How To Become an Occupational Therapist
An occupational therapist position with a master’s degree in public health is a strong career choice that is worth your consideration.
Occupational therapists work on patients who have injuries, illnesses and various disabilities via the therapeutic use of daily, regular activities. These professionals help their patients to develop, recover, and to boost their skills so that they can work and live more effectively.
Some of the duties that occupational therapists with an MPH do include:
- Observe their patients doing everyday tasks, ask their patients probing questions, and review their medical history
- Come up with a solid treatment plan for their patients, planning the sorts of activities and goals that need to be accomplished
- Assist patients with all kinds of disabilities to do various tasks, including helping an elderly person with a lack of memory to operate a computer, or to help an autistic child to play
- Evaluate the home or workplace of a patient to determine how it can be made to better suit the needs of the patient
- Provide effective education for the family or employer of a patient to show them how to provide better accommodations and care for that patient
Occupational Therapist Career & Salary Outlook
The salary and outlook for professionals with a master’s degree in public health in this profession is strong. The median salary in 2010 for occupational therapists was $72,300. The top 10% earned more than $102,000. The salary breakdown by industry is as follows:
- Home Health Care Services: $79,000
- Nursing Care Facilities: $78,400
- Offices of therapists and audiologists: $73,700
- Individual/family services: $64,500
The career outlook in general for this profession is strong, and is particularly so with an MPH. There will be an increase in employment for occupational therapists of 33% in the next 10 years, which is much faster than average. Occupational therapy is a very needed field, because it is used to treat people with all sorts of illnesses and disabilities, from Alzheimer’s to cerebral palsy.
Job Outlook for Occupational Therapists
The demand for occupational therapists is strongly on the rise because the baby boom population is aging and people are staying active longer in their lives than ever before. Occupational therapists are needed to help senior citizens keep their independence, by helping them to make their daily lives easier. One example is that many older people now have joint implants in their knees and hips, and these people will need to have an occupational therapist help them to deal with adapting to their new joint in their work and lives.
Occupational therapists with an MPH are very important to help people with problems of aging, such as osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s. The job outlook for this profession, especially in hospitals, rehab centers and orthopedic offices, will be very strong for the foreseeable future.
Occupational Therapist Education and Training
Generally, occupational therapists have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in occupational therapy. A master’s of public health will help you to get into occupational therapy positions that are more focused on public health, such as at various government agencies and clinics around the country.
Many occupational therapists choose to get certified, as this helps their hiring prospects with many employers. You would need to pass the test given by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists to get your certification. Short on time? See our 10 Best online mph programs.