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Non-Clinical Occupational Therapy Careers – Part 2

Occupational therapy and patient care typically go together like peas and carrots.

Looking to switch careers because of the unknown healthcare climate? Or are you simply burned out after caregiving? Thankfully, we as OTs have quite the special skill set that can be applied to a variety of non-clinical occupational therapy jobs.

We created this article to show you that there are other ways to use your degree, outside of a clinical setting.

Here are five non-clinical occupational therapy careers that follow up one of our most viewed and most popular articles!

1) Accessibility consulting

What is it:

In OT school you learn a lot of about adapting the environment for a patient. Sure, we know to remove the rugs in a home and what slope the ramps should be. Imagine pushing the envelope further. Occupational therapists are uniquely positioned to work with designers and architects to create a barrier-free environment everywhere. Not just the home.

OTs are good at adapting the environment to eliminate barriers, but image if occupational therapists were able to create environments with universal access from the ground up.

With the Baby Boomers only getting older, accessibility is going to be in demand. It would be a great financial decision to get a head start on this trend!

How to get there:

Volunteer with your local parks and recreation and provide information on accessible playgrounds. Is a new park being developed? Offer to sit on the development committee during the planning process.

There are also 10 ADA centers scattered across the country. If you live nearby, considering volunteering. Many of them provide design consultation free of charge

Network with some designers, contractors, and architects. Offer your expertise and see if there is an opportunity to collaborate. Sometimes non-clinical occupational therapy careers require advocating on our part!

2) Rehab manager

What is it:

Surely you have heard of this. We all have a boss, and while this may still be “clinical”, you aren’t directly providing patient care. A manager in a rehab department plays a big role in scheduling, hiring, and budgeting. If you work in a larger healthcare facility, be prepared to advocate for OT, PT, and SLP. This is a great career choice that often comes with a significant pay raise!

How to get there:

Some say the OTD may give you a leg up when looking for managerial positions. This may be true because you have a slightly larger knowledge of research and policy in the clinical setting. However, nothing is going to help you more than years of experience and the ability to teamwork and communicate.

3) Writing

What is it:

Online and social media has an ever-increasing presence in our lives, and surprisingly enough, you can make money from it! It might sound easy, but it is a complicated process and can take a long time to establish yourself. A large site can bring in ad revenue. And a large social media following can help you make connections in the OT community.

How to get there:

The easiest way to get started with this non-clinical occupational therapy career is signing up here and contributing with NGOT! We can teach you the skills and give you the resources you need to become a successful writer of online content. All you do is write, and we take care of the rest!

Still interested? Read more about our benefits and compensation.

4) ATP and SMS

What is it:

A great alternative to occupational therapy is becoming an assistive technology personnel (ATP). This certification allows you to work strictly with technology and assisting the needs of those with disabilities.

SMS or Seating and Mobility Specialist is a career path slightly different than ATP. SMS allows you to specially train and focus on seating, positioning, and mobility for those across a spectrum of disabilities.

How to get there:

Both the ATP and SMS are specialty certifications provided by Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America. More info on RESNA can be found here. Beware! If you choose this path, more certification exams are in your future.

These are both fantastic non-clinical occupational therapy careers that continue to provide meaningful assistance to those in need.

5) App development

What is it:

OTs use apps in tons of settings. They are useful for handwriting and fine motor skills with pediatrics. Apps can be used for memory games while working in a SNF. Opportunities for apps and rehab are endless. AOTA has even dedicated resources to curate them for you!

How to get there:

If you want to develop an app. It is going to take time and specialty training. Look into free classes in your community to learn about programming, or maybe audit a class at your local college.

The easy route is to find a friend of a friend who is a programmer. You could also poke around the Internet and share your idea online. Maybe someone will stumble upon it and be able to help you out!

We are definitely going to put out a part THREE for this series. Follow us on social media to get to the action first!
In case you somehow missed it. Check out the super popular, Non-Clinical Occupational Therapy Careers – Part 1!

About Dominic Lloyd-Randolfi

Dominic Lloyd-Randolfi
Dominic Lloyd-Randolfi is the Publication Director of NewGradOccupationalTherapy.com. He recently graduated from MGH Institute of Health Professions with his doctorate in occupational therapy and works as an acute care OT.

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