What does an occupational therapist do?


Occupational therapists (OT’s) are professional medical practitioners who help people with injuries or disabilities that prevent them from carrying out their daily task or performing their duties at work.

For example, some individuals with disabilities may have a challenge in performing simple daily tasks like standing up, removing their clothes or walking. The OT  is trained to identify these constraints and to provide assistance or materials that will help these people improve their range of movement.

What is the role of an occupational therapist?

 Occupational therapists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers or nursing homes. They collaborate with physicians or physical therapists.

They attend to clients across all age groups and some of them that work part time do home visits to provide care. They possess good communication skills because they are in constant interaction with their clients. Also, they have the necessary creative abilities to solve the problems of their clients.

 Their duties entail:

Clinical Examination: Occupational therapists possess visual abilities and make most of their diagnosis by watching what their clients do, how they move and interact with objects in the surrounding. For instance, an occupational therapist 

Invited to help a child with a physical disability may prefer to visit the child at school or at home to watch how the child moves or interacts with objects.

 This inspection provides clues to the occupational therapist on what the child needs and the adaptation techniques to use.

Treatment: OT’s plan the therapy after clinical evaluation. The therapist outlines the treatment goal and decides on the number of therapeutic sessions required to achieve the goal.

Counseling: They educate their clients on how to use assisted devices to improve or adapt. For example, if a client needs a crutch to improve mobility, the occupational therapist is responsible for educating the client on how to use the crutch until the client masters the usage.

Monitoring: They track and keep a record of how a patient responds to therapy. This helps the occupational therapist decide if the client will benefit from additional therapeutic sessions or not.

How to hire an occupational therapist

Occupational therapists are rare professionals because they serve a specific type of clients. Most of them work part-time because they offer home services except for those who work in rehabilitation centers.

Part time OT’s usually work on an hourly basis and charge an hourly rate.  

Here are 3 effective ways to hire an occupational therapist:

  •  Write and post your job description on a job listing website: To hire a professional occupational therapist, write a job description that states the type you want to hire and set application requirements applicants must meet to be eligible. Then upload this job post on free job listing websites like Indeed. Platforms like Kolabtree offer freelance occupational therapy experts on demand for research, statistical and writing services. 
  • Ask for referrals: Ask friends and colleagues if they know and can refer a qualified occupational therapist to you.
  • Search online for a local occupational therapy association.

How to become an occupational therapist

Occupational therapists have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and must undergo advanced training to earn a master’s or doctorate degree.

Thereafter, they are expected to sit and pass a licensing exam.

The minimum requirement to practice as an occupational degree is a master’s degree and a practicing license., 


The average annual income of an occupational therapist is $86,280. This figure varies based on the type of health facility they work with, their location, skills and level of experience.

The United States of America Bureau of Labour and Statistics projects that the demand for OT’s will increase by 16% between 2019 to 2029.

Also, as the number of elderly people increases, the higher the prevalence of age induced neurological conditions that necessitate the services of an occupational therapist.


Occupational therapists are special health care professionals who work with physicians to aid the full recovery of clients. They help patients to regain their independence and ability to perform daily tasks at home or work.

They educate their clients on how to use assisted devices and how patients with a permanent disability can adapt. Their services will continue to be in demand as the prevalence of individuals with disabilities increase and also their earning potential will rise in the future. 

Kolabtree helps businesses worldwide hire experts on demand. Our freelancers have helped companies publish research papers, develop products, analyze data, and more. It only takes a minute to tell us what you need done and get quotes from experts for free.


About Author

Ramya Sriram manages digital content and communications at Kolabtree (kolabtree.com), the world's largest freelancing platform for scientists. She has over a decade of experience in publishing, advertising and digital content creation.

1 Comment

  1. Chris, it was a fascinating read! In my view, the role of an occupational therapist is to assist patients in overcoming the effects of impaired functioning caused by sickness, aging, or accident. It lets them perform daily duties or vocations, whether physical, psychological, social, or environmental, easily. In other words, treatment can assist patients in regaining their independence in all aspects of their lives.

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