What is OT?

What is OT?

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

The Profession Of Occupational Therapy

The practice of occupational therapy means the therapeutic use of everyday life activities (occupations) with individuals or groups for the purpose of participation in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided to those who have or are at risk of developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or other participation restriction. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory and other related aspects of performance in a variety of contexts to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, wellbeing, and quality of life (AOTA, 2004).

Job Outlook

Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, autism, or the loss of a limb. However, demand for occupational therapy services is related to the ability of patients to pay, either directly or through health insurance.

The need for occupational therapists is expected to increase as the large baby-boom generation ages and people remain active later in life. Occupational therapists can help senior citizens maintain their independence by recommending home modifications and strategies that make daily activities easier. Therapists also play a role in the treatment of many conditions and ailments commonly associated with aging, such as arthritis and stroke.

Occupational therapists also will be needed in a variety of healthcare settings to treat patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Patients will continue to seek noninvasive outpatient treatment for long-term disabilities and illnesses, either in their homes or in residential care environments. These patients may need occupational therapy to become more independent and to perform a variety of daily tasks.

Demand for occupational therapy services also will stem from patients with autism spectrum disorder. Therapists will continue to be needed in schools to assist children with autism in improving their social skills and accomplishing a variety of daily tasks.

The median annual wage for occupational therapists in the United States was $84,950 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $56,800, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $121,490.The annual mean wage in California in 2019 is $98,450.

 

Reference

Occupational Therapists : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)