Career Detail


Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments.
The Job
Occupational therapists help clients to perform all types of activities, from using a computer to caring for daily needs such as dressing, cooking, and eating. Physical exercises may be used to increase strength and dexterity, while other activities may be chosen to improve visual acuity or the ability to discern patterns.
Work Environment
In large rehabilitation centers, therapists may work in spacious rooms equipped with machines, tools, and other devices generating noise.
College Majors
master's degree
Minimum Qualifications
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.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Ingenuity and imagination in adapting activities to individual needs are assets
Quick Facts
  • Employment is expected to grow much faster than average and job opportunities should be good, especially for therapists treating the elderly.
  • Occupational therapists are regulated in all 50 States; requirements vary by State.
  • Occupational therapists are increasingly taking on supervisory roles, allowing assistants and aides to work more closely with clients under the guidance of a therapist.
  • More than a quarter of occupational therapists work part time.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of occupational therapists were $66,780 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $55,090 and $81,290. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $42,820, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $98,310.
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Job Growth Outlook
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H.S. diploma H.S. diploma
BA Degree BA Degree
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