Someone who is looking for a career that involves compassion, creativity, and science should consider becoming an occupational therapist.
What an Occupational Therapist Does
An occupational therapist (OT) may work with a person of any age who needs assistance to participate in certain daily activities. The person's challenges may be due to injury, physical disease, developmental issues, or mental illness. Ultimately, occupational therapists help people improve their lives by showing them ways to carry out their daily activities.
An OT may specialize in working with a certain population such as children with autism or adult stroke survivors. For instance, when a stroke weakens someone's hand that person may need ways to adapt to bathing, dressing, or cooking.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS) forecasts the profession will experience 18 percent job growth from 2018 to 2028. That growth rate is "much faster than average" according to the BLS. As the large baby boomer generation ages, many boomers are expected to need treatment from an OT to manage the consequences of age-related conditions such as dementia and arthritis.
How to Join the Profession
A master's degree or doctoral degree in occupational therapy is necessary to enter the profession. Graduates of occupational therapy programs have to pass a national certification exam to get their license to practice.
Someone who wants to become an occupational therapist needs to start planning while pursuing an undergraduate education. A specific major isn't required to be admitted to an occupational therapy program. However, OT schools do expect applicants to have taken certain science and math coursework. Prerequisite coursework varies among OT programs. Undergraduates have to find out what the programs they're interested in require. Also, many OT programs want to see applicants have shadowed an OT or have volunteered in an occupational therapy setting.
Professionals in the field of occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech-language pathology may contact us to discuss opportunities for career advancement.
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