Occupational TherapistsOccupational Therapists assist people with mental, developmental, physical disabilities, or temporary injuries to help them develop or recover daily living, work, and social skills.
Occupational Therapists frequently work with other health care professionals to develop a rehabilitation plan that meets the patient's physical and psychological needs.
Therapists may introduce clients to a variety of activities to restore function, such as physical coordination exercises, paper and pencil exercises or computer programs.
They also instruct those with permanent disabilities in the use of adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs and aids for eating and dressing.
Therapist duties include writing evaluations and progress reports to track the client's progress and to update the treating physician.
Occupational Therapists may also supervise the work activities of occupational therapist assistants, or aides who assist clients with the less complex tasks of the treatment plan.
The goal of the Occupational Therapist is to help individuals lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
- Completion of a bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy at an institution accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association's Accreditation Council.
- Completion of a master's degree beginning in 2007 for new Occupational Therapists entering the field.
- Completion of a minimum of 960 hours of supervised fieldwork.
- Pass examination offered by the National Board of Occupational Therapists.
- Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy.
- Fingerprint clearance is required.
- Occupational Therapists Median hourly wage: $32.54
- Average annual wage: $67,318
- Estimated number of Occupational Therapists in 2002: 6,100
- Estimated number of Occupational Therapists in 2012: 8,600
- Estimated annual job openings: 330
Possible Career Paths for Occupational Therapists include becoming a :
- Private Practice
- Independent Consulting
- Administrative or Supervisory Position