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Occupational Therapist

Provide personal care, emotional support and physical assistance to help people live their lives as independently as possible

What's it like to be an Occupational Therapist?

As an Occupational Therapist (OT) your primary goal is to help people carry out daily tasks independently. You may work in hospitals, workplaces, schools, nursing homes, private clinics or private homes.

Occupational Therapist

Tasks and duties

  • Assessing injured workers to determine the best way to help them get back to work.
  • Visiting workplaces to gain an understanding on what challenges an injured worker may face when trying to get back to work.
  • Reviewing high risk manual tasks at workplaces to determine how they can be performed more safely.
  • Providing clinical opinions and justification through comprehensive report writing.
  • Running workshops on health and wellbeing topics.
  • Consulting with insurers, medical practitioners and employers.
  • Conducting Pre-Employment Assessments to help ensure workers are fit for work.
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Occupational Therapists focus on providing personal care for individuals (such as bathing, dressing, preparing food), aiding their productivity (including assisting them at work, in volunteer work or at school), and supporting them with leisure activities (such as involvement in sports, art or music). The OT works in consultation with each of their clients to address their goals and provide assistance where necessary.

OTs tend to focus on tasks that will alleviate physical discomfort and promote social connectedness, independence, emotional wellbeing and general health for their clients.

What can I earn as an Occupational Therapist?

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NSW
VIC
WA
QLD
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SA
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The most common annual salary in AUS for an Occupational Therapist is between $65k and $75k
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Source: SEEK job ads

How to become an Occupational Therapist


SEEK Learning
To become an Occupational Therapist in Australia, there are two different pathways available, and you must hold formal qualifications.

  1. Complete an undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy. Undergraduate occupational therapy courses in Australia generally take 4 years.
  2. Alternatively, after completing an undergraduate degree in any field, you may complete a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. This pathway would generally take 5 to 5 ½ years (3 years for the undergraduate degree and 2 to 2 ½ years for the master’s program). There may be prerequisite subjects that you must complete in your undergraduate course to be eligible to apply for a master’s program to become an Occupational Therapist.
  3. Gain work experience. This may include, for example, working as a nanny for a child with special needs or working at a summer camp for people with disabilities.
  4. Register with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia and meet the Board's registration standards in order to practise in Australia.

Explore related qualifications

SEEK users who have worked as an Occupational Therapist have studied these qualifications.

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Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

This degree develops skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapist.

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Bachelor of Occupational Therapy provider logo
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy provider logo
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy provider logo

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

This qualification prepares you for a role as a Occupational Therapist and for further research or study in the industry.

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Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) provider logo
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) provider logo
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) provider logo
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) provider logo
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Upskill with an online short course

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How do Occupational Therapists rate their role?

Latest reviews from 35 Occupational Therapists surveyed on SEEK

Work-life balance
4.3
Job satisfaction
4.5
Career progression opportunities
4.3
Job security
4.4
Pay / Salary
4.0
Variety of work
4.3

Latest reviews

All
Positive
Negative
Nov 2018
OT is very rewarding. If you can think of an industry or sector you could find an OT working there.
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Paediatrics
The good things
If you are someone who loves to help people, if you are practical, enjoy problem solving, and experience huge satisfaction from empowering others then Occupational Therapy is the field for you. I find...
The challenges
Some challenges are the time constraints and sometimes feeling like you might not have enough time in the day or week to give your best care to the client/patient. This is a challenge and confronts yo...
Read more
Nov 2018
Occupational Therapy is vital for early intervention mental health for children.
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy) (Honours)
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Mental health for children.
The good things
Variety, great team with lots of support and knowledge, opportunities for professional development, family able to come first.
The challenges
Managing own feelings when working with traums.
Read more
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews

Working hours for Occupational Therapists

Overtime
Weekends
Shift work
Late nights
Often
Sometimes
Never
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews from 35 Occupational Therapists

What are the job opportunities for Occupational Therapists?

Find out how the job market is trending

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NSW
VIC
WA
QLD
TAS
SA
NT
ACT

Job opportunities

Occupational Therapist jobs on SEEK
2,954
Jobs on SEEK right now
Source: SEEK

Projected job growthAlert

National increase over next 5 years *
22.4%
2019
2024
Source: LMIP. Occupational Therapists

Latest Occupational Therapist jobs on SEEK

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Source: SEEK job ads

Browse related careers by interest

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data