Document 157677

How to Become an Occupational Therapist Job Description Occupational Therapists plan, monitor, and document activities and treatment to help patients who suffer from mental, physical, development or emotional conditions. The goal is to help rehabilitate patients so they can live independent and productive lives. Related occupations include Health Therapists, Physical Therapists, Sports Medicine Specialists, Recreational Therapists, and Activity Therapists. There are many specializations within some of these fields, such as Art Therapy, Dance Therapy, and Music Therapy. Work Environment Occupational Therapists work indoors in offices or rooms where specialized equipment, machines, and tools are available to help patients with rehabilitation activities, such as painting, weaving, leatherwork, ceramics, sewing, or computer games. A therapist has to be able to lift objects weighing up to 25 pounds. An Occupational Therapist in private practice may drive to visit clients in their homes bringing equipment and supplies in the car. Additionally, therapists typically document and summarize treatments on a computer. Occupational Therapists work for a variety of health care organizations, such as hospitals, community mental health centers, nursing homes, schools, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, day care centers, research centers, private health agencies, the Peace Corps, and the military. Volunteer experience can be earned by helping at a summer camp or school, assisting patients with arts and crafts, and working with a nurse or staff person at a health care center or hospital. Approximately 31% work part-­‐time, and some may work for more than one employer at multiple facilities. Career Outlook The California job outlook for Occupational Therapists over the next decade is excellent, and the field is expected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a national growth rate of 19.7% through 2016, with 121,709 jobs available in Occupational Therapy throughout the U.S. Income Income varies depending on location and the size and type of the employer, but an Occupational Therapist’s salary ranges from entry-­‐level ($4,000/month) to experienced ($8,000/month). It is common for an intern or recent graduate to work for several years as a volunteer or at a low paying position to gain experience and recognition in the field. Education Requirements 1 How to Become an Occupational Therapist A Master’s Degree or higher in Occupational Therapy is required. After earning a Masters Degree, individuals must also sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination. More information about the NBCOT exam may be found at Relevant undergraduate degrees to gain acceptance into a graduate program include Kinesiology, Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Liberal Arts, or Anatomy. After the B.S. Degree, a person completes 6-­‐9 months of clinical experience. Local Colleges: CPSU San Luis Obispo B.S./M.S. Degree, Kinesiology (Concentrations: Health Education; Pre-­‐Physical Therapy; Teaching) CSU East Bay B.S. Degree, Kinesiology (Options: Athletic Training; Exercise Nutrition & Wellness; Pre-­‐
Physical Therapy; Physical Education Teaching; Special Studies) CSU Monterey Bay B.S. Degree, Kinesiology (Concentrations: Exercise Science; Human Movement; Sports Focus; Wellness) CSU San Francisco State University B.S. Degree, Kinesiology (Concentrations: Exercise & Movement Science; Physical Education) CSU San Jose State University B.S. Degree, Occupational Therapy B.S. Degree, Kinesiology (Concentration: Athletic Training) B.S. Degree, Kinesiology, Preparation for Teaching UC San Francisco M.S. Degree, Physical Therapy (Joint degree program with SFSU) University of Southern California (USC) Bachelors to Masters program in Occupational Therapy Occupational Therapist Assistant A two-­‐year community college associate’s degree allows a person to work as an assistant 2 How to Become an Occupational Therapist for a licensed therapist. Local Colleges: Sacramento City College OTA -­‐ associate degree Santa Ana College OTA -­‐ associate degree Grossmont College OTA -­‐ associate degree Licensing & Certification Occupational Therapists must attend an academic program/college that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in order to take the national certifying exam. After passing the exam, a student is then awarded the title “Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR)” and is eligible for licensure and practice. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Each state requires a license. California law requires that Occupational Therapists be licensed by: The California Board of Occupational Therapy 444 North 3rd Street, Suite 410 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 322-­‐3394 A person, who wants to take the California licensing exam, must meet the requirements set by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The American Occupational Therapy Association 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220 Bethesda, MD 20824-­‐1220 (301) 652-­‐2685 Special Consideration Occupational Therapists need to be able to lift a minimum of 25 lbs to assist patients with a variety of activities and move equipment as needed. If working indoors, equipment required for specific activities might make loud noises. Some Occupational Therapists who work for multiple health care organizations may have to spend time driving between facilities to attend appointments or meetings. In addition, Occupational Therapists need patience and strong interpersonal skills to continually work with their patients who might not show immediate improvement. Creativity and imagination are important skills when having to adapt or modify a treatment for a patient with special needs. An Occupational Therapist must be able to adapt to a variety of working conditions and environments. Sources of Additional Information 3 How to Become an Occupational Therapist American Holistic Medical Association [email protected] American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) 8455 Colesville Rd., Suite #1000 Silver Spring, MD 20910 American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) [email protected] 1-­‐800-­‐377-­‐8555 American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) 1111 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314-­‐1488 Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP) [email protected] (202) 293-­‐4848 National Rehabilitation Association [email protected] 703-­‐836-­‐0850 Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) [email protected] 1-­‐888-­‐686-­‐3225 Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-­‐2011 Eureka: The California Career Information System, Site Code: For current Foothill students only, please contact the Career Center Career Center Resource Library Room 8329; (650) 949-­‐7229 4