In honor of Occupational Therapy month, we’ve decided to debunk the confusion behind occupational therapy, because let’s be honest, outside of the industry, only people that have visited an OT or personally know an OT know what they do. So, here is everything we think everyone should know about occupational therapists:
What is Occupational Therapy?
Simply put, the goal of occupational therapy is to help people participate in every day life, by improving the way their nervous systems function and developing motor skills. Occupational therapy is categorized under the Allied Health umbrella, meaning that OTs are well-versed in biological, medical, physical and behavioral sciences.
Where do Occupational Therapists work?
Similarly to most healthcare industry professions, occupational therapists can work in a variety of places. The most common places for OTs to work are hospitals, schools, with a home healthcare service/agency, therapy clinics, senior care homes and some even have their own practices.
Who do Occupational Therapists work with?
Occupational therapists work with a range of people; young and old, male and female. Rather than a specific demographic, OTs typically work with specific injuries, illnesses and other disorders. Some occupational therapists treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as mental disorders like Autism and Cerebral Palsy, while others help patients relearn how to complete everyday activities after loss of a limb/limbs or paralysis.
More Important Information
- Occupational therapists have an expected job growth of more than 30 percent within the next decade, which is much faster than average.
- Occupational therapists typically make between $75,000 and $80,000 per year.
- Salaries continue to rise, and have risen more than 8 percent since 2010.
- The minimum education required for an occupational therapist is a master’s degree.
- The best regions for OTs are the pacific, the south atlantic and south central respectively.
- In 2010, there were 108,800 jobs for occupational therapists.
- Occupational therapy began in 1917, and was originally geared toward battling AIDS
- One third of occupational therapy patients are children, despite everyone’s belief that it is just for seniors.
HAPPY OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY MONTH to all OTs and OTAs, and the next time someone confuses your profession with PT or literally helping people find jobs, roll your eyes, and send them this article.