Occupational Therapy Salary
By an allied health world contributing writer
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What is the salary for an occupational therapist?While the salary is greatly dependent on the geography of where that person is practicing, the field of occupational therapy tends to be very lucrative. Some settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes, pay better than others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2006 the median annual income of occupational therapists was $60,470. The highest 10 percent of occupational therapists earned over $89,000 and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,000.
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Is this career in high demand?Occupational therapy is a highly valued profession that is definitely in high demand. In fact, in many geographic regions there is a shortage of these professionals. Over time occupational therapy employment opportunities are expected to increase with the population aging and people living longer. It is likely that salaries will increase with the continued demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for OTs is expected to grow by 23 percent between 2006 and 2016.
What opportunities exist for career advancement in this field?There are a variety of opportunities available for career advancement such as promoting into management or leadership positions, or even director positions, which involve managing other occupational and sometimes physical therapists. Occupational therapy supervisors are responsible for performing evaluations and conducting annual reviews for other occupational therapists. An individual could also advance to the head of rehabilitation where they are managing occupational therapist, physical therapists, and speech pathologists in a practice setting.
What personality traits make someone a good fit for this profession?Perhaps above all else it is important for an occupational therapist to be compassionate; having a love of people and wanting to see them succeed. Being creative is also important in this field because when one technique or method does not improve a person or get them closer to achieving his/her goal, the occupational therapist must have the ability to think outside the box and come up with another method. It is also important to be both flexible in this field since oftentimes goals are not met within the desired timeframe. As with most fields, communication skills are essential, both in written form for charting and documentation, and in oral form when communicating with clients and other staff.
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What are the benefits of a job as an occupational therapist?Occupational therapy is deemed as a profession that is highly desirable because it has a high level of job satisfaction, jobs are plentiful, salaries are lucrative, and there is a lot of opportunity for growth. In this field an individual is able to work in a variety of settings and focus on a specialty or a specific population if they so desire. There are also both full and part time jobs available in this field.
What are some of the challenges in this profession?The job of an occupational therapist can be emotionally and physically taxing since these professionals work with people with special needs and disabilities. To be effective at this job one has to be emotionally strong. There can be some lifting of people in this profession, which can be hard on one's body, especially the back muscles.
Occupational Therapy Schools
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- AAS - Occupational Therapy Assistant
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- Associate in Specialized Technology: Occupational Therapy Assistant
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