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Oswego Career Ladders - Occupational Therapist

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Occupational Therapist

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Rehabilitation

Occupational therapists help people improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments. They work with individuals who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling. They also help them to develop, recover, or maintain daily living or work skills. Occupational therapists not only help clients improve basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also compensate for a permanent loss of function. Their goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.

  assist clients in performing activities of all types, ranging from using a computer, to caring for daily needs such as dressing, cooking and eating. Occupational therapists may use computer programs to help clients improve decision making, abstract reasoning, problem solving, and perceptual skills, as well as memory, sequencing, and coordination.

Occupational therapist assistants help clients with rehabilitative activities and exercises outlined in a treatment plan developed in collaboration with an occupational therapist. Activities range from teaching the proper method of moving from a bed to a wheelchair, to the best way to stretch and limber the muscles of the hand.

Occupational therapy aides typically prepare materials and assemble equipment used during treatment, and are responsible for a range of clerical tasks.

Work Settings

Occupational therapists and assistants might work exclusively with individuals in a particular age group, or with particular disabilities. Occupational therapists and assistants work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other health care and community settings.


Most of these jobs require a two or four year degree.

Job Outlook

Therapist 26 percent increase over the next 10 years OT Assistant and Aide 28 percent increase over the next 10 years 11,000 new jobs expected in the U.S.


Occupational Therapist $32,000 - $70,000 (NYS Avg. $49,800)

OT Assistant $23,000 - $45,000 (NYS Avg. $33,010)

OT Aide $14,000 - $36,000 (NYS Avg. $27,560)

Work Schedule

40-hour week.

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