Illustration of a doctor in an exam room working on a computer

You might hire an occupational therapist to:

  • Help a child suffering from movement impairment to participate in daily activities
  • Help patients improve their sensory and motor abilities after suffering from a debilitating injury, illness, or event, such as an accident or a stroke

  • Teach playing skills, learning strategies, and self-care to children with autism

  • Assist patients with brain injuries to reintegrate back into the community
  • Teach a newly rehabilitating patient how to use their prosthesis
  • Help a patient minimize pain from arthritis — and to optimize daily activity

Required skills and qualifications Preferred skills and qualifications
Knowledge of theories, principles, and concepts typically acquired through the completion of a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy or equivalent The analytical skills needed to collect information from diverse sources and solve complex problems
1–3 years of experience Strong organizational skills
State licensure as an occupational therapist or equivalent An affinity for providing occupational therapy with compassion
The ability to effectively communicate with caregivers, patients, and fellow occupational therapists Strong interpersonal and collaboration skills
Patience and empathy Flexibility in the field