With people getting laid off from their jobs in nearly every sector of our society, there are still some fields that are thriving. You can begin a new career as one of the many who are joining the ranks of occupational therapists. There have been plenty of good incentives put in place to make it worthwhile.
Occupational therapists work with people who have disabilities. Some are mental, some physical, others may have developmental or emotional issues. These therapists work with these individuals to improve their abilities for performing daily tasks and coping with work environments.
Some of the new incentives come by way of new Leadership Development Programs. The American Occupational Therapy Association(AOTA) has a program designed for Middle Managers. Once you’ve obtained five to ten years of experience and have reached the level of middle management, you can get special consideration for a Manager/Director position in Occupational Therapy.
Education Requirements For Occupational Therapists
You will need to earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy before you can work in this field. This means receiving an undergraduate degree in either psychology, biology, anthropology, sociology, anatomy, or liberal arts. Any of these fields are seen as appropriate majors for college students who have a desire to work in the field of occupational therapy.
For American therapists, a license is demanded before they can practice. And to get this license means graduating from an educational program that is accredited. And that means also passing a national certification exam. Today there are many online courses available to help people get the necessary education requirements to go into this field.
Things that Occupational Therapists Do
On any given day, an occupational therapist might:
- assist their clients in performing various activities
- help patients with exercising for increasing strength and agility.
- use computer programs designed to help their clients hone their decision-making skills, along with memory, perception, and problem solving.
- design special equipment for use at work or home for their clients.
- conduct specific activities for enhancing visual acuity and pattern discernment.
- teach clients how to use special equipment designed for communicating better and for helping to control their environment.
Many occupational therapists will focus on one specific group (like the elderly or children) or in a specialized field like mental health or back pain.
While a lot of fields have fizzled out, the jobs available for occupational therapists is on the rise. In fact, it’s growing more than average. This is especially true for those working with the elderly. Occupational therapists are increasing in the amount of supervisory roles they take on, enabling aides and assistants to get more ‘hands on’ experience under their careful guidance.
Career training is available to those who are interested in getting involved with this very rewarding career. You can find some of the top online universities with a simple search on Google. Many who have taken the plunge and obtained their license are now working, and are finding it to be one of the top careers that is thriving amidst such gloomy economic times.