“Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.”

Visit AOTA’s website to learn more.


Occupational therapy services are provided by occupational therapists (OT) and occupational therapy assistants (OTA). A Master’s degree or higher in occupational therapy is required to be a Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR). An Associate degree is required to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Click here to learn more about pursuing a career in occupational therapy.


Students today can look forward to dynamic careers working in multiple settings with people of all ages. The demand for occupational therapy services is strong. Employment for occupational therapy is expected to grow much faster than the average career within the next decade.

For current information on salaries and job outlook, please visit the websites for the United States Bureau of Labor (search for "occupational therapy") and the American Occupational Therapy Association.


Depending on an OT/OTA's employer or work setting, his or her tasks may include:

  • Supporting the growth and development of babies born prematurely
  • Creating learning environments for children with physical or cognitive needs
  • Providing activities to build self-esteem in individuals recovering from drug or alcohol abuse
  • Engaging individuals with mental health diagnoses in dynamic and function-based group programming
  • Adapting home environments for people dealing with the effects of illness or injury
  • Re-teaching life skills to individuals recovering from stroke, spinal cord injury, orthopedic injuries, etc.
  • Rehabilitating the hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder to prevent dysfunction and restore function
  • Developing community wellness programs across the lifespan
  • Analyzing job tasks and environments to ensure a person-occupation-environment fit
  • Conducting research to measure the effectiveness of treatment outcomes
  • Teaching occupational therapy skills and methods to students and other healthcare professionals


Opportunities for change and variety characterize the outstanding range of career options in occupational therapy. Work environments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Units
  • Birth to Three Programming in Home and Community Settings
  • Children's Hospitals
  • Public or Private Schools
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Rehabilitation Hospitals
  • Hand Clinics
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Mental Health Settings
  • Home Health Agencies
  • Primary Care Settings
  • Research Institutions
  • Academic Institutions

Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association
16 N. Carroll St., Suite 600
Madison, WI 53703

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