Careers in Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is one of the fastest-growing professions in America today. Employment opportunities in occupational therapy are projected to rise as rapid growth in the number of older adults increases the demand for therapeutic services. The increased recognition of developmental and learning disabilities in children will also increase the demand for occupational therapists. Occupational therapists are increasingly working in emerging practice areas such as low vision rehabilitation, older driver safety, and home safety/home modifications.
As an occupational therapist, you may work in a variety of settings, including:
- Mental health clinics
- Rehabilitation centers
- Outpatient clinics
- Private practices
- Senior centers
You may help patients with diagnoses such as
- Cerebral palsy
- Learning disabilities
- Hand injuries
Graduates of the Department of Occupational Therapy earn competitive salaries immediately following graduation. The current annual starting salary for an occupational therapist is $52,000. Effective 2007, the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education required all new graduates of OT programs to have a minimum of a master’s degree. USciences DrOT puts you ahead of the game, setting you up to be a leader in the burgeoning occupational therapy field.
Nearly every state will require you to have a license to practice occupational therapy. Please note that a prior felony conviction may prevent licensure. Each state has a law describing the process for obtaining a license to practice occupational therapy. The primary criterion for obtaining a license is passing the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination. Each state has specific application requirements. The NBCOT examination is widely recognized throughout the world in case you plan to work overseas. In order to be eligible to take the certification exam, you must complete all of the MOT or DrOT program requirements. All fieldwork must be completed within two years of completion of the academic work.