Occupational Therapy Types

Children, teens, adults and seniors who are trying to cope with developmental disabilities or injuries often turn to an occupational therapist to speed up recovery and improve their quality of life. When you are considering a career as an occupational therapist, take some time to learn about the different branches and types of occupational therapy, and also some of the different types of occupational therapy jobs in your area. Occupational therapy treatments can be administered in a number of different settings, and you may choose to specialize in a certain area so that you can offer services to a particular age group or population.

Occupational Therapy Types

Occupational therapists are trained to work directly with patients to improve their overall quality of life, and also address physical and mental weaknesses or shortcomings. Occupational therapists work with people who are experiencing mental, emotional, developmental and physical disabilities or problems recover, and also learn some basic skills that they need to manage everyday tasks and work-related activities.

It's an occupational therapist's job to teach someone how to perform different tasks even when they are still recovering from injury, and also show them how to regain strength and restore functioning of different joints and muscles. This can be done by performing different exercises, showing the individual how to sit, stand and perform basic movements, and also how to cope with some of the effects of their injuries.

Students who have graduated with an occupational therapy degree can pursue several types of specializations or certificates in emerging fields to supplement their careers. Some of the different types of occupational therapy specializations include:

  • Adult rehabilitation
  • Pediatrics
  • Hand therapy
  • Ergonomics
  • Vision rehabilitation
  • Community consultation
  • Driver rehabilitation
  • Assisted living care

Depending on the specialization and the type of patients the individual is planning to work with, occupational therapists may work in a number of different settings such as:

  • Health centers
  • Prisons and detention centers
  • Industrial settings
  • Corporate settings
  • Rural communities
  • Construction sites
  • Public and private schools
  • Independent clinics
  • Partnering with a physical therapist or other medical professional

Types of Occupational Therapy Careers

Growth of occupational therapy careers and job opportunities are expected through 2018, and many occupational therapists will find jobs in the rehabilitation and wellness fields. Still, the different types of occupational therapy careers aren't limited to just these areas.

Some of the different types of occupational therapy careers include:

  • Occupational therapists for the elderly - these therapists may work with seniors and the elderly to improve their overall quality of life and ensure that they are leading more independent lives.
  • Occupational therapy for mentally disabled patients - therapists work with those who have emotional and mental deficiencies or limitations, to develop the necessary skills to function in society, hold a job and enjoy positive relationships.
  • Occupational therapists for disabled children - these therapists specialize in working with disabled children so that they can learn how to function and socialize at school and at home. Part of these types of occupational therapy careers often involves facilitating age-appropriate interactions and increasing the chances of social acceptance with the patient's peers.