Occupational Therapist Career Field

occupational therapistOccupational therapists assist patients in their ability to function in a daily living or working environment. They work with people who suffer from physically, mentally, emotionally, or developmentally disabling impairments. Occupational therapists use treatments to help patients recover basic daily living skills. Occupational therapists also help their patients find new way to do things and overcome their loss of function in a given area and help them to live more independent and satisfying lives.

Educational Requirements & Licensing Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy or Simliar Field (4 years)
Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Nationally Accredited Program (2 years beyond a bachelor’s degree)

All 50 states have licensing requirements for occupational therapists. These requirements include that applicants must have a master’s degree in occupational therapy from a nationally accredited program and pass a national certifying examination.  Some colleges are beginning to offer special programs that combine both a bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in occupational therapy together, so students can complete both degree and graduate more quickly.

Educational Courses

Advanced Theory and Philosophy in Occupational Therapy
Trends in Occupational Therapy
Issues in Diverse Populations and Settings
Research Methodology
Evidence-Based Practice I for OT Clinicians
Holistic School-Based Practice
Advances in Sensory Integration Theory and Practice
Early Intervention: Working With Children 0-3 and Their Families
Critical Thinking in Pediatric Intervention
Application of Technology to OT Practice

Employment Statistics

Number Employed in 2008: 104,500
Projected Employment through 2018: 131,300
Average Hourly Pay for Occupational Therapists in 2008: $66,780

Great Colleges

University of Utah
Mercy College
Pratt Institute
Rush University
Sacred Heart University

Related Careers

Athletic trainers
Physical therapists
Recreational therapists
espiratory therapists
Speech-language pathologists

Article Reference: bls.gov

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