The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a rise in the job outlook for occupational therapists. By 2026, the department estimates a 26 percent growth in the industry.
The figures shared by the bureau shows that the job outlook is faster than the average of all jobs. It also exhibits that occupational therapy remains as an essential part of the healthcare industry.
Jobs in the occupational therapy industry also continue to increase, therefore making it easier for graduates to secure work easily. The American Occupational Therapy Association shared that 86 percent of fresh graduates got a job offer within three months after graduating. On the other hand, some respondents testified that they got hired within a month after finishing school.
The BLS job outlook statistics also show that more people realize the importance of occupational therapists to society. Occupational therapists help injured people by aiding them in recovering and maintaining everyday skills. They assist those with cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, and also the elderly.
The need for more occupational therapists rises because of low hospital readmission rates among patients. A team from the John Hopkins University studied that occupational therapy reduced the risk of heart problems and pneumonia.
To allow more occupational therapists to practice their trade, legislators created healthcare policies. The Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2004 which enables practitioners to provide services that cater to special education among affected children.
For one to become an occupational therapist, a person should finish a bachelor’s degree first. Other schools require a specific length of volunteers hours or work experience in the occupational therapy industry.
Universities in the U.S. opened online courses for those who want to study occupational therapy. The programs include studies in Advanced Clinical Practice, Pediatrics, Teaching in Higher Education, and Rehabilitation. Last year, the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education recognized 200 occupational therapy degrees in the U.S.
Overall, these programs work towards promoting the importance of occupational therapy in society. Because of the nature of an occupational therapist’s job, individuals could work their way through a whole day with the help of healthcare professionals that help them heal and return to a healthy lifestyle.