What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy was founded as a healthcare profession in 1917. Over a hundred years ago, the word “occupation” referred to everyday activity or ways we occupy our time. Early proponents of occupational therapy understood the healing power of human’s engagement in daily life activity, a value that has proven highly beneficial to the profession’s growth. Occupational therapy rapidly grew and diversified into a broad scope of practice over the last 100+ years. Occupational therapists now work with clients across the lifespan and in a large variety of settings to help people of all ages and ability levels to live life to the fullest.

Demand for Occupational Therapy

The demand for occupational therapy services has also risen in recent years and projections include a predicted 18% growth of the profession from 2018-2028. Changes in the healthcare marketplace which incentivize providers for keeping patient’s healthy increases the value of occupational therapy services’ health outcomes. As the numbers of aging persons rises, so does the need for occupational therapy professionals to help elders lead independent and healthy lives. Increasing rates of autism also creates more demand for occupational therapy services. The prevalence of largely preventable non-communicable diseases and the burden it creates on the healthcare system calls for professionals of the future to work in prevention and wellness. Occupational therapists are perfectly positioned to help meet those needs based on their lifestyle management expertise.

Where Can Your OTD Degree Take You?

The demand for occupational therapy services has risen in recent years, and projections include a predicted 16 percent growth of the profession from 2019-2029.

Occupational therapists can help people live healthy and meaningful lives—physically, mentally, and socially. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages, with varying levels of abilities and conditions. As the number of aging people rises, so does the need for occupational therapy professionals to help elders lead independent and healthy lives. Increasing rates of autism also create more demand for occupational therapy services. The prevalence of mostly preventable diseases and its burden on the healthcare system calls for future professionals to work in prevention and wellness. Occupational therapists are ideally suited to work on those lifestyle factors so people can thrive.

A career in occupational therapy is like many different jobs wrapped into one. Occupational therapists work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, clinics, behavioral health settings, and community-based settings. The wide range of settings, ages, and conditions means that you can always keep growing, exploring, and finding new ways to make a difference in others’ lives.

84K

Median salary of an occupational therapist

165

Projected growth of the profession from 2019-2029

3

Years to complete the OTD program

"Graduates of our OTD program will have the opportunity to work with patients of all ages in a variety of settings."
Martin Zdanowicz
Dean, KGI School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Pillars of the KGI OTD Experience

  • Grounding a robust education in active learning to support curiosity and inquiry to better understand and appreciate the complexity inherent in occupational engagement
  • Integrating the curriculum to enable students to transform themselves into professionals and leaders who are resourceful, ethical, flexible, and agile problem-solvers
  • Teaching knowledge and research translation from a wide range of perspectives including occupational, health, biological, and behavioral sciences to optimize occupational participation
  • Utilizing critical and reflective thinking to innovatively solve problems and create solutions in both traditional and community-based practice settings
  • Emphasizing the value of collaborative work on many levels—interprofessional, interdisciplinary, and within the community
  • Focusing on the importance of lifestyle management for prevention and wellness for all ages and across varied settings
  • Promoting the importance of social and occupational justice for individuals, communities, and populations in their myriad contexts
  • Valuing diversity and cultural humility in the classroom and across service delivery settings