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Occupational Therapists

What they do?

Occupational therapists perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Analyse clients' capabilities and expectations related to life activities through observation, interviews and formal assessments

B. Develop intervention programs to address clients' needs related to self-care, work and leisure activities

C. Maintain clients' records

D. Establish personalized plans to support occupational performance targets as a member of an interprofessionnal collaborative team

E. Consult and advise on health promotion programs to prevent disabilities and to maximize independent function in all activities of life

F. May supervise support personnel and students and provide training.

G. Occupational therapists may specialize in working with specific populations such as children or adults, or persons with distinct problems such as dementia, traumatic brain injury and chronic pain, or provide special interventions such as return-to-work programs.

Where they find work?

1. Health care and social assistance - 97.0%

What education do I need?

1. You must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy including supervised fieldwork from an accredited educational program by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, or have graduated from an occupational therapy program approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). This program is accepted in some provinces/territories.

2. Effective 2008, most Canadian university occupational therapy programs will only be offering masters entry level education in occupational therapy.

3. You may need to complete the National Certification Examination administered by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

4. You must be licensed by a regulatory body in the province/territory where you'll work.

5. Membership in the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists is required in some provinces/territories.

6. To specialize, you may need additional training or further experience.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Math
2. English
3. Physics
4. Biology

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Occupational Therapists is $26.27/HR, which is above average for occupations in the health sector and close to the average for all professional occupations. These wages grew at an above-average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Occupational Therapists wages

Expected Wage by Age

Occupational Therapists Wage By Age


4% of Occupational Therapists are unemployed. This rate is above the average for professionnal occupations.


Occupational Therapists Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Occupational Therapists Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Occupational Therapists is considered Above Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($26.27) are above the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is also above average.

3. The unemployment rate (4%) is close to the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Above Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be above average because of ongoing trends--a growing and aging population that requires more health care, governments providing increased services for people with disabilities, and new technologies that create advances in rehabilitative therapy.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be below average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely exceed the number of job openings. This will not be significant enough to have an impact on the work prospects.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations (per 10,000 people) of Occupational Therapists are found in Alberta and Manitoba while the lowest concentrations are in Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (63%) is above the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Business and financial management

2. Committee work

Part Time Workers

Occupational Therapists Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

20% of Occupational Therapists are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 12,000 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 58% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Occupational Therapists Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The younger-than-average age (38) of worker will likely result in a below-average retirement rate to 2009.

Self Employed

Occupational Therapists Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 7% of Occupational Therapists are self-employed. This is considered Average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Occupational Therapists Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

% of the individuals employed as Occupational Therapists are women. Compared to other industries, this is .