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Occupational Therapist

Career data updated last on 10/10/2014
Occupational Therapist Occupational therapists (OTs) use many techniques to help people learn or re-learn to carry out the occupations of daily life such as eating, dressing, writing, cooking and homemaking. They work with people whose functioning is impaired by old age, physical or mental illness, injury or developmental disabilities. The occupational therapist develops activities, adaptive utensils and other materials to help their clients achieve self-sufficiency. OTs often work with other therapists and health professionals as members of a treatment team.
Salary $37.45-hourly/ $77,890 annually
Significant Points Job opportunities will be be good for licensed occupational therapists in all settings,specifically in acute hospital, rehabilitation, and orthopedic settings as the elderly receive most of their treatment in these settings.
Specializations Occupational therapists may choose to specialize in physical rehabilitation, mental health, pediatric (infants and children) or gerontology (elderly) occupational therapy, or may move into an educational or administrative role.
Work Environment Occupational therapists work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools, programs for the developmentally disabled, psychiatric centers and private practice. Occupational therapists in hospitals and other healthcare and community settings usually worked a 40-hour week. Those in schools may participate in meetings and other activities during and after the school day.
High School Prep General college preparation is recommended: three courses in math including algebra I, algebra II and geometry, or a higher level math course for which algebra II is a prerequisite; three science courses including biology and chemistry, one physical science and one lab course; four English units and two social studies units, including one in U.S. History; and two years of a second language. Students should also consider health, art, and the social sciences courses. College admissions offices also look favorably at paid or volunteer experience in the healthcare field.
Academic Requirements A baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degree in occupational therapy is required to practice in this profession as a Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR). This program includes six to nine months of clinical training. Studies include human growth and development, anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, therapeutic techniques and occupational therapy theory. Graduates of accredited programs are eligible for the examination given by the The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy or the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board. Occupational therapists practicing in Colorado have national registration which is seen by the Colorado legislature as adequate regulation.


Colorado State University
Doctoral Degree Doctoral
Masters Degree Master's

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