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10 Most Common Occupational Therapy Settings

Occupational therapy (OT) simply means helping people of all ages to engage in their daily lives. This help might be in case of work and various recreational activities to daily activities such as dressing, eating etc.

If interested in occupational theory, you will have a wide array of available practices. Various sectors to specialize on. It probably is one of the fastest-growing job sectors. This profession is in high demand because of its various sectors.

Occupational Therapy: Essentials

Occupational Therapy is the use of specific activities as an aid to recover from physical or mental short-comings. It is a client-centred health profession concerned with their health and well-being. The primary goal here is to help people engage in their daily activities.

Now let’s talk about the important facts you ought to know about OT(occupational therapy).

Basic Requirements to Become an Occupational Therapist

Well, to be an OT you need to through a bit of hard work and dedication. Here we have 2 different types of certifications each with their specialities. We will be discussing the 10 most common specialities from these certifications.

  • Occupational Therapist Board Certification
Requirements For Board Certification
  • 5 years of experience in occupational therapy.
  • 5,000 hours in any capacity in the area of certification during the past 5 years.
  • 500 hours delivering OT services in the area of certification during the past 5 years
  • Peer-reviewed application.
  • The application must include a reflective portfolio.
Most common specialities
  • Gerontology
  • Mental Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Physical Rehabilitation
  • Occupation Theory Speciality Certification
Requirements For Board Certification
  • 2,000 hours in any capacity in the area of certification during the past 5 years.
  • 600 hours delivering OT services in the area of certification during the past 5 years
  • Peer-reviewed application.
  • The application must include a reflective portfolio.
Most common specialities
  • Low Visions
  • Environmental Modifications
  • Feeding, Eating and Swallowing
  • School systems
  • Outpatient hand therapy
  • Driving and Community Mobility

Salary Of An Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists focus on helping patients master the activities of daily living. Entry level positions start at $39,812 per year while most experienced workers make up to $97,386 per year. So, if you’re willing to pursue a career as an OT you can expect a salary of about $80,000 annually. This is quite a healthy amount of salary allowing you to easily lead a comfortable life.

Why Pursue This Line Of Career

Occupational Therapy is now a job in demand. Many are trying to pursue their careers here.

  • OT’s Can work with any age demographic.
  • It leaves a lasting impression.
  • OT Has a limitless number of practice settings.
  • Everyone can use occupational therapy.
  • It is a growing profession.
  • OT is constantly evolving.

10 Most Common Occupational Therapy Settings

The 10 Common Occupational therapy settings we will be talking about are:

  • Gerontology
  • Mental Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Physical Rehabilitation
  • Low Visions
  • Environmental Modifications
  • Feeding, Eating and Swallowing
  • School systems
  • Outpatient hand therapy
  • Driving and Community Mobility

We will be going into further details about all these subject matters. This will provide you with a better outline on what specialities you are keen to emphasize on.

Most Common Settings Where OT’s Work


Gerontologists are Occupational therapists who work with elderly patients. They teach patients exercises and rehabilitation techniques that make completing daily tasks, such as dressing, eating, and bathing easier. They help patients improve their fine and basic motor skills, strength, dexterity, and motion.

The key reasons behind such importance of Gerontology
  • A desire for elderly people to stay in their home as they age
  • Coping up with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Helping patients with arthritis
  • Fall prevention for injured or disabled adults
  • Recovering from a hip replacement
  • Helping with low vision
  • Patients recovering from a stroke
  • Driving safety of elderly citizens

Gerontology basically deals with elderly citizens of the state. That is why it is one of the most popular OT sectors out there.

  • Life skills.
  • Therapeutic cooking.
  • Money management.
  • Wellness recovery action plans
  • Therapeutic leisure.
  • Nutrition Management
  • Sensory groups

2. Mental Health

The Mental Health Board Certification requires an OT to fully understand “the effects of the interaction between lifespan issues and relevant conditions that impact occupational performance related to mental health,” according to AOTA.
Occupational Therapists provide all kinds of mental health interventions.

