Traveling Occupational Therapy Jobs

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Some of the most sought-after travel therapy jobs fall into the category of occupational therapy, and it should come as no surprise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 29 percent increase in occupational therapy jobs between 2012 and 2022, which is considered “much faster” compared to other professions. Moreover, U.S. News & World Report ranked OTs No. 9 in its list of the best health care jobs in 2015, so the future looks bright.

We recently interviewed Sunny Snook, a branch manager of recruitment and student outreach within the rehabilitation therapy division of Aureus Medical Group, about the future outlook of occupational therapy jobs for new OTs, recent graduates and students who are nearing graduation.

“There is a projected 29 percent increase in OT employment between 2012 and 2022.”

The state of the OT field
The aforementioned BLS statistics paint a picture of a profession that is steadily growing and showing great promise in a U.S. health care market that is still trying to claw its way out of a recession. In addition, there are a lot of factors shaping the OT field as of late. Snook also indicated that the recent changes in access to health care in the U.S. and an aging population seeking to maintain its physical health would certainly play a role moving forward. However, there are other circumstances influencing OT grads as well.

“New graduate OTs still have to be mindful of the job market in which they are getting into. As more and more articles highlight the rehab therapy field, the demand will grow but so will the number of schools offering OT programs and hence, the number of graduates, ” Snook explained. “Does that mean that OT grads will not have a position? Of course not! Occupational Therapists will have many options so the actual job challenge for the OT graduate will be ensuring that the job market they are in … is one that can support the number of OTs looking for employment.”

Preparing for employment in OT jobs
Occupational therapy is undoubtedly an exciting field to be working in, but there are a few guidelines that new OT grads need to keep in mind. First of all, if potential OTs are looking to excel in a specialized field, they will want to begin crafting their resume to reflect their interest. For instance, Snook said that if OT students are interested in geriatrics, they will need to focus on looking for fieldwork with Alzheimer’s or dementia patients. Additionally, those who would like to focus on outpatient settings will need to lean toward orthopedic patients.

However, there are opportunities for students or new grads who prefer a more well-rounded approach.

“An OT student should be experienced in patient populations across all age groups. Having a diverse background can help the new graduate be more marketable in various settings, rather than just one, ” Snook said.

She also offered some great advice for what hiring managers are looking for on resumes in this highly competitive career field. First off, new OTs will need to share the knowledge they have gained by highlighting details in their fieldwork. This can include the setting, patient populations associated with your work, diagnoses and treatments that were administered as well as documentation systems or projects that were worked on. All of these will give a hiring manager are clearer picture of where an OT fits in a respective team.

Occupational therapists will have a major impact on an aging population heading into retirement. Occupational therapists will have a major impact on an aging population heading into retirement.

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