A career in occupational therapy can be incredibly fulfilling. After all, it aims to improve a person’s quality of life through holistic, science-based techniques. This rehabilitation practice can help patients function better, reconnect with their environment, and contribute to a more positive disposition in life.
Get to know more about this healthcare practice to see if you make a good match for an occupational therapy job.
What is Occupational Therapy?
As a healthcare-based profession, physical therapy employs scientific methods to tend to a patient’s physical and cognitive needs. These patients are hindered by injuries, physical disabilities, and other kinds of medical conditions.
Occupational therapists, also known as OTs, work closely with supervisors, assistants, and other practitioners in the field to ensure that the patient’s needs are met. Ultimately, occupational therapy aims to help people function more comfortably in their daily lives.
Why Choose Occupational Therapy as a Career?
Occupational therapy offers much in terms of fulfillment, both personally and professionally. OTs actively contribute to a person’s healing by tending to their physical, mental, and developmental well-being. The practice employs hands-on activities that entail rapport and emotional connection. It’s a fantastic choice if you like working closely with different groups of people without dealing with too much stress.
Additionally, it’s a great career path for people who opt to work on more variable terms. You’ll deal with diverse settings such as schools, clinics, community centers, and more. This makes it easier to achieve work-life balance—while also enjoying a comfortable salary. Overall, an occupational therapy career offers a positive job outlook in more ways than one.
Occupational Therapy Job Titles and Career Options
Since occupational therapy is a vast field, it has many career opportunities. These span from managerial responsibilities to direct, concrete work involving patients. Here are a few occupational therapy career paths that you can pursue depending on your experience and professional interest.
The lead practitioners of occupational therapy are, of course, occupational therapists themselves. They use their professional knowledge and various techniques to help patients recover and regain movement. To become a licensed occupational therapist, one must obtain a master’s degree in the field. Additionally, they need to take exams or other certification tests to ensure that they meet the requirements of their title.
An OT’s work ranges from assessment to interactive treatment, and they cater to people of all ages. With a team of other healthcare professionals, occupational therapists tend to patients by creating treatment plans tailored according to the patient’s condition and needs. They may also observe and make recommendations to improve the patient’s environment, such as their homes and living conditions.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Occupational therapy assistants are heavily involved in specific procedures, although the OT may bear the foremost responsibilities such as diagnosis and developing treatment plans. They can give recommendations and engage in the practice under the supervision and approval of an OT.
An occupational therapy assistant job requires no licensures. However, it does necessitate sufficient background in the field. At the very least, you may need to have a degree in occupational therapy or take exams prior to the job in order to function effectively as an OT assistant.
Occupational Therapy Supervisor
An occupational therapy supervisor directs and maintains the staff, programs, and operations in a department. As one of the more managerial occupational therapy career options, you’ll need a certain level of expertise in the field. It would help if you’ve previously had direct experience working as an occupational therapist or have been a part of a team of OT practitioners.
As a supervisor, knowing how to plan and maximize day-to-day tasks is a must. Occupational therapy supervisors may also need to help with attending to equipment or performing assessments as required. And since they are in charge of groups, they must have a thorough knowledge of technical processes.
Clinical Rehabilitation Liaison or Coordinator
If you’re looking for a role that deals less with hands-on treatment and more with clinical expertise, being a rehabilitation liaison may be a good path for you. One of the duties of a rehab liaison involves the very first step of patient care. They seek out, evaluate, and respond to potential patients by assessing their needs.
You don’t need to seek certifications or licensures to be a rehab liaison, but you should be able to understand what occupational therapy is on a technical level. Some degree of knowledge in the field is needed if you were to perform accurate tests and evaluations. It’s also helpful, though not always required, to have some experience in healthcare marketing.
Director of Rehabilitation
A director of rehabilitation administers the department of rehab services in a clinic or healthcare organization. Their duties and responsibilities primarily involve team management, operational supervision, and growth plans. As such, their work is more on the side of leadership, although they may have spent some years in their career being a licensed occupational therapist. They may also need to lend competence and guidance regarding patient care.
While it deals with more direction, this job requires knowledge and holistic credentials within the field. Coping with clinical systems is already a given, but expertise in occupational therapy and other rehabilitation procedures is just as necessary.
Start Your Occupational Therapy Career Path With Therapy Abroad
There’s a reason why occupational therapy is rapidly gaining traction in the healthcare industry. It’s a practical choice for people who prefer more flexibility, and it offers a sense of stability and fulfillment. So if you enjoy diverse working conditions without compromising on personal and professional advancements, consider pursuing an occupational therapy career path.
Kickstart your career by applying for occupational therapy jobs and programs at Therapy Abroad. We provide some of the best opportunities for aspiring OT practitioners—and we’d love to work with you. Reach out to us now for more details.