Career Awareness

Occupational Therapist

 Daily Tasks
Occupational therapists work with individuals who have conditions that are physically, developmentally or emotionally disabling. Occupational therapists help these people achieve independence in all aspects of their lives, from washing and dressing to balancing a checkbook to interacting in social roles. The treatment provided aides in obtaining and maintaining the life skills necessary for leading an independent and satisfying life.
 
 Skills/Talents
Occupational therapists need patience and strong interpersonal skills to inspire trust and respect in their clients. Ingenuity and imagination in adapting activities to individual needs are assets. Occupational therapists need strong communication skills, plus the ability to adapt to change and be creative.
 
 Work Setting
Hospitals; outpatient clinics or offices; rehabilitation facilities; long-term care facilities; education and research centers; school systems; corporate or industrial health centers; community mental health centers; adult and child day care centers; individual homes, and a variety of non-traditional settings.
 
 Work Hours
Monday through Friday, rotating weekends, primarily day hours. Some early mornings and evenings.
 
 Education
Must have a Bachelor's degree in a field of study of choice and then enter a program in Occupational Therapy for an additional 2 to 3 years of training to earn a Master's or Doctoral degree.
 
 Qualifications
Must have a current Minnesota occupational therapy license, and comply with necessary continuing education requirements to maintain state licensure.
 
 Recommended High School Classes
College prep, business, English composition, food and nutrition, fine arts, health education, health sciences, biology, chemistry, anatomy/physiology, second language, and advanced psychology