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Is an Occupational Therapy Job in New York Right for you?

New York's rate of employment for occupational therapists is expected to climb faster than any other occupation throughout 2018.* In addition, according to MySalary.com, the average expected annual income in the United States for an Occupational Therapy Director is $91,030 (based on results from the Certified Compensation Professionals' survey in December 2010). Indeed.com also reported an average income for an Occupational Therapist in New York was $104,000 annually (as of December 14, 2010), which is 18 percent higher than the US national average. Therefore, it is obvious why you might be interested in a career in occupational therapy in a state, like New York -- but first, you need to determine if this career path is really right for you.

What is involved in Occupational Therapy?

As an occupational therapist, you would be helping patients with different disabilities ranging from short-term memory loss to decreased motor skills -- discover how to work around and overcome their limitations. Some patients may be recovering from serious or even, life-altering injuries and some may have been diagnosed with a developmental disability, but regardless of the limitations -- an occupational therapist works patiently and carefully with each client to help them overcome the challenges associated with rehabilitation and teach them what they need to know about living independently. Occupational therapist can see patients with a variety of different challenges. While some patients require help with everyday tasks such as, cooking or getting dressed, some may need help with skills such as, improving their memory and decision-making ability. A job in occupational therapy offers plenty of exposure to different types of people, issues and situations that evokes creativity and compassion -- each of these aspects help to make occupational therapy, a fulfilling career path for individuals who have a passion for helping people.

Occupational Therapy Duties

An occupational therapist can include a variety of different tasks including:

  • Forming the patients' rehabilitation plans
  • Providing regular evaluations of patients' activities and progress
  • Teaching individuals who are permanently disabled how to use adaptive equipment
  • Helping disabled individuals with activities ranging from brushing their teeth to finishing a crossword puzzle

What is a Typical Work Atmosphere like for an OT?

While the majority of occupational therapy jobs are in hospital settings, occupational therapists can work in several different settings including clinics, community care centers, government agencies, home health agencies, nursing care facilities, outpatient care services, public/private educational services and private practices.

What Qualities Should an OT Possess?

Learning and adapting to new skills while working with a disability can be difficult and trying. An OT should possess certain qualities the provide comfort and encouragement to the patient. These qualities include compassion, adaptability, creativity and patience.

Occupational therapy can be a rewarding career field, if you consider the various aspects of an OT career and decide that you have what it takes -- you can start checking into OT programs in your area. Whether you are working with autistic children or elderly Alzheimer's patients, there is a great demand for individuals interested in starting a career in occupational therapy in New York.

*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Occupational Therapist