What other jobs can occupational therapists do?

1 June 2021  •  Locum
What other jobs can occupational therapists do?

Working as an OT is an enriching career. Daily, you are helping people surmount the barriers they face to improve their quality of life. However, you may be curious about what else you can offer in different roles and want to start exploring what other jobs occupational therapists can do.

What are the primary roles for an occupational therapist (OT)?

An occupational therapist's primary role is to help people overcome the daily challenges they face. These challenges are often a result of a physical or mental disability that has resulted from an illness or accident. Some OTs work with older patients, such as those who struggle to accomplish tasks because of the aging process.

There are also specialist OTs for babies, children, and other young people who work towards helping their patients and clients thrive. Other OTs work in the mental health field and may work with various patients suffering from illnesses like dementia, eating disorders or psychosis. OTs generally take a holistic approach to improve their clients' wellbeing by focusing on physical and psychological health. They will often also consider social and environmental factors that could impact their clients to strive for the best possible outcome.

Why would an OT want to change career?

Although there are many varied roles that are an innate part of life as an OT, you may want to branch out into different fields and gain experience and transferable skills in new roles.

There is the option of taking a different pathway within the OT field or working as a locum in other fields is an excellent way to gain valuable experience and explore the array of available options. If you currently work as an OT in a hospital, for example, you could find a locum job working with children or older adults in order to dip your toes into the water and explore whether or not this shift in career would suit you.

What other jobs can occupational therapists do?

It is essential to consider what other jobs occupational therapists can do if you are considering transforming your career.

Emergency services work

Some OTs choose to work with police, fire services and crisis services in a liaison and consultancy role. Alternatively, there is also the possibility of helping asylum seekers and refugees adapt to life in their new country, which employs many of the primary skills you will have used in your career as an OT.

Health consultancy business

Health consultants often assist people with endeavours such as weight loss or improving their overall wellbeing. You can utilise the transferable skills that you have gained as an OT and channel them into running your own health consultancy business.

Educational work and writing

Working as a professor or teacher of occupational therapy is an excellent way to transition into a slightly different career without making a significant change. You can also consider writing about being an OT, giving advice and helping up-and-coming OTs with their career progression. This can be done through book writing or blogging.

It is possible to do these jobs alongside your job as an OT. In order to balance both, you can lighten your patient load by switching from a permanent position to engaging in locum work. This would allow you more flexibility and enable you to pursue a career as a professor, teacher or writer, whilst still engaging in clinical work too.

Other medical roles

If you want a radical change from working in occupational therapy, you could consider nursing, pharmacy or work as a doctor. Inevitably, this requires further training and constitutes a career change, but it utilises the same basic skillsets regarding patient care as your work as an OT.

Are extra qualifications required?

For the majority of the jobs on this list, you would not require extra training. Certain roles, such as working as a writer, blogger or starting a health consultancy company, allow you to learn on the job. You may need some business knowledge for the latter, or you would need to go into partnership with someone who has business acumen and experience. If you choose to go into another job in the medical field, such as nursing or pharmacy, you will need to go back to university and complete a degree and further training. However, it is very dependent on your long term ambitions for your career plan.

What kinds of salaries are on offer?

In the UK, locum occupational therapists can expect to earn an excellent hourly rate of between £25 and £32 depending on experience and the region in which you choose to work. This is approximately double the average hourly rate in the UK. Working as a locum does not just offer financial rewards because it also allows you to create a more flexible work/life balance, travel the country, and pursue other career interests. Therefore, you are earning an excellent salary, but you are also enriching your life with endless possibilities.

Is it possible to work as a locum in other countries?

If you enjoy your job as an OT, but you simply want a change of scenery, you can opt for locum work in other countries. This would allow you to find fulfillment in a variety of different senses without making a radical career change. As a bonus, you can explore the world, encounter new and exciting cultures and build your portfolio of skills. Many countries are constantly recruiting for highly trained locum OTs so your skills could fit these global jobs perfectly.

How to find the best worldwide locum jobs

Healthcare recruitment agencies can help you find the ideal locum jobs in the world. At Globe Locums, we recruit staff for jobs around the globe, including the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

To embark on finding your ideal occupational therapy job today, please view our latest jobs here.

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