OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS help people who have physical, mental, developmental, or emotional disabling problems live more productive lives. They help them to develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills. They help clients to use computers and other tools and equipment needed for work. They help care for their daily needs, such as bathing, dressing, cooking, and eating. They may use physical exercises to increase strength, and paper and pencil exercises to improve visual acuity. They instruct clients with permanent functional disabilities in the use of adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs and aids for eating and dressing.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $66,000 average per year ($31.75 per hour)
- A medium occupation (135,200 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.7% per year)
A bachelor's degree in occupational therapy is the minimum requirement for entry into an OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST position. Occupational therapy coursework includes physical, biological, and behavioral sciences, and the application of occupational therapy theory and skills. Completion of six months of supervised fieldwork is also required. High school students should take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, health, art, and the social sciences. All states require a license to practice occupational therapy.