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Educational Therapy Licensing in North Carolina

If you live in the beautiful state of North Carolina and have an interest in becoming an educational therapist or of working in the educational therapy field in some capacity, then you likely have a lot of questions about the different requirements for doing this kind of work. Unfortunately, the requirements do vary from job to job, and there are many different jobs within the educational therapy field. Your best course of action is to spend some time researching your different career options—such as school system educational therapist, clinical educational therapist, learning center educational therapist, research educational therapist, etc.— to find the one that is the best fit for you. From there, you can learn about the requirements of that position and can work to meet them.

Generally speaking, in the state of North Carolina, there are virtually no educational therapy jobs for those possessing only an associate's degree. Therefore, if you have or plan to get one of these degrees, be aware that, alone, it is not enough to get you hired. Associate's degrees can be an excellent start, especially if you transfer the credits earned to a bachelor's degree program, but they are definitely not the end all, be all of a career in the field.

There are, however, some jobs that can be done with nothing more than a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree is a degree typically earned in around four years. It must be earned from an accredited college or university in order to be honored by the state and considered legitimate. Many people enjoy successful careers with only their bachelors' degrees, though their career choices are limited. Generally, jobs that can be done with only a bachelor's degree, such as tutoring or therapy assisting, do not require any kind of licensure by the state.

Jobs that require the person to have at least a master's degree, however, will typically require state licensure. A good rule of thumb is that if you are going to be working with patients directly, on your own, in a situation where you are responsible for their wellbeing, then you will more than likely require a licensure. After the one to three years of schooling that a master's degree typically takes, licensing will seem like a breeze. You can obtain it by completing approved coursework, logging experiential learning hours, and passing an examination.

There are very few jobs that actually require employees to have a PhD, the highest level degree one can achieve in this or in any field. However, most people who have a PhD will be doing jobs that require licensure. Educational therapy professionals with doctorate degrees qualify for the most prestigious and the most lucrative positions within the field. However, this doesn't come until after many years of hard work and dedication. Most PhD students will spend from four to eight years earning this final degree, but the vast majority will tell you that its' well worth it for al l the extra knowledge gained, the feeling of accomplishment for "going all the way," and, of course, the higher salary.

Obviously, if you're going to be working in this field in any capacity, then you have a lot to think about! Just remember that there are no "right" or "wrong" jobs. You should always choose the job that you want to do based on your own strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, what it is you truly want to do. Even if you pick a job that doesn't require licensing or that isn't the most highly paid, remember that none of that matters as long as you are happy and fulfilled.