One of the fastest growing career fields in the world is in Occupational Therapy. Occupational Therapy jobs are represent a major sub-field in the growing health care industry. That industry as a whole is in turn growing with population growth, and in the United States and Europe, the aging of the population. The need for rehabilitative therapy is an obvious effect of age, as injuries occur more readily with age, and the healing process begins to slow down at the same time.
There is also the re-structuring of the medical and health care industries. there are growing categories of health care professions with job titles that were nonexistent or rare just a few decades ago. Many universities have begun schools of Health Sciences, dedicated to educating potential health systems managers, occupational therapists, physicians’ assistance, and similar health fields. This broadening in health care reflects the gradual shift from surgery and drugs as first choices, to employing methods to stimulate the body’s own healing processes.
Occupational Therapist jobs are growing rapidly, with the number of practicing therapists eclipsing the 100,000 mark nationally. Job growth as a percentage from year to year is well above average, and future growth is considered to be recession-proof.
Occupational therapist jobs are to be found in a number of different employment settings. Hospitals of course are a primary source of jobs, as are other health and medical centers, educational services, and nursing care facilities. The latter is a natural future growth area with average longevity on the increase, and the accompanying need for physical therapy to regain and maintain physical mobility.
There are several levels of employment in the field of occupational therapy jobs. Full occupational therapists must attain a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy or a closely related degree at the Masters level. Many major universities offer programs that meet these needs. The applicant should have an appropriate undergraduate degree, or alternatively can begin undergraduate education with the intent of of proceeding directly into a masters program in occupation therapy.
There is also ample demand for practitioners known as occupational therapy assistants. These positions generally require either an associate’s degree or certificate for occupational therapy assistants. These educational needs can be met at many junior colleges and community colleges. Assistants generally find employment opportunities at the same sources as occupational therapists.
With a growing need for employees in these fields and the competitive salaries being offered, young people should be made aware of this attractive field. Occupational therapy jobs provide a much valued service and a solid income. More importantly, the occupational therapist or assistant has the opportunity to work in a field that provides the satisfaction of seeing work efforts pay off in substantial increases in the quality of life of the patients.
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