12 Types Of Occupational Therapist Jobs (Salary And Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Occupational therapy is a branch of health care that focuses on providing therapeutic care to those who require assistance with daily activities. While occupational therapy practitioners typically become occupational therapists, there are other occupational therapist jobs that you can pursue in the same field. Exploring a list of some common types of occupational therapist jobs might assist you in determining which one may be a suitable choice for your career. In this article, we discuss 12 types of occupational therapist jobs, explore their primary duties, review their salaries and discuss the skills and qualifications required.

Eligibility criteria for occupational therapist jobs

For occupational therapist jobs, the minimum requirement is to pass the 10+2 examination in physics, chemistry, biology and English with at least 45% to 50% marks. In addition, a four-year Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOT) degree and a six-month internship is mandatory to become an occupational therapist.

The All India Occupational Therapists Association (AIOTA) and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) recognise BOT. Graduates who successfully complete the course from AIOTA accredited colleges may apply for the membership to get an official certificate to practise occupational therapy. The Academic Council of Occupational Therapy (ACOT) issues a certificate of registration to practise occupational therapy in India.

12 types of occupational therapist jobs

Following are the 12 types of occupational therapist jobs you can consider pursuing after completing your BOT:

1. Occupational therapy aide

National average salary: ₹32,823 per month

Primary duties: Occupational therapy aides (OTA) perform their duties under the guidance of an occupational therapist. They typically assist occupational therapists in caring for patients who have difficulty doing daily activities. They usually assist patients with exercises and educate them on using equipment that may make certain tasks easy. Sometimes, OTAs also perform administrative duties, such as maintaining records of patients' progress.

2. Speech therapist

National average salary: ₹35,500 per month

Primary duties: Speech therapists help improve the health of children and adults who have difficulty speaking and communicating for physical or psychological reasons. Patients may range from infants with delayed speech development to older adults whose communication ability decreased because of illness or disability. Also, it covers care for individuals who have trouble eating or swallowing.

3. Occupational therapist

National average salary: ₹46,033 per month

Primary duties: Occupational therapists usually apply specialised equipment and therapeutic use of everyday activities to treat disabled, sick or injured patients. They assist patients in improving, regaining and developing the skills necessary for daily life and work. They may provide both long-term and emergency treatment to patients.

4. Occupational therapist in neuro-rehabilitation

National average salary: ₹46,833 per month

Primary duties: Stroke, brain injury and nervous system injuries can have a severe impact on a person and their family. Such diseases may cause physical, intellectual, mental and emotional problems that may severely affect the individual's family and relatives. Persons suffering from such issues may lose their capacity to perform their job and their financial liabilities may increase. The occupational therapist usually finds out the disabilities that obstruct a person's ability to engage in their profession and daily activities. They typically use evidence-based, scientifically proven activities and therapeutic methods to identify solutions.

5. Physiotherapy assistant

National average salary: ₹37,904 per month

Primary duties: A physiotherapy assistant's primary responsibilities include assisting the therapist in teaching and training patients to work and live efficiently within their mobility limitations. They often assist physiotherapists in making a specific treatment plan for patients. They also help patients perform specific exercises, stretches and take occupational therapies to recover from injuries.

6. Paediatric therapist

National average salary: ₹1,12,569 per month

Primary duties: Paediatric occupational therapy is a speciality where the occupational therapist supports children in performing daily routines. A paediatric occupational therapist works with children who have learning, psychological or physical problems, assisting them in performing daily living activities normally and comfortably. They help develop children's fine, sensory and visual-motor skills, which are necessary for functioning and social interaction.

7. Respiratory therapist

National average salary: ₹33,339 per month

Primary duties: Respiratory therapists work under the supervision of doctors and treat a variety of patients, ranging from infants born with underdeveloped lungs to aged patients with lung disease. They often provide oxygen to patients, monitor ventilators and administer medications to the lungs. They also provide care to emergency patients suffering from drowning, attacks or trauma.

