Occupational Therapist Jobs: A Growing Medical Specialty

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Occupational Therapy is a highly recommended field to be in. It is financially rewarding as well as personally rewarding when working with people who require therapeutic attention.

In this career, an occupational therapist works with people who have different types of disabilities. Some of the disabilities may be easy to overcome, some more difficult than others. A therapist works with people who have injuries, individuals who cannot perform daily tasks self-sufficiently and some who do not have an adequate memory.

A person who has chosen occupational therapy is responsible for creating a plan for recovery from disorders patients suffer from. An analysis is done to determine the progress of the patient receiving therapy. Assistance is given to complete day to day tasks as well as training the patient to be self-sufficient.



A college education from an accredited provider is required to become a certified therapist. A Master's Degree in this field is recommended for maximum performance level and salary. Hands-on experience is also required for successful licensing and exam passing.

College programs have been created to provide the knowledge required to successfully become an occupational therapist. The courses offered will last for twelve to 24 months with an additional 3 months of hands on work experience. Students are required to work under the supervision of a professional in this field within clinics.

In order to receive admission to a school for this scope, courses completed in high school should include biology, chemistry, and other courses related to the health field. This will give the student a boost in college. Specific courses should be related to medical terms, psychology, rehabilitation science as well as physiology.

A good occupational therapist must have patience with those who are being treated. The ability to developed innovative solutions to eliminate many types of disorders is important. An ideal professional in this field should adapt to any environmental scenario and any changes that are required. The job should revolve around the patient's needs.

Therapists' training occurs while attending college. Each student must have at least 1000 hours of hands on experience. During this time a student will be managed by a professional therapist.

During the final year of education, students will be taught how to determine the difficulties of the patient and how to treat them. When the training period has ended each student will have patients to treat under the observation of a practicing professional. After the completion of education and hands on training, an exam must be passed for legal practicing of the profession. The certification must be on a national level. The exam entails a detailed analysis to ascertain the skill level and ability to perform the duties of an occupational therapist.

In the year 2006, statistics show there were 99,000 jobs held in this profession. Most of them were employed in hospitals and some were employed in the private sector. Occupational therapists also worked in physicians' offices, family service centers, and also their own private consulting therapeutic professional service.

The field is growing at a very fast pace, a higher than average growth compared to other areas of the medical profession. With the number of elderly patients increasing, the demand for professionals is growing rapidly. More and more people require services of this nature due to injuries and the inability to perform daily tasks. As the number of people with disabilities increases, the need for occupational therapists increases as well.

More therapists are required at hospitals to aid those who were physically injured and severely ailing patients. Services are needed for those who need services as outpatients.

While the demand is high, only licensed professional occupational therapy providers with a high level of education will have higher chances of getting a high paying job in the field. Higher experience level positions are in very high demand by medical facilities. Though the private business sector figure is low, the number of therapists operating their own business is increasing rapidly.

An occupational therapist employed full time earns approximately $56,000 annually. This salary will increase as demand increases. Higher experienced and educated therapy practitioners will earn in the range of $63,000.

This field is the highest growth potential professional compared to many aspects. Many job opportunities are available for educated and experienced occupational therapists. As with any professional career, the importance of education and training cannot be stressed enough. Knowledge will lead you to a rewarding high paying employment possibility.
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