What would you like to do with your online doctorate in occupational therapy? As a newcomer to the profession, your doctoral degree will give you the qualifications to begin your career as an occupational therapist. If you own a master’s degree already and have received your license, chances are you already have some work experience behind you, and your online Doctor of Occupational degree is a stepping stone to a supervisory position. For whatever reason that you decided to obtain your doctoral degree, rest assured it was a wise decision to do so.
An occupational therapist is the most common position to seek with your doctoral degree; especially if you are a beginner in the field. According to the BLS, an occupational therapist earns an average of $84,950 annually; however, depending on the area you practice, it could be more. The state that paid the highest wages for an occupational therapist, as of 2018, was Nevada at $100,970 annually. The annual salary for an occupational therapy assistant is approximately $59,200 per year. The demand for the occupational therapist is expected to grow by 18% between 2018 and 2028; however, growth may depend on several factors, such as health insurance coverage or the personal ability to pay directly.
As an occupational therapist, your duties will vary; however, the goal is the same no matter which degree you have in hand, which is to help the patient regain their independence at home. Generally, when patients come to you, they are having trouble performing the everyday activities that we all must do, such as bathe, get dressed, or putting on our shoes. Your commitment to them includes attempts to provide treatment that will get them to the point of regaining their confidence and making those hard tasks more pleasant to do. Often, through occupational therapy, doing simple things, such as preparing their meals or cleaning their house, can be difficult or painful. In this capacity, you can help them regain mobility in hopes of continuing to lead productive lives at home instead of an assisted living or nursing home facility.
So, if you have earned an online Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree, how will your duties differ? If you so desire, you will qualify for a leadership or management position in occupational therapy. In addition to your usual responsibilities, you can expect to work closely with family members or employers to provide adequate care or work environments that are conducive to your patient’s capabilities. Also, you will oversee the training of other occupational therapists and assistants. In a supervisory position, you will be the one they come to for advice and protocol. You will also have the added job of managing administrative duties, often to include answering phone calls, making appointments, and maintaining the proper medical records and case notes. You will attend case meetings, as well as organize and oversee rehabilitation groups.
The field of occupational therapy presents many benefits. In addition to a lucrative salary and job security, the real advantage is the feeling of accomplishment and reward that you will feel every time you help someone regain their confidence to live independently and earn an honest living in the workforce. Please see our choices for the Best Online Schools for Doctor of Occupational Therapy, if you are interested in this remarkable career!