Occupational Therapists (OT)

The need for occupational therapists will increase as the baby-boomers age and look to occupational therapists to help them maintain their independence. Patients of all ages are also increasingly seeking treatment for long-term disabilities and illnesses in their homes, and care providers are looking for ways to keep patients out of hospitals and acute care facilities in order to decrease healthcare costs and improve care quality. 

Occupational therapists help people improve, develop, recover and maintain their ability to perform basic activities of all types, especially those to help them meet daily needs such as dressing, cooking, eating, and driving.  

Occupational therapists:

  • Help people regain or improve abilities to help them stay in their homes or return to work
  • Support the whole person, with attention to physical, mental, and emotional progress
  • Educate and train patients, family members and caregivers on rehabilitation exercises, adaptive equipment, and day-to-day care skills

 Employment opportunities can be found in

Education and training requirements

Occupational therapists must hold a master’s degree or higher in occupational therapy, and must also be licensed by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

Occupational therapists are also expected to have:

  • Patience and understanding when dealing with patients, especially those who make slow progress or who have emotional or mental challenges
  • A working knowledge of adaptive equipment and technology, computers, and work-related software
  • A high comfort level working with the elderly, as most growing job opportunities will be related to or include geriatric care

Western MA Fast Facts

  • Workers in Pioneer Valley: 440
  • Education Requirements: Masters degree
  • Entry Level Wage: $30/hour
  • Experienced Wage: $41/hour
  • Learn more at VCN.org