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Occupational Therapists

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What Do Occupational Therapists Do?

Job 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.

Life as an Occupational Therapist (OT): What Do They Do?

  • Complete and maintain necessary records.
  • Provide training and supervision in therapy techniques and objectives for students or nurses and other medical staff.
  • Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs or coordinate occupational therapy with other therapeutic activities.
  • Design and create, or requisition, special supplies and equipment, such as splints, braces, and computer-aided adaptive equipment.
  • Evaluate patients’ progress and prepare reports that detail progress.
  • 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.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Occupational Therapist (OT)?

When polled, Occupational Therapists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Early Intervention Occupational Therapist
  • Assistive Technology Trainer
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Pediatric Occupational Therapist
  • Registered Occupational Therapist

Job Outlook for Occupational Therapists

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 130,400 jobs in the United States for Occupational Therapists.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 23.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 31,000 new jobs for Occupational Therapists by 2026. There will be an estimated 10,200 positions for Occupational Therapist (OT) per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Occupational Therapists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Occupational Therapists are Texas, California, and New York.

Watch out if you plan on working in Delaware, Alaska, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Occupational Therapists Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Occupational Therapists ranges between about $55,490 and $120,750 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $84,270.

Salary Ranges for Occupational Therapists

How much do Occupational Therapists make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Nevada

$100,970

New Jersey

$96,600

California

$95,160

Arizona

$94,800

District of Columbia

$94,360

Virginia

$93,010

Connecticut

$90,780

Oregon

$90,720

Colorado

$89,770

Texas

$89,360

Maryland

$89,230

New York

$88,370

Massachusetts

$87,160

Alaska

$86,860

Delaware

$86,020

Ohio

$85,720

Louisiana

$85,490

Utah

$85,300

Tennessee

$84,870

North Carolina

$84,390

Illinois

$83,940

Alabama

$83,810

Rhode Island

$83,600

Hawaii

$83,010

Oklahoma

$82,240

Georgia

$82,060

Wyoming

$82,010

Arkansas

$81,810

New Mexico

$81,660

Mississippi

$81,590

Florida

$81,520

Washington

$81,250

Idaho

$81,230

West Virginia

$81,080

Pennsylvania

$81,030

Iowa

$80,740

Indiana

$79,870

New Hampshire

$79,850

Kentucky

$79,460

Kansas

$78,720

South Carolina

$78,470

Michigan

$77,940

Nebraska

$76,850

Vermont

$76,840

Missouri

$75,120

Montana

$74,940

Minnesota

$74,050

Wisconsin

$73,390

Maine

$72,160

South Dakota

$69,390

North Dakota

$67,420

What Tools & Technology 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 Office
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word

Where Occupational Therapists Work

Occupational Therapist (OT) Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

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

  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School

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

  • Low Vision Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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