Occupational Therapy : Careers

Career Information and Further Study

As described on the American Occupational Therapy Association website (www.aota.org), occupational therapy helps people live life to its fullest. It does this by helping people of all ages who have suffered an illness, injury or some form of debilitation relearn the skills of daily living. By focusing on the physical, psychological and social needs of its patients, OT helps people function at the highest possible level, concentrating on what's important to them to rebuild their health, independence and self-esteem. Occupational therapists are specially trained and credentialed in the field and rely on evidence-based best practices and science-driven data to constantly improve patient outcomes. In an era where consumers want to increasingly be empowered and maximize life's potential, more and more people are recognizing the value of occupational therapy and as a result the field is expected to grow significantly over the coming years.

Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase much faster than average for all occupations through 2016.

Work settings include:

Occupational therapists work in all types of private, nonprofit and public settings including schools, job training services, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, and community health agencies.

Degree Level Required

Occupational therapy programs are only accredited at the post-baccalaureate degree level.

Salary Information

Salaries vary depending on the work setting and on the region of the country.
Median annual earnings of occupational therapists were $66,780 in May, 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $55,090 and $81,290. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest number of occupational therapists in May, 2008, were as follows:

Home health care services
$74,510

Offices of other health care practitioners
$69,360

Nursing care facilities
$72,790

General medical and surgical hospitals
$68,100

Elementary and secondary schools
$60,020

Additional Resources

American Occupational Therapy Association

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:01:54 EST