About the Profession

What is an occupational therapist?

Occupational therapists are motivated and creative problem solvers who like working with people and translating scientific knowledge into everyday practicalities. They are collaborators who bring about desired change and attainment of meaningful goals. Sometimes new skill development is necessary, other times adapting the environment is essential for a productive life.

When people experience trauma, stress, or chronic health conditions their daily routines are often disrupted making it difficult to get up, get dressed, and go to work, make dinner, or enjoy family and friends. That’s when occupational therapists intervene to promote performance and participation in life. Helping people engage in everyday tasks and life roles is the trademark of an occupational therapist; it’s the key to successful living.

Occupational therapists are in demand. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, community outreach programs, private practices, school-based settings, and specialty practices all employ occupational therapists.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists occupational therapy as one of the top 20 professions for projected job growth in the next five years. Salaries in South Carolina begin in the mid-$50,000 range and vary by region. Practitioners can advance their careers in traditional settings, branch out into emerging areas of contemporary practice, and become leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, and researchers.

Read more about the profession in our FAQs.