Mental Health Interventions By OT’s

Therefore, we can see quite a lot of prominence for Occupational Therapists.

3. Paediatrics

Paediatrics is a very prominent sector of occupational therapy. Paediatric Occupational Therapy focuses on children. It helps them develop the skills they need to function as an independent adult. Paediatrics deals with children having physical impairment or disabilities. They emphasize on the progression of the child towards all daily activities. Paediatrics also work on the mental growth of such children.

Here is a snapshot of their work with children

  • General functioning such as crawling, walking, feeding, walking, etc.
  • Functional skills for children on the autism spectrum
  • Money managWorking with physical or mental disabilities ement.
when to call an OT to help your child

4. Physical Rehabilitation

The Physical Rehabilitation board certification is very widespread. This formal certification may be obtained after working in a more specific number of OT specialities.
An OT with this certificate has the ability to design and implement physical rehabilitation interventions that are client-centred.
They work in places like Hospitals, Rehabilitation Centres, Nursing Homes and Schools.

5. Low Visions

OT’s who specialize in Low Vision have:

  • Experience working with adults suffering from eye conditions or brain injury resulting in acuity and visual field deficiency.
  • Specializes in enhancing vision through the use of optical devices and related technology.
  • Professional experience working with vision rehabilitation professionals.

They usually work at homes providing personal care for their patients.

6. Environmental Modifications

The Environmental Modification OT is for practitioners who bring adaptive changes to the environments of a home, school, work, or community.
In usual cases, environmental modification work is as per needed, making it more like a consultant.

Among the many advantages in this speciality, a few are mentioned below:

  • The flexibility to make your own schedule
  • Travel opportunities to work throughout the state and country.
  • Patient advocacy
  • Community networking

7. Feeding, Eating And Swallowing

  • Services such as feeding, eating, and swallowing are provided to patients with a variety of diagnoses throughout their lifespan. 

    The certifying AOTA board describes these services below:

  • Helping with all kinds of activities related to feeding, eating, and swallowing safely.
  • Assuring perfectly balanced diet and set up for the patient and relevant others to meet specified nutritional guidelines
  • Professional experience working with vision rehabilitation professionals.
  • Finding out all factors associated with feeding, eating, and swallowing.

8. School Systems

Occupational Therapists who deal with school children feature in such systems. They work with the physiological aspects of students. They guide them mentally and physically in tough periods they may be facing in schools.
Students often face problems with racism, bullying, lack of identity. This is where Occupational therapists come to provide them all kinds of support.
We may see them working in various school systems starting from preschool to high schools and even universities.

9. Outpatient Hand Therapy

Outpatient Hand Therapists are occupational therapists with advanced training on the upper extremities of the human body. They treat individuals that have upper extremity deficiency affecting their function.

Hand Therapists usually treat patients like

  • Those with Arthritis-
  • Post surgery individuals
  • Fractures broken bones

They basically deal with healing related to neurological impairment of individuals.

10. Driving And Community Mobilityd Therapy

There is a speciality practice of Driving and Community Mobility within the occupational therapy field because mobility is key to an OT’s career.
They focus on enabling a client to be mobile in his or her community or environment.
These include:

  • Public transit options
  • Driving or riding in vehicles
  • Walking

Closing Note

Therefore, here have talked about the 10 most common settings for any occupational therapist. These specialities are according to us the most common and viable for any OT. If your thinking about pursuing a career as an OT we urge you to take these specialities
Into considerations.

With such growing demands of OTs we assure you the best insights.
To learn more about the various settings of Occupational therapists Visit hfonline and check out their course “Diploma In Occupational therapy”.

Start your course today and dive deeper into the world of Occupational Therapy. Join through the link below:

Gain the relevant skills and knowledge

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September 22, 2021

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