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15 Hottest Health Care Fields of 2010

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#14 Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. They work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition and use treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients. The therapist helps clients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. The goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.

Relevant Statistics

  • Projected Need: 26,800

    Projected Growth: 26+%

    Median Wage: $66,780

Occupational therapists are increasingly taking on supervisory roles, allowing assistants and aides to work more closely with clients under the guidance of a therapist. Occupational therapists are regulated in all 50 States. Individuals pursuing a career as an occupational therapist usually need to earn a post-baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university or education deemed equivalent.

Employment is expected to grow much faster than average, and job opportunities should be good, especially for therapists treating the elderly. Job opportunities should be good for licensed occupational therapists in all settings, particularly in acute hospital, rehabilitation, and orthopedic settings because the elderly receive most of their treatment in these settings. Occupational therapists with specialized knowledge in a treatment area also will have increased job prospects.

More Resources:


Career Profile: Occupational Therapist, Hanna Hildenbrand
How I Got My Job: Occupational Therapist
Career Guide: Occupational Therapist
Emerging Areas in Occupational Therapy
OTs Find Niche Consulting to Assisted-Living Facilities
Quiz: Is Occupational Therapy the Right Place for You?

Bonus: Visit the Therapy Careers Page


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