Studies have shown that more occupational therapy jobs will be opened for graduates until 2016. They have seen this increase even with the filling up of physical therapy jobs since the year 2000. Even occupational therapy assistant job vacancies are piling up, the reports say there will be an increased demand for therapists.
Here are some of the reasons:
1. Most of the elderly people now need health care. A large part of the Baby Boomers Generation (those born in the 50s) are getting close to their retirement age and need more care especially in performing their daily activities. Occupational therapists primarily deal with patients that need help improving their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. They help patients compensate for permanent loss of function on top of helping them improve their basic motor skills.
2. There is a rise on cases of people with disabilities or limited functions. Occupational therapists will be needed to assist these individuals to help them function as much as possible.
3. There is a growing increase of acutely ill inpatients. Hospitals continue to get many acutely ill in-patients and need occupational therapists to help these patients. Also, hospitals need them in the hospital out-patient rehabilitation programs.
4. There are now specialized treatment areas such as driver rehabilitation and fall-prevention training for the elderly. These are handled by occupational therapists too!
The field of occupational therapy will be growing and occupational therapists will be in demand for years to come. All types of facility settings are in demand, particularly acute hospital, rehabilitation, and orthopedic settings.