Occupational Therapy Degree Job Opportunities

Find Career and Employment Opportunities in Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy degrees are best suited for individuals that enjoy working with others in and assisting them with regaining their independence. Students that pursue this type of degree program will be prepared to work as an occupational therapist, rehabilitation counselor, or occupational therapy assistant.

Occupational Therapy Degree Programs

Occupational therapy programs prepare individuals to work with people with developmental, physical, or emotional impairments. They help these individuals to learn skills that will assist them with daily activities in order to live independently. Students in this field will need to take coursework in a variety of areas including:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Medical ethics
  • Geriatrics
  • Kinesiology
  • Rehabilitation

Students may be required to complete a certification exam prior to obtaining employment in this field. Some job opportunities that these graduates may be prepared for include occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and rehabilitation counselors.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Degree Graduates

Occupational therapy assistants observe and record the behavior, progress, and attitudes of patients, and they maintain this information in the client’s file. They also communicate with other health care professionals that are involved with the care of a patient. They monitor the patient’s performance in therapy activities and provide encouragement. Occupational therapy assistances also assist patients in home programs, the use of adaptive equipment, and learning basic living skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an occupational therapy assistant in 2009 was $50,250, or $24.16 per hour. The projected growth of this field is expected to be much faster than average with 11,800 job openings through 2018.

Occupational Therapist Job Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Degree Graduates

Occupational therapists plan and conduct occupational therapy programs in community, hospital, or institutional settings to rehabilitate individuals that are impaired because if injuries, illnesses, or developmental problems. They select activities that will help people to learn work and life management skills within limits of their capabilities. They evaluate progress and report the findings, and they also test the patients’ abilities and analyze medical data to determine realistic rehabilitation goals for patients. They may also train caregivers on how to provide for the needs of a patient during and after therapy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an occupational therapist in 2009 was $69,630, or $33.48 per hour. The projected growth in this field is expected to be much faster than average with 45,800 job openings through 2018.

Rehabilitation Counselor Job Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Degree Graduates

Rehabilitation counselors discuss options with clients and determine goals so that rehabilitation programs and plans for accessing needed services can be developed. They may prepare and maintain records and case files including documentation about the client’s personal and eligibility information. They arrange for mental, academic, physical, and vocational evaluations to be completed in order to obtain information about the clients’ needs. They also monitor and record their client’s progress to ensure that objectives and goals are being met. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a rehabilitation counselor in 2009 was $31,210 or $15.01 per hour. Projected growth in this field is expected to be faster than average with over 50,000 job openings through 2018.

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