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Occupational Therapist: 7th Best Job

Published April 13, 2012 3:17 PM by Jill Glomstad
In a time when job security still seems like a fairy tale, OTs may have more reason than most to start believing again: occupational therapist was ranked no. 7 among the 10 best jobs in the country; 200 jobs were ranked. Released by, a major national job-search site, the rankings were based on each profession's scores in five core areas: work environment, income, employment outlook, stress and physical demands.

It's rare to find an OT who doesn't love her job, so it's no surprise that the profession scored very high in work environment and low in stress. The score for physical demands was low as well. CareerCast listed the average OT salary as $72,110, which isn't far from what ADVANCE found as the national average -  $71,506 - in our 2012 salary survey.

What may be surprising is that OT ranked quite high in employment outlook; only two other professions in the top ten -- dental hygienist and audiologist -- had higher hiring outlook scores.

According to CareerCast's explanation of its methodology for computing a score for job outlook, "The ranking system used to evaluate Outlook awards higher scores to jobs with promising futures." Three factors were considered in scoring: unemployment data, employment growth, and income growth potential. Employment growth, the most heavily weighted of the three factors, is based on the Department of Labor's forecast for employment growth through 2020.

Does this reflect your experience out there in the field? Are you seeing more jobs available, or are you short staffed at your facility?


Back in April, CareerCast named occupational therapy the 7 th best job , rated based on work environment,

June 22, 2012 4:37 PM

I am an Occupational Therapy student in Dunedin, New Zealand and talking to previous O.Ts that have trained a while ago it is becoming clear that our curriculum is becoming a lot more broader in the sense of what an OT must do in a job. This is a little daunting for us as students because we are aware that going in to the workforce we are going to have to be more like a jack of all trades! Do you think this is the way it will continue to go in the OT profession?

Louise April 28, 2012 12:02 AM
Dunedin, New Zealand

I have been with a large hospital public health system and with the cutbacks to care for the poor we are now overstaffed in OT and rehab therapies and hours are being cut even for the fulltimers.  

I have been an OT for 22 years and at my current job 20!  I have

never seen anything like this.  I am worried.

Cheryl April 21, 2012 1:36 PM

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