Career Advancements For Occupational Therapists


Occupational Therapy is a very fast growing profession with plenty of prospects. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapy will grow by 33% up until the year 2020. There should be enough employment opportunities for everyone to last several years.

What is it occupational therapists do though? Occupational therapists help people perform their everyday activities in spite of injury or disability. They teach those skills and the use of assistive devices. They are also the healthcare professionals that teach you basic skills, skills such as writing, walking, and picking things up with your hands.

There are many routes for which to advance your career in occupational therapy. These positions include, but are not limited to, becoming a trainer or teacher, an administrator or supervisor, and becoming a specialist.

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the governing body for occupation therapy, there are 8 areas that you can specialize in, as of 2012. You can specialize in Gerontology where you care for the elderly. You can specialize in Mental Health, teaching special children how to maximize their skills. You can specialize in Pediatrics helping children learn essential life skills despite disability or deformity. You can also specialize in Physical Rehabilitation which makes you an expert in helping disabled or injured people regain function. You can specialize in Environmental Modification which allows you to be a consultant as to how best to arrange room furniture or add needed equipment for disabled or injured persons. You can specialize in Feeding, Eating, and Swallowing, helping stroke patients and tracheostomy patients regain function of their mouth and esophagus. You can specialize in low vision, teaching partially and totally blind people how to cope with their reduced or absent vision. And you can also specialize in Community Mobility and Driving so that you can teach disabled or injured people how to drive or use public transport despite their circumstances.

Becoming a trainer or supervisor is also an option you can take according to the AOTA. They have special continuing education courses for you to be eligible for these positions. Perhaps sufficient training in an area along with a course in becoming a trainer would allow you to climb the career ladder that way. Or perhaps getting a master’s degree majoring in administration or management will allow you to climb the ladder another way. Whichever path you take, you will always have numerous options for advancement as an occupational therapist.


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