British Columbia Schools, Degrees & Programs
Occupational therapists assess occupational performance and modify human and environmental conditions to maintain, restore or enhance occupational performance and health. Occupational performance means the ability to choose, organize, and effectively and safely perform everyday activities necessary for self-care and participation in educational, leisure, home management and work activities.
Self-care refers to eating, dressing, personal hygiene, mobility and functional communication. Work, or productivity, includes play, school work, employment, homemaking, creative and expressive activities and volunteer work. Leisure encompasses socializing, physical activity and recreational pastimes.
Occupational therapists play a vital role in helping people with disabilities, injuries or disease to work, play and do everyday activities to the best of their abilities. Occupational therapists help their clients to work within their limitations to regain their abilities and to increase freedom and independence.
Occupational therapists work with people of all ages and from all walks of life, and take all aspects of a person’s life and environment into consideration. Occupational therapists consult with clients and their families throughout the course of therapy.
- They take stock of a persons’ abilities from physical, mental, emotional, social and environmental points of view.
- They identify challenges and work with clients to set goals to meet those challenges.
- They identify and prevent circumstances that would make further limit a person’s abilities.
- They recommend assistive devices and technologies to overcome or compensate for a person’s limitations.
Occupational Therapy Degree Programs
In the field of Occupational therapy there are several different careers you can choose. Each of them have different educational requirements and salary potential.
Occupational Therapists– In order to become an occupational therapist, you will need a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Some programs do offer also doctorate degree in occupational therapy, but that is not a requirement to do this job. If you want to do masters degree, you must first complete bachelors degree in occupational therapy. B.S. Degree in Occupational Therapy will take around 3 years to complete and M.S. Degree will be a further 2 years. Median salary for occupational therapists is around $80,000 per year.
Occupational Therapy Assistant– If you want a faster way into OT field, you can start off by doing an Associate Degree in OT. This will take about 2 years to complete. Many OTAs also go right away for B.S. programs, as it would be easier later to add a Masters Degree to their qualifications and become occupational therapists. OT assistants make around $50,000 per year.
Occupational Therapy Aides– Biggest difference between OT assistants and aides is that aides do not need to be licensed. While some OT aides have no higher education, most of them do have at least Associate Degree as well. As this job has fewer responsibilities an average pay is also lower than that of the OT assistants. OT aides make around $30,000 per year.
CNA Training- In case you are thinking of getting into nursing instead of OT, you should consider nursing assisting. It is a great way to start your career in this field, while still having an option to become a fully training nurse one day. CNA training comes in many forms and on this website you can find out all you need to know about CNA training.