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How to become an Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist
avg. starting salary

Are you in your element when being proactive and helping people? Then a career in Occupational Therapy could be perfect for you.

Occupational Therapists assess, and provide treatment for, a range of physical and psychiatric conditions. The issues they deal with differ from case to case, but could include sports injuries, difficulties related to old age such as arthritis, or mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety.

They may work with adults and children of all ages, and with varying problems, but their primary function remains the same: to help people overcome their difficulties and enable them to regain their independence.

Day-to-day responsibilities will vary, but typical tasks for an Occupational Therapist include:

  • Evaluating each client’s individual situation to decide the most effective course of action
  • Helping clients come to terms with permanent disabilities and adapt to a new way of life
  • Keeping a record of clients’ progress and development and assessing treatment
  • Assisting clients in recovering lost skills and abilities
  • Suggesting ways to improve positivity and keep busy in cases of depression

To become an Occupational Therapist, patience, not to mention a genuine passion and concern for others wellbeing, is absolutely essential.

You must be determined to achieve a joint goal, and be able to use tact and motivational skills to ascertain the best method of help.

An ability to communicate well with others and solve problems is equally important in this role, as you may be faced with challenging cases and difficult situations that must be overcome in a calm and considerate manner.

A good Occupational Therapist will need:

  • Enthusiasm and determination
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Confidence with dealing with people from all walks of life
  • Sensitivity and compassion
  • Excellent problem solving skills


Occupational Therapy Assistant

Up to £20,000

Occupational Therapist

Up to £28,000

Specialist Occupational Therapist

Up to £35,000

"I first developed an interest in Occupational Therapy after dealing with an injury myself, which I picked up as a result of a poorly-timed rugby tackle. My Occupational Therapist was great and helped to rehabilitate me on a physical and emotional level; we worked as a team and I didn’t feel like I was being patronised or pitied. It was just two people working towards a joint objective. I am now a fully qualified Occupational Therapist, and I love having the opportunity to improve the quality of people’s lives every day. Some cases are more challenging to deal with than others, and it can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but I’ve learned to be patient and understanding with my clients so we’re always moving forward. And I’ve given up the rugby for a while. You know, just in case…"

Get qualified as an Occupational Therapist

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