Occupational Therapy Career Development

It is true that many individuals thinking about making a career choice has the future growth of his or her careers in mind. No one wants to be stuck in the same job title all his or her life. They want to be assured of career development. If you are looking for a career in the healthcare field, you should consider becoming an occupational therapy practitioner.

An occupational therapist is someone who assists patients with their psychological, physical and emotional needs. This includes behavioral problems and developmental delays. Occupational therapists work to improve and enhance the quality of life of a patient through helping gain independence. Basic functions like grooming tasks are also practiced. An occupational therapist also works with patients with permanent disabilities like spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and many more. Those individuals who use walkers and wheelchairs are people whom occupational therapists treat too. There will be different treatment programs and techniques depending on the condition of the patient.

A bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy can mark the beginning of your career in occupational therapy. You can apply for entry-level positions and start gaining work experience. However, career advancement or development will only take place once you pursue further education. Those who really want to get a promotion or to be able to apply for higher-level jobs will need to earn higher-level educational degrees like a masters or doctorate. With higher knowledge and skills, more job opportunities will come your way. In addition, the pay goes higher too.

Often, those who seek higher-level degrees will pick a specialization. Specializations in OT includes, stroke rehabilitation, pediatric OT, gerontology OT, mental health, learning disabilities, trauma, oncology, drug abuse and alcoholism, developmental delays and others. The goal of specializations is to enhance the skills of an occupational therapy in a specific disability or age group. This is much better than knowing a few things about the different areas.

When you have earned your masters or doctorate degree, you can apply for managerial positions or become an occupational therapy educator. You can also take part in research work for occupational therapy. With a higher degree, your job responsibility and obligations increases too. The jobs are more mentally challenging than it is physically. However, your hard work is greatly rewarded every day.

Occupational therapy career development can only happen if you do something about it. Employers will support you if you want to continue your education. There are even employers that will shoulder your education cost as long as you continue to work for them.

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