After working hard to get an occupational therapy degree from JCU, you may be wondering about the job opportunities available to you. Whether you’re at the end of the degree or considering it as a career path, the important thing to know is that it opens some very interesting doors. While some might choose a path directly related to their degree, others go in a slightly different direction.
Jobs Directly Related to Occupational Therapy
Starting with the obvious, you might become an occupational therapist (hopefully this didn’t surprise you too much!). While some occupational therapists specialise in adults with physical or mental problems, others specialise in children. It’s a rewarding path to help people experiencing problems due to ageing, illness, or another problem. As a career path, an occupational therapy degree opens you up to work in all sorts of environments.
Alternatively, you might choose one of the following:
- Ergonomist – Here, you’ll look at the capabilities of the human body (both physical and psychological). This can refer to transportation, working in an office, and more. For example, lots of attention recently has been on ergonomic chairs for people spending long hours sitting down.
- Health Improvement Practitioner – This time, your role will be centred around helping people make positive changes to their behaviours and lifestyle choices. For example, this might include smoking habits, diet, exercise, and other areas of life.
- Care Manager – Some people with an occupational therapy degree choose to become the leader of a care home. Using the same skills as gathered in the degree itself, you could work in a children’s home, an elderly residential home, or supporting those in hospice care.
Jobs Indirectly Related to Occupational Therapy
It might sound strange, but some people don’t want to go into occupational therapy after finishing a degree. Instead, they want to use their skills in a field that doesn’t directly correlate with occupational therapy. One example would be an art therapist; this form of therapy is designed to help people with emotional issues. By using art, you help people with mental health problems, behavioural issues, emotional difficulties, speech or language difficulties, or even learning disabilities. Due to the nature of the job, this is most commonly working alongside children.
Another example would be an online life coach; this is exactly what the name suggests because you’ll help people to navigate the challenges of life while keeping wellbeing and health at the forefront of the mind at all times. Life coaches assist people with personal development, career counselling, and personal issues. Ultimately, this is the best field for those who want new challenges every day. Some people need help with relationships and wellbeing, and others need help with retirement, spirituality, career coaching, or personal development.
Since teachers don’t always require a specific degree, this could be another option to explore. Yes, your degree was focused on occupational therapy. However, this tells schools that you have a deep understanding of the barriers that affect young children. Many schools would be honoured to have somebody with an occupational therapy degree because of what this means in terms of class management, student relationships, and helping children to achieve the best grades possible.
If you don’t like the idea of teaching, perhaps you might be more suited to pastoral care within a school? In other words, dealing with issues that may arise while keeping all students safe in their educational and personal lives.
Other employment opportunities include:
- Social worker
- Medical sales representative
- Advice worker
- Special educational needs teacher
- Psychological wellbeing practitioner