Occupational Therapist

Summary of profession

Occupational therapists help children and adults of all ages with mental, physical or social disabilities to independently carry out everyday tasks or occupations with more confidence and independence. You will create individual treatment programs and suggest changes to the person’s environment, whether that be at home, work or school, and may introduce the use of equipment which will help with some activities.

Working hours, patterns and environments

Occupational therapists in hospitals and other health care and community settings usually work a 40-hour week. They may work in spacious rooms equipped with machines, tools, and other devices generating noise. Therapists are on their feet most of the time.

Education and skills

Persons considering this profession should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, physics, health, art, and the social sciences. College admissions offices also look favourably at paid or volunteer experience in the health care field. You must successfully complete an approved degree in occupational therapy. Occupational therapists need patience and strong interpersonal skills to inspire trust and respect in their clients.

Job growth and opportunities

The employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase. The demand for occupational therapists should continue to rise as a result of growth in the number of individuals with disabilities or limited function who require therapy services.