Occupational therapists help patients of all ages overcome physical, mental, and emotional challenges that prevent them from living normal, everyday lives. They are compassionate, patient, and have excellent communication and listening skills. Occupational therapists evaluate a client?s specific problem area, provide a tailored plan of action, and follow up with the patient to see if goals are being met or if another plan needs to be created. Forty-eight percent of OTs worked in offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and with audiologists or in hospitals in 2010.
Students interested in becoming an occupational therapist should be prepared for a curriculum heavy in math and science. Students will learn how to assess and record patients? activities and progress, demonstrate certain exercises and equipment, and help patients and their families better understand their disabilities. In order to enter the profession, students must have a graduate degree, and they must be licensed by their state before they can practice. Certification is also available, although not mandatory. However if you?re interested, there are four specialization areas that the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offers certifications for: pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health, and physical rehabilitation. OTs should consider joining AOTA because membership includes subscriptions, quality continuing education, professional and career resources, and discounts for its more than 40,000 members.
|School||Average Tuition||Student Teacher Ratio||Enrolled Students|
|University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL||19 : 1||32,324|
|Lewis University Romeoville, IL||28 : 1||6,359|
|Elmhurst College Elmhurst, IL||22 : 1||3,453|
|Rush University Chicago, IL||10 : 1||2,755|
|Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN||12 : 1||3,502|
|Governors State University University Park, IL||21 : 1||4,789|
|Chicago State University Chicago, IL||16 : 1||3,039|
|Midwestern University-Downers Grove Downers Grove, IL||17 : 1||2,970|