When people think of careers in healthcare or the medical field, they will generally think about the roles that doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychologists, and psychiatrists carry out. But it’s important to remember that there are plenty more individuals working in this area who contribute greatly towards the treatment and care of individuals experiencing injury or illness. A lesser known role is that of an occupational therapist (otherwise referred to as an “OT”). Here’s a little more information on this role and how to pursue it!
Role and Responsibilities
An occupational therapist will help people to overcome illness and barriers that often get in the way of recovery, considering patients in regards to both their mind and body and ultimately prioritizing their overall wellbeing. If you become an occupational therapist, you will help people to live well independently, aiding them to carry out day to day self-care tasks, head to work, or undertake leisure activities.
People You May Work With
When you become an occupational therapist, you will generally choose a group of people to work with. Here are some people that you might choose to work with.
- Young People
- People with Physical Disabilities
- People with Mental Disabilities
- The Elderly
Generally speaking, you will have to undertake qualifications and carry out specialist training before you will be able to land a career as an occupational therapist. You can learn more about this through an OTA Guide. You may want to head to specialist therapy assistant school to start out, become a therapy assistant, and then work your way up the career ladder that way! There are around 200 occupational therapy schools out there to choose from, so chances are that there will be one nearby.
Of course, you’re going to want to ensure that your career brings home a good wage that can provide you with a positive quality of life. The average salary for an occupational therapist is $81,910 annually. Starters can expect to earn around $54,200, while high-end earners could bag an astounding $119,270.
Another factor that can be a determining factor when it comes to choosing a career is the working hours expected of you. Generally speaking, occupational therapists work average hours, clocking in for around 37.5 hours a work. Many are flexible and will spread this over seven days. You may have to work evenings or weekends depending on your commitments.
If you have the following skills, you might thrive in an occupational therapy position!
- Communication skills
- Personal skills
- Problem solving
- Physical strength
- Organizational skills
If this all sounds good to you, you might want to consider qualifying as an occupational therapist! Start making steps towards your new career today!