Where occupational therapists work?

About half of occupational therapists work in occupational therapy offices or hospitals. Others work in schools, nursing homes, and home health services. Therapists can spend a lot of time on their feet while working with patients. In some cases, occupational therapists help patients create functional work environments.

Evaluate the workspace, recommend modifications, and meet with the patient's employer to collaborate on changes in the patient's work environment or schedule. The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, expected level of physical activity, and typical hours worked. You can also talk about the main industries that employed the occupation. This tab can also describe part-time work opportunities, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment used, and the risk of injury workers may face.

The daily activities in which occupational therapists participate are also likely to be influenced by the environments in which they work. Many occupational therapists work in hospitals or private practices, however, there are many opportunities to work in other settings. For example, some professionals work in educational settings to help with child development or with the elderly to lessen the difficulties that aging entails. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit can even choose to open and manage their own private practice.

Below is the breakdown of where most occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants currently work in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For information on requirements to practice as an occupational therapist in schools, contact state occupational therapy regulatory agencies. Occupational therapists in hospitals and other healthcare and community settings typically work 40 hours a week.

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces annual employment and wage estimates for more than 800 occupations. To become an occupational therapist, you will first need to earn a bachelor's degree and then continue with a master's program in occupational therapy. Occupational therapists work for hospitals, community health centers, home health agencies, rehabilitation clinics, nursing homes, industrial facilities, schools, private homes, wellness programs, and research facilities. Occupational therapists can also work in mental health settings, where they help patients suffering from developmental disabilities, mental illness, or emotional problems.

But what does an occupational therapist actually do? Below are the roles and responsibilities of occupational therapists, as well as the skills and education needed, and career perspectives. Learn more about occupational therapists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations. However, the demand for occupational therapy services is related to patients' ability to pay, either directly or through health insurance. Most states require occupational therapists to pass the national exam administered by the National Occupational Therapy Certification Board.

Compare job duties, education, job growth, and salary for occupational therapists with similar occupations. This table shows a list of occupations with work tasks similar to those of occupational therapists. Occupational therapists may specialize in physical rehabilitation, mental health, gerontology, pediatrics, hand therapy, or community health. Most occupational therapists work in hospitals or occupational therapy offices, while others work in schools, doctor's offices, home health services, and nursing homes.


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