An occupational therapist is a part of healthcare team that specializes in occupational therapy. Occupational therapists work with sick, injured, disabled, aging, and emotionally and psychologically affected people. They oversea development of individualized and group-oriented programs to help increase their ability to care for themselves and to work, study, or general activities, such as running or walking up stairs. Occupational therapist also work with communities and companies to create and implement health promotion programs.

Occupational therapist utilizes purposeful activity that promotes health to help patients to live independently and feel satisfied and fulfilled in life. The role of occupational therapists is to help their patients to carry out their daily activity that sustain and occupy their life. They work with people of all age groups including people with learning disabilities and mental health problems.

Occupational Therapist Job Description

Occupational therapists assist patients with physical, mental and social disabilities to live normal life and carry out their daily activities independently. Their main objective as they execute their function is to understand the need of each of their patients in order to develop a treatment plan suitable for them.

The occupational therapist job description includes:
  • evaluate the condition of the patients and develop a treatment plan that will meet their needs
  • choose activities that will help the patients to carry out their daily works independently
  • watch the patients as they carry out the task given to them
  • observe and assess the progress of the patients in order to prepare a detailed report about their progress
  • help in rehabilitating those disabled as a result of injury, illness, developmental or psychological problems

How to become an Occupational Therapist

To become an occupational therapist, one must obtain a master’s degree in occupational therapy. The programs normally take two year to be completed. For better job opportunity, occupational therapists can also enroll in doctoral programs in occupational therapy. Any person who wants to enroll for occupational therapist programs should be a bachelor’s degree holder who has done courses in biology and physiology. Applicants who have worked in occupational therapy setting stand a better chance of getting admission in most of the programs. At the completion of their training, prospective occupational therapists are supposed to acquire practical experience through the supervised fieldwork did during the programs.  

Occupational Therapist Certification

Occupational therapists must be certified before they can work. The certification is offered by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) only to those who are successful with the board’s exam. Upon completion of the NBCOT exam, successful graduates can use the title “Occupational Therapist Registered” (OTR). Continuing education credits are required each year to maintain certification.

Occupational Therapist Salary

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Occupational Therapist Job Description Summary

Here is a short recap of the occupational therapist job description:
  • Treat patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities
  • Work with occupational therapy assistants
  • 4 year bachelor’s degree
  • 2 year master’s degree
  • Must be certified to practice
  • 29% employment growth by 2022