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Occupational Therapy Careers

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Occupational Therapy CareersOccupational Therapy Careers: Occupational Therapy involves treatment of individuals with mental or physical disabilities. There are many careers available in the field of Occupational Therapy including:

- Occupational Therapist
- Occupational Therapy Aide
- Occupational Therapy Assistant

All Occupational Therapy careers involve helping individuals perform daily tasks in their home or work environment e.g. using a computer, cooking, dressing and eating. The main aim of an occupational therapist is to give as much independence back to their client as possible. Patients of an Occupational Therapist may suffer from, short term memory loss, coordination problems, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.

Career: When working in the field of Occupational Therapy you will be working closely with individuals with mental, physical or developmental disabilities. You will need to be able to assist patients with their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities. Occupational Therapists, Occupational Aids and Occupational Assistants also help individuals become independent through exercise, and educate clients on using equipment to aid daily and work related tasks.

As there is a trend towards home based healthcare, some Therapists / Aids / Assistants work in non clinical settings. Some Occupational Therapy professionals travel to patient's homes and work places, ensuring that the patient's environment is suitable for his/her disability.

Education & Qualifications: Occupational Therapist. To become an Occupational Therapist you need to complete a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy. You must also become licensed by completing a supervised field work assignment and passing a licensure examination.

Licensed Occupational Therapists become Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). Occupational Therapy programs include subjects such as physical, biological, and behavioral sciences and occupational therapy theory and skills. Some states require Occupational Therapists to earn continuing education credits to maintain licensure.

If you are considering a career as an Occupational Therapist, you should take high school courses in chemistry, physics, biology, health and the social sciences. Many Occupational Therapists start by completing an undergraduate majoring in biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, liberal arts, or anatomy.

Occupational Therapy Assistant: To become an Occupational Therapy Assistant you will need to complete an Associate Degree or Certificate program from a Community, Technical or Junior College. Having volunteer experience in a health care facility, and high school courses in biology and healthcare are advantageous for this career.

Occupational Therapy Aide: An Occupational Therapy Aide receives mostly on the job training. To apply for Occupational Therapy Aide positions you must have a high school diploma, strong interpersonal skills, and a caring nature.

Salary & Job Prospects: Salaries in Occupational Therapy range from $60,000 to $80,000, depending on qualifications, position held, skills and location. Occupational Therapy Aides earn on average $15,000 - $30,000 and Occupational Therapy Assistants can earn $35,000 to $50,000. The increase of the elderly population is a major factor for the growth of occupational therapy services. Job Prospects are excellent and expected to grow much faster than the average job.

Find a Health Education School: Use the red search box in the menu above, to find Health schools and colleges in your area that offer Occupational Therapy programs.

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