Occupational Therapists

Last updated December 31, 2014

It takes enormous patience to work with the physically handicapped, the mentally ill, or anyone struggling with the tasks of daily life. But as an occupational therapist (OT), you can find great satisfaction in helping them live more independently.

Whether you’re teaching a stroke survivor to use a walker, modifying school equipment for a disabled child, or helping the victim of a car accident to get behind the wheel again, one thing is certain: you’ll make a difference.

Occupational therapists help people who have learning disabilities, physical handicaps, illnesses, and other conditions master everyday tasks, from shopping for groceries to walking with crutches.

Did You Know?

More and more OTs work in nontraditional settings outside the hospital. These include community health centers, schools, and rehabilitation workshops.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Work with a wide range of people
  • Discover each person’s special needs
  • Tailor an individualized plan for each patient
  • Be patient, even when progress is slow
  • Keep records of each client’s activities and progress
  • Come up with creative solutions to problems

It Helps To Be...

A creative, patient problem solver: progress can be painfully slow.

Make High School Count

  • Challenge yourself in science with AP® courses in biology and chemistry.
  • Sign up for psychology to learn about motivation, therapeutic techniques, and mental illnesses.
  • Volunteer at a hospital or another health care facility: it may even help you to get into the college of your choice.

Did You Know?

You can specialize and work only with children, substance abusers, older adults, or another group.