One of the biggest problems a person can face is disability. Performing daily activities such as driving, working and even walking require motor skills to control your hands, legs and other muscles. Even the simplest of tasks become the most difficult when you are disabled. This is where an occupational therapist comes in. When a person becomes temporarily or permanently disabled, the occupational therapists help him/her regain optimal usage of his/her motor skills. Thus, they help patients with physical, mental and emotional problems associated with being disabled. These professionals work in hospitals and medical or educational facilities. Sometimes, they also visit people in their own homes.
Given the complex issues an occupational therapist deals with, you must be wondering what an occupational therapist salary is. Well on an average, occupational therapists earn between $ 65,000 and $ 80,000 per annum. However, the bottom 10th percentile of therapists earn lower than $ 45,000 per annum while the top 10th percentile earn over $ 100,000 per annum. Thus, occupational therapists have a wide income range. Recent graduates make a little less until they gain experience while those employed in nursing institutes seem to earn the most with an average of $ 85,000 annually.
The job description of a therapist involves training people who are disabled either by accident or from birth and then accessing their needs. After this, he/she will prepare a care plan including whatever is needed for recovery. Occupational therapists use physical activities to help increase the patient’s strength and dexterity. They will also use computer programs to help patients improve memory, coordination and perceptual skills. In addition they will also design special equipment needed by the patients at home or work. Thus, being an occupational therapist includes a lot or time, patience and work, thus justifying the occupational therapists salary being so high!
Since the job is so demanding and the occupational therapist salary is so good, the educational qualifications required will obviously be intense. Generally, in order to become an occupational therapist, you need to have a master’s degree or a more advanced degree in occupational therapy which takes at least five to six years to acquire. Furthermore, in the United States of America, you also need to be licensed to practice. This license can be obtained only if you graduate from an accredited educational program and pass a national certification examination. All this hard work definitely justifies the handsome pay!
An occupational therapists salary may seem a little too generous, but given the amount of work that has to be put in, it seems reasonable. Moreover, the job opportunities for these therapists are expected to grow in the next 5 years with more than 100,000 people employed in this profession four years ago. This occupational avenue sure seems promising. All you need to possess apart from the educational qualifications is the ability to always stay positive and be motivational. If you can communicate with your patient effectively, then that’s half the battle won.
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