Occupational Therapy Careers
What do occupational therapists do?
OTs work with individuals of all ages who have or are at risk for physical, cognitive, emotional, or developmental disabilities by helping to maximize their health and well-being. They also work with clients’ families and communities. The job may involve:
- applying knowledge of both biological and behavioral science to evaluate clients’ functional strengths and limitations in daily activities
- providing intervention to develop skills needed for home, school, work or community participation
- designing adaptations to the environment to improve access or independence
- consulting with teachers, work supervisors or family members
- identifying or designing devices that offer alternative ways to accomplish activities
Where do occupational therapists work?
OTs work in a variety of environments including schools, rehabilitation centers, mental health facilities, hospitals, client homes, outpatient clinics, and community agencies.
What will I like (or dislike) about this work?
- satisfaction from making a difference in peoples’ lives
- varied work environments
- opportunity for creative problem-solving
- collaborative work with other professionals
- varied work schedules
How is the job outlook?
Occupational Therapist is one of U.S. News & World Report‘s list of Best Health Care Jobs. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (2016-2017), “Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, autism, or the loss of a limb.”
What are the educational requirements for the Occupational Therapy profession?
- master degree (minimum)
- passing the NBCOT certification examination
- licensing (in most states)