An Occupational Therapist (OT) is someone who gives patients treatment to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disorder. They go through tough and stressful sessions with patients/clients for up to an hour or more just to see the slightest results.
Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.The role of an OT is to work with a patient to help them feel successful, fulfilled and satisfied in their achievements in life through the use of "purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes which promote health, prevent injury or disability and which develop, improve, sustain or restore the highest possible level of independence.
Personal skills to have includes excellence in communication and interactions with others and compassion as well as a lot of patience. For you may find that this job gets a little frustrating at times, especially while working with young children. Other useful skills include such things as writing.
In terms of educational requirements, occupational therapists must have at least a master’s degree. Occupational therapists typically have a master’s degree in occupational therapy, but you could go further in your studies if you wish. All states require occupational therapists to be licensed or registered. This can take up to about 2 years or more, depending on what courses you take. Other important training to have includes CPR and BCLS. SHSU College offers a great program to earn your masters degree, and if you plan on settling down in Huntsville,TX they have their own Believe Therapies Center.
When your fresh out of college and you land a job you can expect to earn about 63K in your first five years. But you will slowly move up the ladder and get up to about 73K in average. The median annual wage for occupational therapists was $75,400 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $50,500, and the top 10 percent earned more than $107,070.Occupational Therapists
Median annual wages, May 2012
Health diagnosing and treating practitioners~~~~~~~$73,410
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. There are 7.2 billion people born each day, which may seem like a threat to the outlook, but is in fact a bitter sweet. Because a lot of those babies will therapy in their lives which gives you more job opportunities.
Personal benefits include:
~ Helping the people of your community become independent
~ Bettering the lives of children
~ Giving parents/family members hope in progression of activities
If this turns out to not be what you thought it was then you could always switch to something in a similar fields. For instance, you could be an Athletic Trainer/Exercise Physiologist, Physical Therapist,Recreational Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, and much more! As long as it's in the Human Services area it should work out just fine.
Why Did I Pick This Career???
Well, the reason I picked this career is because that everyone noticed how well I am with kids and how I treat them in an understanding and patient way. Since birth I have cared for others and always think of them and how they may feel inside. When I notice someone having trouble with something I feel for them and just wish to help in some way, but sometimes I can't do anything and i feel helpless. Other times when it's children who need help I have to step in and see what the problem is. My younger brother has been going to speech and OT therapy since he was about 4 (which makes it 2 years now) and I was always fascinated with how they motivate him to do these things that show great progress. So I started looking into it and here we are...