easy reference for students, the key highlights of an Occupational Therapy course have been mentioned below:

Name of the Course

Occupational Therapy



Level of the Course Available

Bachelors, Certificate, Diploma, PG Diploma, Masters, Doctorate

Course Mode

Regular, Online

Course Duration

6 months to 3 years

Exam Type


Admission Process

Merit or entrance-based

Fees Range

INR 5,000-10,00,000

Top Recruiters

Fortis Healthcare Group, Apollo Hospitals, Government Medical Hospitals

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Why Choose Occupational Therapy?

A career in Occupational Therapy has its own benefits. Often the duties pertaining to jobs in the sector are challenging and rewarding. That said, the job is primarily client-centric and therapists get enriched by helping them directly. Briefly, the benefits of Occupational Therapy are:

It is a financially sound career with plenty of job opportunities. There is high demand for these professionals in a densely populated country like India.

Occupational therapists can choose to work part-time or full-time which provides flexibility and can thus enable work-life balance.

There are numerous specialities in which occupational therapists can work such as geriatrics, orthopaedics, psychiatry, hand therapy and vision therapy. They also get to work with various age groups and therefore always have the scope to expand their knowledge.

Working as an occupational therapist is an enriching experience when they see patients making progress and benefitting from the therapy. In case one works with a patient for an extended period of time, there is a possibility that they get emotionally attached to their journey.

There is job satisfaction due to positive interactions with patients and other healthcare professionals. Helping patients rebuild their life provides immense joy and happiness.

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How Many Courses are There in Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists mainly work to improve their skills or work around their loss of skills in different job settings. The main purpose of the courses is to create professionals who better the mental or physical health conditions of patients. The different types of Occupational therapy courses are:

Certificate Occupational Therapy Courses

Certificate Occupational Therapy courses are available to students in both online and offline modes. A certificate course lasts for six to 12 months, which makes it best suited for those who wish to get a degree without much hassle.

The course deals with the basics of human anatomy and physiology, helping clients to build self-esteem and confidence, developmental disorders and career options. One can start with a certificate course and can move on to a diploma or other degrees to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Diploma Occupational Therapy Courses

Diploma in Occupational Therapy is a course of two to three years. It provides students with knowledge of the problems faced on a day-to-day basis. Also, subjects such as physiology, anatomy, psychology and related areas are taught. Students can advance to a postgraduate diploma or PG Diploma after completing undergraduate diploma courses.

Bachelors in Occupational Therapy

A bachelor's in Occupational Therapy course is of three to four years including six months of internship. The course deeply studies biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, surgery and others. The course focuses on adapting the environment according to the needs of the patient and helping them survive in daily activities without relying on someone.

Masters in Occupational Therapy

Masters in Occupational Therapy is a two-year course. Those with a bachelor’s degree in the subject or related fields can study a master’s course in Occupational Therapy. Students also have to undergo a period of internship in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. 

Individuals get advanced knowledge of skills and attribute to work with clients of all ages who have challenges to address. They get the expertise to learn more about the complexity of clients' needs and how to adapt to them.

Doctorate in Occupational Therapy

The duration of a doctorate in Occupational Therapy course is usually two to four years. The programme provides research opportunities, internships and programmes that help one be the best in the field. It typically includes 24 weeks of fieldwork, apart from which, students have to work on a dissertation topic.

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Occupational Therapy Course Entrance Examination

Diploma and certificate courses do not require students to appear for entrance exams. However, one has to sit for an entrance test if they want to study a bachelor’s or master’s course in Occupational Therapy. One must note that not all universities require students to take admission tests. Here are the various entrance tests applicants might have to take:


Exam Name 

Full form



Banaras Hindu University Undergraduate Entrance Test


Maharashtra Health and Technical Common Entrance Test.


