US News Ranks Occupational Therapy as One of 2012’s Top Jobs

It’s no secret that healthcare is one of the most robust and secure industries in an otherwise dismal job market—and it’s not just doctors and surgeons who are benefiting. Nursing and allied health occupations are toping career lists across the nation. Today we’ll look at Occupational Therapy, listed as one of US News’ Top Jobs of 2012.

What is Occupational Therapy?

People are often a bit confused what occupational therapy is—perhaps that’s because they perform such a wide variety of tasks and treatments with their patients. These tasks all revolve around one goal: to help injured, ill, and disabled patients perform everyday living and working tasks. They work with a wide variety of patients, with conditions mental, physical, emotional, and developmental. The varieties of treatments are part of what makes occupational therapy such a great job—and one with lots of opportunities out there.

Where do OTs Work?

Occupation therapists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assisted living, schools, small practices, and also home-based care. As the US news article points out, it’s best for OTs to specialize, focusing their practice on working with certain types of populations and treating certain conditions. Common specialization areas for OTs include gerontology, mental health, pediatrics, and physical rehabilitation.

Education and Skills

A master’s degree or higher in occupational therapy from an accredited program is the minimum requirement for entry into the field. Doctoral degrees, though much less common, are offered from a few colleges. Because occupational therapists work directly with patients helping them to perform daily tasks, OTs should develop strong interpersonal skills, as well as patience and imagination.

Job Outlook

As is true for many healthcare careers, the job outlook for OTs is excellent. The Department of Labor expects occupational therapy to grow much faster than average, with a projected growth rate of over 20%. The increasing elderly population will continue to create demand for the type of treatments OTs provide. The median salary for an Occupational Therapist is $72,320, and increasing with longer experience. OTs partnering with MedPro can expect even higher salaries as traveling healthcare professionals. We have openings for OTs across the country—so contact Medpro today!

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