8. Counselling psychologist

National average salary: ₹30,000 per month

Primary duties: Counselling psychologists are mental health professionals that focus on helping patients who are experiencing emotional distress, depression, anxiety or behavioural disorders. They often assist individuals suffering from physical, emotional or mental health problems in enhancing their sense of well-being, alleviating discomfort and resolving crises. They also analyse, diagnose and treat more serious psychological symptoms.

Related: How To Become A Counselling Psychologist

9. Spa therapist

National average salary: ₹37,500 per month

Primary duties: Spa therapists educate clients on different body treatments, massage techniques and spa treatments. Typically, their duties include providing spa customers with a variety of therapeutic massages, aesthetic treatments and fitness therapies based on their individual needs and preferences. They usually work in spas, hotels and resorts.

10. Fitness instructor

National average salary: ₹23,800 per month

Primary duties: A fitness trainer works with a diverse range of customers to help them improve their fitness, physical ability and general health. Their responsibilities include assessing a client's requirements and goals, modelling routines and creating a client training schedule. They also involve customers in workout routines and fitness programmes, assisting them in achieving their personal goals.

11. Mental health therapist

National average salary: ₹42,800 per month

Primary duties: A mental health therapist examines and cures mental and emotional health disorders, interpersonal problems and life difficulties. They usually work with patients to make meaningful behavioural changes using a variety of psychotherapeutic techniques. They often provide coping techniques for overcoming life's challenges.

12. Disability assessor

National average salary: ₹30,515 per month

Primary duties: Disability assessors require the ability to empathise, understand and engage closely with each person to ascertain how their disability impacts their daily life, ability to care for themselves and capacity to work. This role can be suitable for those with medical experiences, such as nurses, paramedics, occupational therapists and physiotherapists and those with exceptional communication skills and confidence conducting clinical examinations. They assess disability in individuals and help them provide government-aided benefits.

Skills for occupational therapist jobs

Apart from academic qualifications and subject knowledge, occupational therapist jobs require some soft skills to perform them successfully. Here are some of the soft skills that may help you during the job:

Problem-solving skills

Occupational therapists are responsible for developing patient-specific treatment procedures and recovery plans. It usually means that professionals may require problem-solving abilities to manage their patients' particular challenges or physical problems. While assessing their patients' conditions, they may consider patients' medical histories and surroundings to develop effective solutions.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions And Examples

Communication skills

Often, occupational therapists require listening to their patients and explaining exercises or processes. They may also explain complicated medical terms in simple language to make patients understand their conditions and therapies. Apart from communicating with their patients, they may also interact closely with doctors and other medical experts, necessitating that they communicate properly.

Related: Building Communication Skills: 10 Types Of Listening

Physical strength

Since many occupational therapists work with injured patients, they may be responsible for providing physical assistance. They may support the patients during the day and assist them as they travel to different locations. These actions may require physical ability to assist them in entering and exiting vehicles or engaging in regular activity. Occupational therapists may require to support their patients while providing them various physiotherapy treatments, showing the requirement for physical strength in this role.

Nurturing

Occupational therapists generally work with individuals facing physical challenges or unfamiliar situations, and their patients may experience anxiety or vulnerability. It indicates that being caring and kind individuals may be helpful to them. Because they often interact with multiple patients, the ability to transition from caring for one individual to assisting another might be beneficial.

Organisational skills

Being organised and punctual is important for an occupational therapist. Usually, patients rely on them to have the necessary documentation, including insurance paperwork and medical forms. They often schedule client appointments and ensure that they can treat as many as possible. If they operate in a clinical setting, they may want to schedule appointments in coordination with the other occupational therapists in their clinic.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

Empathy and compassion

Because occupational therapists help and care for people in a variety of emotional and physical capacities, this job may be more suitable for those who are naturally empathetic and humane. Individuals who engage with occupational therapists benefit from being genuinely cared for and having the professional effort to understand them. Successful occupational therapists may be able to promote belongingness and acceptance in their patients.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries and the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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