CMC Vellore Entrance Examination

Manipal University Bachelor of Occupational Therapy Entrance Exam



All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation



Maharashtra University of Health Sciences Common Entrance Test


Manipal Entrance Test

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Occupational Therapy Eligibility Criteria

It is necessary to know the eligibility criteria for Occupational Therapy before applying for a course. The eligibility for different course levels is:


Eligibility Criteria


10+2 in science with physics, chemistry and biology as subjects


Completed 12th with at least 55% marks, must have physics, chemistry and biology


10+2 with chemistry, physics and biology with minimum 50% marks for general category and 45% for reserved category, entrance exam as required 


BSc in Occupational Therapy or related subjects, six months of internship experience, minimum 55% marks from a reputed college or medical institution, entrance exam as required by the university.


MSc in Occupational Therapy, an entrance exam for doctoral studies

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How to Get Admission for Occupational Therapy?

Students opting for a course in operational therapy must be aware of the admission process required for the course. Admission to the courses requires students to meet the eligibility criteria as well as the cut-off of the particular college. The common steps for admission to Occupational Therapy courses are given below:

  • For diploma and certificate programmes, the entrance exam is not mandatory. However, students must meet the score requirement of universities or course providers.

  • For bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes in Occupational Therapy, there can be an entrance test or admission can be purely based on merit.

  • Candidates must first shortlist the colleges and universities they wish to apply to.

  • Then, students must fill out the application forms as soon as they are out.

  • They also need to submit supporting documents such as identity proof, mark sheets and other certificates.

  • After that it is necessary to pay the application fees.

  • Then they will have to appear for an entrance test or personal interview which solely depends on the university one is applying to. Or, they may be selected directly based on the marks of their previous education.

  • Once selected, they can start the admission process by paying admission and related fees for the course.

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Popular Occupational Therapy Colleges in India

Students can select their preferred government or private institutions in India to study various Occupational Therapy courses. The choice of the university can be influenced by various factors such as distance, ranking, cost and etc. Here is a comprehensive list of some of the top occupational therapy colleges in India:

University/ College


Indian Institute of Medical Sciences- BHU

Uttar Pradesh

All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College


JSS Medical College


Goa Medical College


Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute


SRM Institute of Science & Technology


Indian Institute of Health Education & Research


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Study Occupational Therapy Abroad

Students who wish to study Occupational Therapy abroad will benefit from in-depth studies in areas of disability, rehabilitation and sensory processing from a global perspective. The universities offering Occupational Therapy courses abroad are:



Monash University


Cardiff University

United Kingdom

Brunel University

United Kingdom

University of Sydney


George Washington University

United States 

University of Regina


Florida International University

United States

University of Southampton

United Kingdom

Fanshawe College


Curtin University 


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What is Occupational Therapy Fee?

The fees for Occupational Therapy for various courses in Indian colleges are given below:


Annual Fees (in INR)











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Occupational Therapy Syllabus

The syllabus of Occupational Therapy may differ as per level and institutions. The common subjects taught under the course are given below:

1st Year


Anatomy (Theory/ Practical)


Occupational Therapy-1 (Theory / Practical)

2nd Year


Microbiology and Pathology

Biostatistics and Research Methodology

Occupational Therapy-2 (Theory / Practical)

Psychology-2 Developmental and Organizational Psychology)




3rd Year

Clinical Orthopedic & Rheumatology

Occupational Therapy in Rehabilitation (Theory / Practical)

Clinical Neurology

Occupational Therapy in Neurology (Theory/ Practical)

Occupational Therapy in Orthopedics (Theory/ Practical)




4th Year

Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry

Community Medicine and Sociology

Occupational Therapy in Mental Health (Theory/ Practical)

General Medicine

General Surgery

Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics and Developmental Disabilities 



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Occupational Therapy Course Curriculum

The course curriculum of a few topics of the syllabus is provided in detail below:

Occupational Therapy Syllabus



  • Cell

  • Cartilage

  • Bone

  • Joints

  • Muscles

  • Nervous Tissues


  • Body Fluid

  • Cardiovascular System

  • Respiratory System

  • Digestive System

  • Reproductive System


  • Bio-Physics

  • Vitamins

  • Water Metabolism

  • Nutrition

Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy

  • Definition and Scope

  • Theory

  • Practice Framework

  • Principles of Therapeutic Exercise

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Occupational Therapy Scope in India - Career and Job Prospects

