The Future is Promising for Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapy is a growing industry for careers today and it is expected to expand even further in years to come.  Historically, occupational therapists worked with injured, ill, or disabled patients to help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.  However, as people live longer and remain more active later in life, occupational therapists are now needed more often to help senior citizens maintain their independence as well as regain movement and perform normal activities after an injury or stroke.  In addition, there is a growing need for occupational therapists to work with children who are afflicted with an autism spectrum disorder and help them to perform a variety of daily tasks as well as to improve their social skills.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 27 percent by 2024, which is a much faster rate than the average for all occupations. With an often flexible work schedule, competitive pay and diverse work environments including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, medical offices and in-home services, US News and World Report ranked occupational therapist as #17 on its list of 2016 Best Health Care Jobs.

Occupational therapists work with patients to build or restore their abilities to perform the daily tasks of life.  The role of an occupational therapist can vary greatly and the job may look very different depending on the age of the patient and the specific issues that they may be experiencing.  An occupational therapist can treat patients with mental, physical, emotional or developmental disabilities or injuries. “We help people to perform the everyday “occupations” of life, regardless of age, ability or disability,” says Samia Rafeedie, a Doctor and Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California.

Occupational therapists require at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy as well supervised fieldwork and clinical experience. In addition, all states require occupational therapists to be licensed and pass a national examination.

Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses, injuries and disabilities and it can be a very satisfying and rewarding career. Samia Rafeedie adds, “Occupational therapists enter patients’ lives at some of their most challenging moments – a catastrophic change or illness – and they get to fashion a positive future and provide hope. And that is priceless.”

For over four decades The Forum Group has successfully placed thousands of individuals in meaningful and rewarding positions. Contact The Forum Group, an experienced staffing and recruiting company, to help you secure a rewarding career in occupational therapy.

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