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Top 6 Reasons to be an Occupational Therapist

These are my top six reasons to be an occupational therapist:

Occupational therapy is a rewarding profession and career choice. Most of us have a story as to why we chose to study occupational therapy; however, many of us don’t acknowledge all the additional reasons as to why occupational therapy is such a great profession.

1.) Occupational therapists can work with any age demographic

Occupational therapy can apply to everyone at any stage of life! If you ever get bored with your position or the hours you’re working, you can always look into a different area or specialty of practice or care.

You can choose to focus on pediatrics, geriatrics, or encompass treating all ages. 

Pediatric therapists will typically follow a teachers schedule and might have summers off; however, if you prefer to avoid younger patients, you can obtain a position that focuses solely on the older demographic.

All of the different types of treatment settings is another major benefit of this career choice!

2.) Occupational therapy leaves a lasting impression

Most of us take for granted our ability to be independent.

We often do not realize how much we cherish this independence until it is stripped away from us.

Working to restore functional independence to those that have had it taken away, is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Not only is it rewarding, but can be extremely influential as well, particularly to our patients receiving our care.

3.) Occupational therapy has a limitless number of practice settings

I mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again. One of the best things about occupational therapy is that there are an abundance of practice modalities.

Occupational therapy involves all aspects of life. Occupational therapy is defined as:

“Occupation  noun oc·cu·pa·tion \ˌä-kyə-ˈpā-shən\ an activity that a person spends time doing”

Need I say more?

We have the ability to work in countless settings including but not limited to:

  • large corporations
  • hospitals
  • schools
  • private practice
  • colleges
  • nursing facilities

If you’re interested in non-clincal careers for occupational therapists, check out this article highlighting some potential options.

4.) Everyone can use occupational therapy

Whether it’s time management skills or sequencing skills, we could all use a little bit of OT. Yes, even you, the occupational therapist. The main focus of our treatment is to improve our activities of daily living; therefore, it has such a practical application to everyone.

5.) Occupational therapy is a growing profession

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapy has an estimated growth rate of 29% between 2012-2022.

This is partly due to the aging population living longer and the baby boomer generation slowly creeping up in age. In addition, the profession has such great value to society as it can benefit so many people, and can be applied within many different settings.

6.) Occupational therapy is always evolving

Occupational therapy is an evolving profession that applies to everyone and all aspects of life.

With the evolution of 3D printing, there has been a new and emerging trend for 3D printed splints for hand therapy and burn treatment. 3D printing can also play a role in assisting with functional prosthesis training.

With modifications of inclusion classrooms, playgrounds, and sports, occupational therapists are the ones making it all possible. Occupational therapy has a deep root in emerging trends and is always taking an active role in innovation.

If you’re interested in more information regarding occupational therapy, sign up for the NewGradOT newsletter for updates.

About Matthew Alpert, OTR/L

Matthew Alpert, OTR/L
Graduate of Touro College currently practicing as an Occupational therapist at C.J. Allen Upper Extremity & Hand Therapy and educating young minds as Adjunct faculty at Nassau Community College.

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