There are so many options in front of you if you are a licensed occupational therapist. Once you find a hospital to work in, you can start working with patients. You can also choose to work part-time and freelance. The main challenge is getting your career off the ground. If you’d rather train more, you can also become an aide to a practicing occupational therapist so you can learn the ropes.
Being an occupational therapist right off the bat could put you in tough situations. First is credibility. People want to work with someone who at least has experience in a hospital setting. You will need to answer questions from families of patients, and the trust rating will go down if you reveal that you’re a complete novice at it. Your best move would be to take on an apprenticeship.
Basically some of the different careers in occupational therapy are OT aide, OT assistant, junior OT and senior OT.
You don’t have to have a license to be an aide, but you have to at least be familiar with some of the processes. You will be asked to assist in procedures, whether helping the patients or helping the OT professional set up the clinic. Administrative work is also available as OTs need someone to schedule their bookings and arrange the order of patients coming in for therapy in one day. There are some short-term programs that would teach you the basics, but the thing is that you will need to work under a senior OT professional who has a license and is actively practicing occupational therapy. There is also a different set of requirements for becoming an OT aide. An OT aide would usually get around thirty thousand dollars a year.
Occupational therapist assistants implement treatment schemes recommended by occupational therapists. Assistants need to check whether clients are properly doing these activities. They give progress reports for the senior OT to study. An associate degree in occupational therapy is needed in order to become an occupational therapy assistant. An occupational therapy assistant is looking at fifty thousand dollars a year give or take.
Training for junior and senior OT includes a four- to five-year course in college, majoring in occupational therapy. You will also need to do community field work, or volunteer in a clinic. Most states have specific requirements for beginner OTs, and these include passing a national certification examination. Once a junior OT is set to go further, he can go for a masters degree, or get more credentials by doing freelance work. The efforts and time spent in study will pay off because an occupational therapy professional usually earns sixty-five thousand dollars a year.