The demand for qualified occupational therapists has never been higher, and opportunities are expected to continue to grow over the coming years. There has never been a better time to become an occupational therapist and start helping individuals, who need your help, reach their goals. Starting this rewarding career path is much easier than you might think.
An occupational therapist may sound like a professional who helps people find an occupation. In reality, their job description is much more meaningful. Occupational therapists help individuals who have suffered serious injuries or illnesses relearn how to complete day to day tasks and responsibilities. Sometimes, when people suffer traumatic injuries or suffer a stroke, they can lose motor skills, coordination, muscle control, or memory. Occupational therapists help these people learn how to perform tasks ranging from dressing themselves to preparing meals, so that they can begin to take control over their lives.
If you are interested in helping people reach these types of goal, then you must set a few goals of your own. In order to become an occupational therapist, you will need to complete a degree program. The curriculum to become a registered occupational therapist includes anatomy, biology, psychology, as well as other principles. Most occupational therapists hold a master’s degree in occupational therapy or a Ph.D.
Along with receiving a degree, you will also need to complete on the job training under the supervision of an occupational therapist willing to act as your clinical instructor. Once you have completed an extensive supervised internship, and fulfilled your clinical hours, to become a registered occupational therapist it is necessary to take and pass the national registry exam.
Once you have passed this test, the next step is to pursue becoming licensed to practice within your state. Each state has its own requirements for licensing. It is best to check these state requirements before enrolling in an occupational therapy education program to make certain that your program will fulfill the licensing requirements necessary.
After becoming registered and licensed, you will have become an occupational therapist, and many doors will be opened. You can seek employment with a hospital, a private clinic, a rehabilitation center, a community health center, nursing home, or any medical clinic that offers rehabilitation services. As a registered and licensed occupational therapist, you even have the freedom to start your own practice and go into business for yourself.