Occupational Therapy Degrees in Demand

Occupational Therapy Degrees in Demand
Students can use this versatile degree to work in a variety of workplaces, including hospitals, schools and elderly homes.

Recently, U.S. News and World Report showed that occupational therapists will have one of the best job outlooks for 2012. The profession has seen significant growth, as unemployment rises and more people turn to the Internet for help in finding a new career. Occupational therapists have the potential to do even more with their training by providing answers via a website, local classes or by assisting in online education programs for adult learners. Occupational therapists are directly involved with helping people perform daily living and working tasks so they can achieve more, live a better lifestyle and enjoy the satisfaction in life. Those who suffer from physical, emotional, mental and developmental issues often turn to occupational therapists for help. For that reason, graduates land jobs in a variety of different positions and work as mentors, counselors, outpatient therapists and rehabilitation workers.

Occupational therapists can work in hospitals, medical clinics, schools, rehab centers and even in-house treatment, working one-on-one with clients. They are involved in helping patients with basic activities like eating, dressing and operating a computer to finding work and picking a career. The age differences in clients are also quite broad. Some only work with children who have development disorders while others work exclusively with adult learners. Many occupational therapists are directors of college advising, helping students stay on track and help them work through different issues, such as career advice and overcoming substance abuse problems. Occupational therapists have to maintain strict, professional records to document the progress of their patients to propose better and acute solutions using what they learned in their training and education.

A master's degree is ideal for occupational therapists who want to have the best positions. Those who work for hospitals or colleges will need a higher level degree in order to have the best skills to help others. In addition, it's also important that graduates specialize in elderly care as many of those who seek occupational therapy are also senior citizens. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an employment growth of 33.5 percent between 2010 and 2020 for occupational therapists, consistent with the rising elderly population. There is an estimated 36,000 more professionals to be added to occupational therapy positions.

For those who want to go into this field, it is essential to get an accredited degree in occupational therapy, psychology or even sociology, but it has to be at the master's level. Graduates also have to have to be certified and receive a degree that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. If you were hoping to transition into this field, there are a lot of colleges with full and part time programs that allow you to get a faster track to this field.