Students can find numerous opportunities after completing a degree in Occupational Therapy. The top recruiters are governmental hospitals, private hospitals, NGOs and rehabilitation centres. The various job profiles to work and their average salary sale in India are:


Average Salary Scale

Occupational Therapist

INR 2,75,000 to INR 5,80,000

Critical Care Nursing Incharge

INR 5,45,000 to INR 13,00,000

Rehabilitation Therapist

INR 2,00,000 to INR 7,50,000

Clinical Assistant

INR 2,50,000 to INR 5,00,000

Lab Technician

NR 1,75,000 to INR 3,50,000

Support Worker

INR 1,22,000 to INR 3,00,000

Speech Therapist

INR 2,50,000 to INR 5,00,000

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Occupational Therapist Salary

Occupational therapists earn a good remuneration in exchange for the care they provide to patients. In addition, the average salary earned increases with experience. Here is a list of salaries according to the degree:


Average Annual Salary (in INR)











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Skills That Make You The Best Occupational Therapist

An individual pursuing job roles related to Occupational Therapy must have a combination of various hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills include knowledge of the subject while soft skills are those related to dealing empathetically with patients. The following qualities help to become a good Occupational Therapist:

  • An in-depth knowledge of the tools and techniques used in Occupational Therapy.

  • Must have active learning skills. The field is dynamic and new study comes up now and then.

  • Must be caring and patient to deal with clients.

  • Must be enthusiastic and motivated.

  • Should be able to take quick decisions.

  • Should be a good communicator.

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FAQs about Occupational Therapy

Is Occupational Therapy better than nursing?

Occupational Therapy and Nursing both have their own merits. However, the job of an occupational therapist can be relatively less stressful than that of a nurse while the pay of a nurse is better than that of an OT practitioner.

Who should pursue a career in Operational Therapy?

Candidates with high critical thinking ability, emotional intelligence, empathy and an eye for detail can pursue a career in Operational Therapy. Also, those who have an interest in the medical field can take up this career.

Is it compulsory to take an entrance exam for a UG course in Operational Therapy?

No, it is not compulsory to give an entrance exam for a UG course in Operational Therapy. Some universities admit students based on merit, i.e. marks obtained in 10+2 or 12th standard.

Where do occupational therapists work?

Occupational therapists work at government hospitals, private nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, community health centres, centres for physically and mentally handicapped persons, prisons, social services, etc.

What are the specialisations of Occupational Therapy Course?

The specialisations of Occupational Therapy are paediatrics, mental health, geriatrics, orthopaedics, neurology, sports injury, oncology, community-based rehabilitation, etc. They train their clients with the needed ADL (Activities of Daily Living) to give them a better life.

What are the responsibilities of an occupational therapist?

The responsibilities of an operational therapist are conducting physical and psychological assessments of a patient and crafting a treatment plan. It also involves helping clients with adaptive equipment for daily activities.

Is an occupational therapist a doctor?

No, occupational therapists are not doctors. They are healthcare professionals who provide assistance to patients to be independent. Only if you have a doctorate in Occupational Therapy, can you use the prefix ‘Dr.’

Is Occupational Therapist a good career?

Yes, Occupational Therapy is a good career. It provides graduates with a sense of fulfilment and flexibility to work when and where they want to. Also, the salary is rewarding.

What is the duration of an Occupational Therapy course?

The duration of an Occupational Therapy course is between six months and four years. While certificate courses can be completed in six months to one year, diplomas and undergraduate courses require two to four years of study. A postgraduate course in Occupational Therapy is of two years and a doctoral programme goes on for three to four years.

Does Occupational Therapy Course need NEET?

No, NEET is not required for Occupational Therapy courses in India. A prospective student is generally required to have studied physics, chemistry and biology with at least 50% marks in 10+2 or higher secondary.

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Related Questions


Anil kumar, Student / Alumni

-Answered on Dec-28-2023
1 year ka h sir

laiba noor, Student / Alumni

-Answered on Dec-27-2023

shailesh kumar, Student / Alumni

-Answered on Dec-21-2023
12th pass with pcm (2010)

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