Occupational Therapists

General Information

Description

Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays.

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Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Industry areas

  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools

Job Outlook

Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 21 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. However, demand for occupational therapy services is related to the ability of patients to pay, either directly or through health insurance. The need for occupational therapists is expected to increase as the large baby-boom generation ages and people remain active later in life. Occupational therapists can help senior citizens maintain their independence by recommending home modifications and strategies that make daily activities easier. Therapists also play a role in the treatment of many conditions and ailments commonly associated with aging, such as arthritis and stroke. Occupational therapists also will be needed in a variety of healthcare settings to treat patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Patients will continue to seek noninvasive outpatient treatment for long-term disabilities and illnesses, either in their homes or in residential care environments. These patients may need occupational therapy to become more independent and to perform a variety of daily tasks. Demand for occupational therapy services also will stem from patients with autism spectrum disorder. Therapists will continue to be needed in schools to assist children with autism in improving their social skills and accomplishing a variety of daily tasks.

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Related Military Careers

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Salary

Average Salary

Salary

$86,500

Military salary*

$94,191

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State-by-state Salary

Gray states indicate no data available

$97,860
$36,150
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Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Master's degree 71%
  • Bachelor's degree 19%
  • Doctoral degree 4%
  • First professional degree 4%
  • High school 0%
  • Some college 0%
  • Associate's degree 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%

Related College Majors

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Knowledge

  • Psychology
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • English Language

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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