Therapy is such a wide and varied career path. When most people think of therapy, they think of professionals who help individuals with mental health problems, or counselors. In reality, therapists help people in a diverse range of ways. There are physical therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, as well as many others. Some therapy careers require extensive post-secondary education, while other types require more clinical and vocational types of training and education. Once you determine the type of therapy in which you are interested, you can begin to narrow down the search for the right therapist schools.
Most types of therapy require either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. These degrees can be pursued at a public or private university. There are also various online therapist schools that can provide flexible online training programs that will fulfill state requirements. To become a speech therapist, a master’s degree is typically required, while the requirements to become a respiratory therapist largely consist of going to more vocational and hands on therapist schools and completing their training program.
There are certain similarities that all therapy career paths share, regardless of the discipline. Most every type of therapist needs to complete at least a two or a four year degree program. This can be either through an online program or through a university, but most will need a degree in a field related to the discipline of therapy in which they are going to work.
The next component that all therapy career paths include is work experience and on the job training. In order to become licensed, registered, or certified to work as a therapist of any kind, some form of supervised work experience is often required by either the state or the therapist schools themselves. This usually involves completing a clinical internship under the supervision of someone who is already licensed.
The final step to becoming most any type of therapist is to become licensed and/or certified. Each state has its own requirements regarding licensing, but almost every state has some form of requirements for each type of therapist to be able to practice legally. Once the education and training has been completed through the school, the students take, and hopefully pass, their certifications needed to work legally in the state. The education and training processes may be more extensive depending on the type of therapist occupation pursued, but most require a degree, experience, and certification.