What is Occupational Therapy?
What Occupational Therapists Do
Occupational therapists provide services to promote and/or develop clients' meaningful engagement in their chosen occupations, through various practice approaches such as rehabilitation, prevention, consultation, and wellness promotion.
Occupational therapists help redesign people's lives and environments so they can optimally function in the activities or occupations that are important in their lives. Opportunities in occupational therapy are limitless! Occupational therapists work with a wide variety of individuals from infants to older adults; individuals with psychiatric and/or physical impairments, healthy individuals who have had interruptions in their day-to-day functioning, injured workers, premature babies, and individuals who are homeless, among others.
Where do Occupational Therapists Work?
In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 103,570 occupational therapists were employed in the United States and the top five employers were private practices, hospitals ,elementary and secondary schools, nursing facilities, and home care agencies. Occupational therapists also serve vital roles in community organizations, mental health facilities, and industry. Since health and wellness have become important public health concerns, occupational therapists share their expertise in home assessment and modification with older adults who wish to age in place and with families desiring healthier lifestyles. Specialty practices such as low vision, driving rehabilitation, and ergonomic consulting are among areas of expected growth for occupational therapists.
Is Occupational Therapy a Good Career for these Challenging Times?
Yes! Occupational therapy ranks in the top 10 Best Jobs for 2012, according to the US News. The mean salary for occupational therapists in 2011 as approximately $74,970 with variety depending on experience and location. Occupational therapists in private practice can make over $100,000. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase by 26 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. For more information about job prospects in occupational therapy, please follow this link OT Labor Projections.