Being a registered occupational therapist takes ingenuity, determination, common sense, a sound knowledge base and enthusiasm. Most of all, it requires an interest in helping people lead full and satisfying lives as independently as possible.
Occupational therapists help clients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. Occupational therapists help clients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities but also to compensate for permanent loss of function.
They work with people of all ages to help them overcome the effects of disability caused by physical or psychological illness, aging or accident. Occupational therapists need patience and strong interpersonal skills to gain trust from clients and motivate them.
The profession offers enormous opportunities for career development and endless variety. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, employment for occupational therapists is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be good, especially for occupational therapists treating the elderly. Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase by 26 percent between 2008 and 2018.