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Occupational therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to disabled persons.
Occupational therapists (OTs) use many techniques to help people learn or re-learn to carry out the activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, writing, cooking, and going to work. They work with people whose functioning is impaired by physical or mental illness, by injury, or by old age or developmental disabilities. OTs evaluate functional skills, train people to do such things as dress or drive a car in a new way, identify barriers to meaningful activities, and help people adapt activities or use adapted equipment to achieve self sufficiency.
The largest number of jobs was in hospitals. Other major employers were offices of other health practitioners (including offices of occupational therapists), public and private educational services, and nursing care facilities. Some occupational therapists were employed by home health care services, outpatient care centers, offices of physicians, individual and family services, community care facilities for the elderly, and government agencies.
Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, autism, or the loss of a limb.
Beginning in 2007 a master’s degree or higher will be the minimum education requirement. As a result, students in bachelor’s-level programs must complete their coursework and fieldwork before 2007.
Licensure is required in the state of Connecticut. Prerequisites: An approved degree. Licensing requires 24 weeks of supervised fieldwork experience and successful completion of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy certification examination.
American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814