Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). OTs and OTAs help people function in all of their environments (e.g., home, work, school, community). They address the physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of their well-being through engagement in occupation. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and develop social skills, helping people recovering from injury to regain function through retraining and/or adaptations, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of a client’s home and other environments, recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, training in how to modify a task or activity to facilitate participation, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers.
A career in occupational therapy begins with obtaining a Master's degree in occupational therapy from an accredited program. Upon completion of the Master's degree, graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination. Candidates who obtain a passing score on the examination are registered occupational therapists (OTR) and are eligible to obtain state licensure.