How to Become an Occupational Therapist
There are easy steps to follow on how to become an occupational therapist. The first step would be to make sure that you really love to deal with people and really genuinely want to help them. As an occupational therapist, you will be working on your patients one on one. How to become an occupational therapist doesn’t require much skill. It just requires being flexible and requires being patient. You will need plenty of patience since you will be dealing with both adult and children.
How to Become an Occupational Therapist – Skills of an occupational therapist
When studying on how to become an occupational therapist, you need to have the predilection for subjects not just in science but in psychology as well. Also, on preparing on how to become an occupational therapist, you need to have a background on interpersonal and leadership skills. These are essentials since you will be dealing closely with people who are not going to be normal but will have minor to major physical as well as mental disabilities.
There are skills that you need to develop when you are training on how to become an occupational therapist. You need to become more analytical in order to assess the needs of the patient. You also need to be very observant in noticing the minor details. When planning on how to become an occupational therapist, you must know beforehand that it is a five year course and requires a licensure exam in order for you to practice the profession.
Read more about what is an occupational therapist here.
How to Become an Occupational Therapist – Occupational therapy—when did it start?
Occupational therapy started in the 1700s in response to the growing need for better treatment of the mentally ill patients. It became recognized as part of the healthcare profession in the 1800s. And in the early 20th century an association was formed. It wasn’t until the mid 1900s that physically handicapped and injured people started needing occupational therapy as well. Basically, occupational therapists make sure that the person who has some kind of impairment or disability be reintroduced to the activities that they used to do. For example, a stroke patient who needs to use his hands again needs occupational therapy. A child who can’t play with her doll, needs it as well. How to become an occupational therapist really requires great effort as you will be dealing with myriads of things that affects different aspects of the patient’s life.
There are others who want to know how to become an occupational therapist because of the pay. It’s understandable since occupational therapy pays 20% higher compared to other jobs. It’s a specialized field that requires years of education. How to become an occupational therapist may require higher education like a master’s degree. There are those who receive a pay raise based on their new certifications and trainings. How to become an occupational therapist requires great dedication and continuing education.
Earnings of an occupational therapist
How to become an occupational therapist with a higher salary also requires longer work experience. The longer the work experience, the higher the pay. On the average, an occupational therapist is being paid $80,000. The lowest salary received, on the average, is around $55,000. Hourly rate could be somewhere from $25 to as high as $44.
Those who want to know how to become an occupational therapist that is receiving higher pay, then you should know that being at the right location, area, and state will result to higher and increasing earnings. One must also be aware that the states that give higher salaries are Arizona, New York, California, Florida, Indiana and New Jersey.
Occupational therapists—where are they needed?
Those who are planning on how to become an occupational therapist must know that most occupational therapists work inside nursing homes or nursing facilities, schools, hospitals and clinics. Most of the time they work for staffing agencies. These agencies distribute the professionals wherever they are needed. This profession may also eat some of your personal time, thus, you must be prepared for it.
On how to become an occupational therapist receiving higher salary, one must know that the highest paid earning an annual median salary of $91,000 are those who are travelling occupational therapists. They receive a higher salary because they will cover a large area and they are usually required to travel from place to place in order to treat their patients as opposed to treating the patients in one center only. How to become an occupational therapist requires dedication because they may also be assigned to correctional facilities. This is not an appealing work for those who do not love the profession. However, if you truly treasure your patients, you do your best and money will only appear to you as a pay for your efforts. They may earn an average annual salary of $56,000. Those who want to know how to become an occupational therapist who works with children, then there are various pediatric facilities that offer occupational therapy services amongst other things. These types of therapists can earn as much as $75,000 annually.
So now that you know How to Become an Occupational Therapist you can have a more in depth look at a typical occupational therapy assistant salary.