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How to Write an Occupational Therapist Description Sample

An Occupational Therapist, or OT, is a healthcare professional who helps people who have suffered from illness, injury, developmental disorders, or emotional or psychological problems by facilitating a return to their normal lives. An Occupational Therapist’s main responsibilities include analyzing the capabilities of clients, developing intervention programs, and helping to establish plans to get patients back to work.

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What does an Occupational Therapist do? 

Occupational Therapists treat patients physically, emotionally, or psychologically by improving their ability to complete activities related to both work and life. Often working in healthcare facilities, schools, private companies, or patients’ homes, they solve problems that prevent their patients from getting on with their normal lives. They interview clients, observe them, and work within an interdisciplinary team to create a holistic recovery plan. These plans include an ultimate care goal, such as regaining the ability to walk, with benchmarks along the way.

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Occupational Therapist Job Description Examples:

Occupational Therapist duties and responsibilities

Occupational Therapists perform various tasks that help patients get back to doing things that are important to them. Duties and responsibilities of the job may include: 

  • Partnering with clients and families to formulate and implement individualized goals with focused, targeted, and measurable outcomes
  • Providing direct client care in collaboration with clients and families to plan, implement, and evaluate care
  • Ensuring that clients are receiving effective and efficient care
  • Utilizing research to formulate and implement evidence-based practice
  • Problem-solving with members of the in-patient inter-professional care team and community providers to create an integrated approach to care
  • Addressing challenges identified during in-patient stay
  • Documenting workload statistics according to the Ministry of Health
  • Writing and filing reports on an electronic health record as required

Occupational Therapist skills and qualifications

A successful Occupational Therapist has various skills and qualifications that allow them to fulfill the duties of the job, including: 

  • Ability to administer and develop treatment plans and programs
  • Knowledge of body mechanics for moving, lifting, or transferring patients
  • Ability to manage various clinical responsibilities effectively and efficiently
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and oral
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member
  • Strong drive for improving and working on professional development
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to multitask
  • Strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills

Occupational Therapist experience requirements

Occupational Therapists need a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical fieldwork, or on-the-job training, which is equivalent to about 125 days of full-time work. This is a requirement for certification. Through fieldwork, prospective Occupational Therapists gain first-hand experience in the profession and learn under the guidance of established professionals.  

Occupational Therapist training and education

Candidates for an Occupational Therapy position need to have graduated from an accredited university with a Master’s degree in occupational therapy. They also need to have completed a certification exam from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and registered with the regulatory and licensing body of their particular province or territory.

Occupational Therapist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average pay for an Occupational Therapist in Canada is $74,113 per year. The salary varies depending on experience, location, and the company that is hiring.

Job descriptions for similar roles

If an Occupational Therapist is not exactly what you are looking for, other related descriptions include: 

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Occupational Therapist job description FAQs

What should you look for in an Occupational Therapist's resume?

When reviewing resumes for Occupational Therapists, look for an applicant who has experience working with neurological, geriatric, and musculoskeletal conditions, as these are common among occupational therapy patients. Top-level applicants should also have an ongoing record of continuing education, which is necessary for healthcare professions to keep current with new medical knowledge and practices. Additionally, it may benefit you to focus on applicants who have reliable attendance and performance records, which suggests a commitment to their work.

How do you make your Occupational Therapist job description stand out?

The best way to make an Occupational Therapist job description stand out is to specify the kind of work the individual can expect. This allows those who have proven work experience or a passion for the particular illness to submit their application. Another great way to make your job description stand out is to be specific about the hours the candidate needs to work, as Occupational Therapists don’t always work a typical nine-to-five schedule. Lastly, including the compensation for an Occupational Therapist and specifying whether the pay is hourly or annual is a great way to make your job description stand out.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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