Occupational therapy is a dynamic health care profession that promotes engagement in meaningful daily and routine occupations, those activities that give meaning and purpose to our lives. Occupations commonly addressed through occupational therapy include self-care activities, work or school tasks, driving, leisure, home maintenance and community activities. Occupational therapists work with clients, families, groups and populations to promote health and wellness, prevent illness or injury, develop or restore functional and adaptation skills, facilitate social engagement, and create accessible and supportive environments.
Occupational therapists work with individuals across the lifespan who are experiencing
barriers to their participation in desired life activities. Through the use of rehabilitation/habilitation
strategies, task or environmental modification, assistive technology, advocacy, and
other strategies, occupational therapists assist the clients and families they work
with in a wide variety of medical, educational and community settings.
U.S. News & World Report named occupational therapy #9 on its list of Best Healthcare Jobs 2015 and #13 on its list of Best Jobs overall. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 29% growth in occupational therapy employment opportunities through 2022, a much faster than average growth.
Some of the settings where occupational therapists are employed include hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, community mental health facilities, public school systems, home health agencies, private practice, industry and the community.
The field offers rapid advancement into supervisory and administrative positions for therapists with advanced experience and education. Growing opportunities exist in private practice, consultation, research and higher education.
The Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
All OT students must complete Level II fieldwork within 24 months after completing academic preparation. Graduates of accredited programs may take the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT). Graduates who pass this exam are registered occupational therapists.
All states, including Georgia, require licensure to practice as an occupational therapist; state licensure typically requires new graduates to successfully pass the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain state licensure. Applicants with a history of an arrest, charge or conviction may be required to request an early determination and character review by NBCOT.