Occupational therapist (OT)

Occupational therapists are health and rehabilitation professionals who help people regain, develop, and build skills that are important for independent functioning, health, well-being, security, and happiness.

Occupational therapists work with people of all ages who, because of illness, injury, developmental delays, or psychological problems, need assistance in learning skills to help them lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives.

Occupational therapists (OTs) can be licensed at the professional level after completing a bachelor's or master's degree. In 2007, OTs will be required to have a master's degree. Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) have usually completed a 2-year associate degree program. Occupational therapists must also complete a supervised fieldwork program and pass a national certification exam. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico regulate the practice of occupational therapy.

Last Updated: August 25, 2008

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

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