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Career Guide: Occupational Therapist

Career Guide: Occupational Therapist

Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment growth in schools will result from the expansion of the school-age population, the extension of services for disabled students, and an increasing prevalence of sensory disorders in children. Therapists will be needed to help children with disabilities prepare to enter special education programs.

Job Prospects

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. Driver rehabilitation and fall-prevention training for the elderly are emerging practice areas for occupational therapy.

Is Occupational Therapy the Right Place for You?

1. Are you comfortable in a position of authority?

Of course!


Median annual earnings of occupational therapists were $60,470 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $50,450 and $73,710. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,840, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $89,450. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of occupational therapists in May 2006 were:

Home health care services $67,600
Nursing care facilities $64,750
Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists $62,290
General medical and surgical hospitals $61,610
Elementary and secondary schools $54,260

Related Occupations

Occupational therapists use specialized knowledge to help individuals perform daily living skills and achieve maximum independence. Other workers performing similar duties include athletic trainers, audiologists, chiropractors, physical therapists, recreational therapists, rehabilitation counselors, respiratory therapists, and speech-language pathologists.


For more information on occupational therapy as a career, contact:

• American Occupational Therapy Association, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. Internet:

For information regarding the requirements to practice as an occupational therapist in schools, contact the appropriate occupational therapy regulatory agency for your State.

Find out more about Occupational Therapy careers!

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