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Therapy Careers in the News: US News and World Report on Occupational Therapy - featured December 6, 2010

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Best Careers 2011: Occupational Therapist - As one of the 50 Best Careers of 2011, this should have strong growth over the next decade

The rundown:
Whether it's helping a developmentally challenged toddler learn to follow directions or teaching a man with permanent spinal cord damage to dress himself, the goal of an occupational therapist is to assist disabled clients to recover or develop the skills they need to lead more independent, satisfying lives at work and home. While many OTs are employed by hospitals, the field is as diverse as it is gratifying. Other occupational therapists work in schools, evaluating and recommending therapies for specific students. They can be found in nursing facilities, helping elderly patients
lead more productive lives. Or in mental health settings, where they teach time-management or budgeting skills that help developmentally challenged patients function more effectively. Occupational therapists also help people struggling with addictions to drugs and alcohol or suffering from depression or eating disorders.

The outlook:
Demand for occupational therapists is expected to swell going forward, with employment increasing 26 percent between 2008 to 2018—significantly faster than other fields. Occupational therapists held about 105,000 positions in 2008, the Labor Department reported. As the baby boom generation retires in growing numbers, demand for occupational therapists specializing in elderly treatment will be particularly strong.

Money:
The median annual salary for occupational therapists was $69,630 in 2009, according to the Labor Department. The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than $100,000, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made less than $45,340.

Read the Rest of this Article on US News and World Report's 'Money and Careers' Blog

Tags: News of the Week OT Newsletter 10 December 2010