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Occupational Therapist

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What Do Occupational Therapist Do?

Occupational Therapist (OT) Example 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.

List of Occupational Therapist (OT) Job Duties

  • Help clients improve decision making, abstract reasoning, memory, sequencing, coordination, and perceptual skills, using computer programs.
  • Plan, organize, and conduct occupational therapy programs in hospital, institutional, or community settings to help rehabilitate those impaired because of illness, injury or psychological or developmental problems.
  • Lay out materials such as puzzles, scissors and eating utensils for use in therapy, and clean and repair these tools after therapy sessions.
  • Evaluate patients' progress and prepare reports that detail progress.
  • Advise on health risks in the workplace or on health-related transition to retirement.
  • Plan and implement programs and social activities to help patients learn work or school skills and adjust to handicaps.

Things an Occupational Therapist (OT) Should Know How to Do

Occupational Therapists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Other Occupational Therapist (OT) Job Titles

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Staff Therapist
  • Industrial Therapist
  • Registered Occupational Therapist
  • Pediatric Occupational Therapist

What Kind of Occupational Therapist (OT) Job Opportunities Are There?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 130,400 jobs in the United States for Occupational Therapist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 23.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 31,000 new jobs for Occupational Therapist by 2026. There will be an estimated 10,200 positions for Occupational Therapist (OT) per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Occupational Therapist (OT) are Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Rhode Island, or Minnesota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for an Occupational Therapist (OT)

The average yearly salary of an Occupational Therapist (OT) ranges between $55,490 and $120,750.

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Occupational Therapists who work in California, New Jersey, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Occupational Therapists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $83,810
Alaska $86,860
Arizona $94,800
Arkansas $81,810
California $95,160
Colorado $89,770
Connecticut $90,780
Delaware $86,020
District of Columbia $94,360
Florida $81,520
Georgia $82,060
Hawaii $83,010
Idaho $81,230
Illinois $83,940
Indiana $79,870
Iowa $80,740
Kansas $78,720
Kentucky $79,460
Louisiana $85,490
Maine $72,160
Maryland $89,230
Massachusetts $87,160
Michigan $77,940
Minnesota $74,050
Mississippi $81,590
Missouri $75,120
Montana $74,940
Nebraska $76,850
Nevada $100,970
New Hampshire $79,850
New Jersey $96,600
New Mexico $81,660
New York $88,370
North Carolina $84,390
North Dakota $67,420
Ohio $85,720
Oklahoma $82,240
Oregon $90,720
Pennsylvania $81,030
Rhode Island $83,600
South Carolina $78,470
South Dakota $69,390
Tennessee $84,870
Texas $89,360
Utah $85,300
Vermont $76,840
Virginia $93,010
Washington $81,250
West Virginia $81,080
Wisconsin $73,390
Wyoming $82,010

What Tools do Occupational Therapists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Occupational Therapists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Facebook
  • FileMaker Pro
  • Internet browser software
  • HMS
  • Screen reader software
  • Text to speech software
  • Screen magnification software
  • Speech recognition software
  • Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR System
  • Rehab Documentation Company ReDoc Suite
  • BillingTracker
  • Language arts educational software
  • Text scanning software
  • Math educational software

How to Become an Occupational Therapist (OT)

Education needed to be an Occupational Therapist:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Occupational Therapists Are Employed

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Below are examples of industries where Occupational Therapists work:

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming an Occupational Therapist might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Occupational Therapist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Barbara E. Carver via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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