Occupational Therapists

Also called: Assistive Technology Trainer, Early Intervention Occupational Therapist, Independent Living Specialist, Industrial Rehabilitation Consultant, Industrial Therapist

$87,480

estimated salary

Occupational therapists assess, plan, and organize rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays. Use therapeutic techniques, adapt the individual's environment, teach skills, and modify specific tasks that present barriers to the individual.

  • Complete and maintain necessary records.
  • Test and evaluate patients' physical and mental abilities and analyze medical data to determine realistic rehabilitation goals for patients.
  • Train caregivers in providing for the needs of a patient during and after therapy.
  • Evaluate patients' progress and prepare reports that detail progress.
  • Plan, organize, and conduct occupational therapy programs in hospital, institutional, or community settings to help rehabilitate those impaired because of illness, injury or psychological or developmental problems.
  • Select activities that will help individuals learn work and life-management skills within limits of their mental or physical capabilities.
  • Recommend changes in patients' work or living environments, consistent with their needs and capabilities.
  • Design and create, or requisition, special supplies and equipment, such as splints, braces, and computer-aided adaptive equipment.
  • Develop and participate in health promotion programs, group activities, or discussions to promote client health, facilitate social adjustment, alleviate stress, and prevent physical or mental disability.
  • Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs or coordinate occupational therapy with other therapeutic activities.
  • Lay out materials such as puzzles, scissors and eating utensils for use in therapy, and clean and repair these tools after therapy sessions.
  • Plan and implement programs and social activities to help patients learn work or school skills and adjust to handicaps.
  • Help clients improve decision making, abstract reasoning, memory, sequencing, coordination, and perceptual skills, using computer programs.
  • Provide training and supervision in therapy techniques and objectives for students or nurses and other medical staff.
  • Conduct research in occupational therapy.
  • Advise on health risks in the workplace or on health-related transition to retirement.
  • Provide patients with assistance in locating or holding jobs.
Work Context
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 96% responded "Every day".
  • Physical Proximity — 86% responded "Very close (near touching)".
  • Contact With Others — 81% responded "Constant contact with others".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 91% responded "Every day".
  • Electronic Mail — 77% responded "Every day".
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 67% responded "Every day".
  • Telephone — 62% responded "Every day".
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Work Activities
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Train caregivers or other non-medical personnel.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Evaluate patient functioning, capabilities, or health.
  • Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
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Knowledge

Psychology
  • Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling
  • Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Medicine and Dentistry
  • Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
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Skills

Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Service Orientation
  • Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
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Abilities

Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Word processing software
  • Microsoft Word Hot Technology
  • Word processing software
  • OpenOffice WRITER
  • Crick Software Clicker 4
Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office Hot Technology
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
  • Spreadsheet software
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Education

Master's Degree or
Bachelor's Degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Job Outlook

New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$86,280
$57,330
$122,670