What Occupational Therapist Jobs are Available in Education?

Occupational TherapistSince jobs in the field of occupational therapy are high in-demand, it could be wise to research occupational therapist jobs available in education if this is the sector you have dreamed of working in. Since more and more private companies and public institutions are focusing on improving the quality of life for their employees in an effort to reduce costs, there is only 2% unemployment reported for occupational therapists, according to CNN. If you want incredible job security and you have always dreamed of landing a job in an educational institution, here are some ways you can work in occupational therapy.

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

An occupational therapist is a healthcare professional who will work with their patients to help them recover from injury, improve their skills they need for daily living, and improve their skills for working. They will use therapeutic treatment methods to help develop patients and ease them through recovery rather than focusing entirely on medicine. While about 50% of the occupational therapists who are employed today work in occupational therapy offices and doctor offices, it is possible to find work in schools, home health companies, nursing homes and more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Does a School-based Occupational Therapist Do?

School-based occupational therapists work closely with students to enhance their ability to learn in a school environment and to raise their chances of being successful, American Occupational Therapy Association. There are a variety of different reasons why a student may need to meet with a licensed occupational therapist employed by the school. Some reasons might be to work on fine motor skills, handwriting, physical education, sensory integration, organization, adaptive learning skills, participation in the classroom, or working with the teacher to identify specific issues.

In most school settings, students will get one-on-one services from the therapist so that they can integrate the training into their routine so that they can integrate the new skills they learned into the classroom environment. While some schools do use other titles to refer to school-based occupational therapists, the roles are similar for practitioners who are licensed in this field to work with students.

How to Become an Occupational Therapist

If your goal is to work in a school setting, the very first step will be to earn your bachelor’s degree. Once you earn a four-year degree in a major like kinesiology, psychology, sociology, anatomy, biology and more, you will be on your way to entering a graduate program. Many different types of students from different majors have been accepted into graduate degree programs. Once you are ready to enter into a Master’s program, you will major in occupational therapy where you will cover functional anatomy, assistive technology, patient care, research, social conditions and more. After you complete the classroom curriculum, you will be required to spend 24 weeks in a practical setting getting field experience preferably in a school setting.

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After graduating from a master’s program, you will need to earn a license in your state to work in the field. Most states require you to take the uniform National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Once you pass the licensing exam, you will be classified as an Occupational Therapist Registered and you will be qualified to work in occupational therapist jobs available in education with your professional credential and your OTR designation.