Health Professions

Florida OT Graduate Programs

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist is a healthcare professional that specializes in working with patients with a physical or cognitive disability that need therapy to help them gain back their independence and cope with their disability. The term “occupation” refers to not just employment practices but everyday activities. OTs help patients find new ways to complete activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, dressing, showering, along with many other everyday tasks; they first assess patients and then construct a plan to work with patients and find the best therapy technique for them to reach their intended goal. Click here for more information

What is the difference between an Occupational and Physical Therapist?

Because OTs and PTs often work close together in the workplace, some confuse the duties of the two therapists. Often the duties of PTs and OTs overlap in certain settings. Overall, though, occupational therapists work with patients to overcome certain daily tasks, whereas, PTs are mainly focused on physical mobility rehabilitation, not necessarily certain tasks. Occupational therapists use elements of psychology in their treatment plans, which are not directly used by physical therapists.

What medical areas can OTs work in?

There are a variety of work environments that OTs can be employed in such as hospitals, schools, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, and home care, among many other locations. Click here for more information

How much do they make on average?

The salaries for occupational therapists varies on location and workplace. Overall, on average, full-time occupational therapists make about $78,000 a year. Salaries range from $52,000 to $112,000. Click here for more information

What does the future hold for OTs?

Occupational therapy employment is expected to increase by about 27% in the next decade, which is about double the growth rate of all civilian jobs. The biggest pool of patients that OTs work with are in the elderly community. With the large population of baby boomers starting to age, more OTs will be needed, increasing job opportunities in the field.

Occupational therapists are recognized in many other developed countries around the world, allowing OTs the opportunities to travel and find work outside of the US as well.

In terms of the new affordable care act, it is not expected to produce negative impacts on the profession. In fact, the increase in the insured population and focus on preventative care should increase utility of rehabilitation services. Click here for AOTA workforce trends and Click here for WFOT sources

What specialties/patient populations can OTs work with?

Occupational therapists can work with patients of every age range, from newborns to patients near the end of their life. They can work in pediatrics, geriatrics, with veterans, athletes, and patients with disabilities among many other specialties. There are nine specialty certifications offered by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA): Gerontology mental health pediatrics physical rehabilitation driving and community mobility environmental modification feeding, eating, and swallowing low vision school systems

Click here for AOTA source and Click here for more specialty information