About the Profession

OT-Practice4What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists help people “live life to its fullest!” Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives. Occupational therapy assists people in developing the “skills for the job of living” necessary for independent and satisfying lives.

Children and adults with any kind of disability or development delay may struggle with the tasks of everyday life. They may have physical or mental problems that make it hard to do daily things. They may have suffered an injury or been in an accident. No matter what the cause, it is important for people to be able to do the activities that they need and want to do in their life. As an occupational therapist, you can help them! Therapists collaborate with individuals with disabilities or who are aging in the use of adaptive equipment, making environmental changes, and regaining or building skills.

Where Will I Work?
Occupational therapists work in hospitals, rehabilitation or mental health programs, public schools, nursing care facilities, community settings, private clinics, physician’s office, and in industries that prevent work-related dysfunctions.

How Much Will I Make?
Salaries for entry-level occupational therapists in North Carolina may range from $52,000 to $70,000 for the certified occupational therapist (OTR), depending on location and responsibilities.

Employment Outlook
Current demand for OTRs exceeds the supply in some areas. Demand is expected to remain strong for the next decade.

What Should I Major In?
Recommended majors are psychology, health services management, recreational therapy, sociology, child development and family relations, education, and rehabilitation studies. However, students are welcome from any major as long as they meet the occupational therapy course work required for entry.

How Can I Learn More About the Profession?
You may visit OT clinics locally or in your hometown; visit the American Occupational Therapy Association website at www.aota.org; talk with OT students; or email ECU OT to meet with the Admissions Director (otadmissions@ecu.edu).