Occupational therapists use specialized knowledge to help individuals
develop, perform, recover and maintain daily living skills and achieve
maximum independence. They work with individuals who have conditions that
impair them mentally, physically, developmentally, emotionally, or
Their goal is to help clients have independent, productive and satisfying
lives. They use a wide range of equipment and techniques to assist
patients in activities ranging from dressing themselves, cooking, eating,
or even using computers. They often use physical exercises to assist
patients improve strength and dexterity, and a range of psychological or
emotional programs that improve the patient's mental abilities.
Occupational therapists should have the ability to communicate, physical
strength to lift patients or equipment, and the mental stamina to endure
the stress generated during the long and arduous process of treating each
Occupational therapists may work in hospitals, outpatient clinics,
rehabilitation centers, mental health centers, nursing homes, schools,
home health agencies, and hospice centers.
High School Preparation:
Individuals considering a profession as an occupational therapist should
take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, health, art, algebra,
physical science, psychology, sociology, English and computer skills.
A Masters Degree in occupational therapy is currently the minimum
requirement for entry into this field; Students are required to complete
six to nine months of clinical practice to obtain a degree in occupational
therapy. After completing college requirements, eligible individuals are
required to pass a national examination to become licensed. However, all
persons entering the occupational therapy program after May 1, 2002 will
be required to complete a Masters Degree program.
Students interested in occupational therapy should contact schools for
information on admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study
Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase faster than
the average for all occupations through 2010. The baby boomers generation
movement into middle age will increase demand for therapy services. Also,
the rapidly growing population of individuals 75 years of age and above
will also continue to increase demand for the use of occupational therapy
Average Annual Salary
American Occupational Therapist Association
4720 Montgomery Lane
P.O. Box 31220
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220
Phone: (301) 652-2682
Fax: (301) 652-7711
Department of Health
Division of Special Licensure
P.O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700
Phone: (601) 576-7260
Fax: (601) 576-7267
Mississippi Occupational Therapy Association
P.O. Box 4916
Jackson, MS 39202
Phone: (601) 355-1679
Occupational Therapy brochure here.
(Acrobat reader required)
Please read our
before printing these brochures.
Download for free here.