If your passion is helping people achieve a better quality of life, then you’re on the right track considering a career in healthcare. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals share this same passion, but there are few occupations that truly make it possible for people to achieve independence and enjoy life to its fullest. One of those is occupational therapy.
The field of occupational therapy is vast. Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings not limited to hospitals, schools, private practices, children’s clinics, and nursing homes — and they work with people from all walks of life. People who receive occupational therapy treatment may have suffered an injury or illness that hinders their daily living activities or they may have been born with defects or sensory processing disorders that make it difficult to learn basic tasks. Kids with autism, for example, can benefit from occupational therapy services as these work on fine motor skills such as grasping and handwriting.
The job outlook for occupational therapists is bright as it continues to be an effective and important treatment option for people with various illnesses and disabilities. Between 2012 and 2022, the number of occupational therapy jobs is projected to grow 29% compared to the average of 11% for all occupations. This finding complements the growing demand for occupational therapy services in schools, which in part stems from the increase in autism diagnoses among children. New York City schools alone reported a sharp rise in occupational therapy cases: 30% just over the last four years.
In order to become an occupational therapist, you must complete a master’s degree program, a supervised fieldwork program, and pass a national certification examination. Most states require a license to practice and some even require continuing education classes to maintain licensure.
Thinking of pursuing a career in occupational therapy? Get more of your questions answered by The American Occupational Therapy Association’s “Resources for Beginning Your OT Career” here.
We’ll be attending the 2015 AOTA Annual Conference and Expo in Nashville, TN! While you’re there, stop by Booth #313 and learn about the OT opportunities we have available at Soliant Health.