I want to learn about careers as an Occupational Therapist

Find out everything you need to know about becoming an Occupational Therapist.

Job Title – Occupational Therapist


An Occupational Therapist treats injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. 

Typical Job Activities

Observes patients doing tasks, ask them questions, and review their medical history
Evaluates a patient's condition and needs
Develops a treatment plan for patients, laying out the types of activities and specific goals to be accomplished
Helps people with various disabilities with different tasks, such as leading an autistic child in play activities
Demonstrates exercises—for example, joint stretches for arthritis relief—that can help relieve pain for people with chronic conditions
Evaluates a patient’s home or workplace and, based on the patient’s health needs, identify potential improvements, such as labeling kitchen cabinets for an older person with poor memory
Educates a patient’s family and employer about how to accommodate and care for the patient
Recommends special equipment, such as wheelchairs and eating aids, and instruct patients on how to use that equipment
Assesses and records patients’ activities and progress for patient evaluations, for billing, and for reporting to physicians and other healthcare providers

Does this sound like a career for you? Browse jobs in the medical industry here.

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Educational Requirements

Senior Certificate with a matric Exception

Compulsory subjects: Mathematics and Physical Science
Recommended subjects: Biology and Physiology

For a degree course in Occupational therapy.


A prospective student as well as the qualified therapist must register with the Interim Medical and Dental Council of South Africa. The Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa promotes the interests of the profession.

What natural skills and/or aptitudes do I need for this occupation?

Have a high sense of responsibilityBe sensitive and have empathyHave emotional stabilityBe patient and have perseveranceHave a good sense of humourHave a desire to work with peopleBe willing to get involved with disabled peoplePossess good health and physical staminaBe creative and have original ideasBe practical and have manual dexterity

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Employment Opportunities 


Market Competitiveness


Income Potential


Self-Employment Opportunities


International Employment Opportunities


Possible Employers

General hospitalsPsychiatric hospitalsSpecial schools for physically disabled childrenSpecial schools for children with behavioural and learning problemsHomes for the agedTraining centres for the mentally handicappedNon-governmental organisationsUniversitiesSpecialised units such as workmen's rehabilitation unitsWelfare organisationsPrivate practice

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Relevant Contact Details

Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa

Career Progress and Path

Further studies in the specific career field
Further studies in related fields
Experience in specific field
Work performance
Do presentations, seminars, publish articles, etc.

Possible Career Paths

Specialist career in the specific field
Management positions in the specific field
Management positions in related fields
Own business

Employment Stability

Very stable

Reasons to consider this career

The need is determined by the consumers
I can be of service to people
I am very interested in a specific subject or field
I can communicate and interact with people
I can work with people