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Best Health Care Jobs

US News: Money


Occupational therapists work in a number of diverse environments, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, small medical offices and clients’ homes. They serve patients suffering from different conditions, including mental, physical, emotional and developmental issues. While the nature of the job might vary substantially, all occupational therapists have one overriding goal: to help patients perform daily living and working tasks so they can lead independent, satisfying lives. They assist patients with a variety of activities that are essential to daily life, including eating, bathing and dressing, as well as smaller tasks like operating a computer. Occupational therapists work with patients who range from toddlers to the elderly. Maintaining copious records and assessments of a patient’s progress is crucial to provide the best possible care. Growth in America’s elderly population is expected to keep the job market for occupational therapists especially favorable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects occupational therapist employment growth of 29 percent between 2012 and 2022, adding 32,800 more professionals to the 105,540 existing jobs in this field. Good job prospects help this profession rank in the top half of The Best Jobs of 2014.



The median annual salary for occupational therapists was $75,400 in 2012, according to the BLS. The best-paid 10 percent in the profession made $107,070, while the bottom 10 percent made $50,500. The highest-paid in the profession work in the metropolitan areas of Las Vegas, Elizabethtown, KY, and Sherman, Texas.


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United States Department of Labor

Bureau of Labor Statistics


Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, autism, or the loss of a limb.


2012 Median Pay $75,400 per year $36.25 per hour

Entry-Level Education Master’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation None

On-the-job Training None

Number of Jobs, 2012 113,200

Job Outlook, 2012-22 29% (Much faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22 32,800


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