Being self-sufficient in everyday life contributes to a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Occupational therapists – also called OTs – help people develop…recover… and improve their self-sufficiency and the ability to enjoy work and daily activities…more fully. Patients typically seek out the help of OTs due to disability, illness, injury, or mental health issues. They help patients with daily life activities such as feeding themselves, getting ready for work without assistance, using public transportation, and participating in school. OTs work with their patients to identify goals for treatment, then create treatment plans to reach them. Occupational therapists evaluate patients’ homes and workplaces to find ways to better prepare the environment for their needs; for example, labeling cabinets or removing fall hazards. They often educate a patient’s family and employer about how to accommodate the person’s needs, and document patients’ progress throughout the treatment. These therapists work at hospitals, clinics, schools, and nursing homes. They spend a lot of time on their feet, and may lift or move patients. Many travel to meet patients in different settings, and may work evenings and weekends. Being supportive and enthusiastic are important personal qualities for OTs. A master’s degree and a license are required to enter the field; though some positions require a doctoral-level degree. Occupational therapy is often a demanding career, but it’s one that offers a rich reward— helping people lead more active and independent lives.
What they do:
Assess, plan, and organize 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. Use therapeutic techniques, adapt the individual's environment, teach skills, and modify specific tasks that present barriers to the individual.
On the job, you would:
Complete and maintain necessary records.
Test and evaluate patients' physical and mental abilities and analyze medical data to determine realistic rehabilitation goals for patients.
Train caregivers in providing for the needs of a patient during and after therapy.
therapy and counseling
medicine and dentistry
Math and Science
sociology and anthropology
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Arts and Humanities
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
looking for ways to help people
understanding people's reactions
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Computer based training software
Language arts educational software
Text to speech software
Word processing software
Crick Software Clicker 4
master's degree or bachelor's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.