About the job
Occupational therapists develop individual and group programs with people affected by illness, injury, developmental disorders, emotional or psychological problems and ageing to maintain, restore or increase their ability to care for themselves and to engage in work, school or leisure. They also develop and implement health promotion programs with individuals, community groups and employers. Occupational therapists may specialize in working with specific populations such as children or adults, or persons with distinct problems such as dementia, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain, or provide special interventions such as return-to-work programs. They are employed in health care facilities, in schools, and by private and social services agencies, or they may be self-employed.
To work in occupational therapy, you must have a genuine and sensitive interest in people and their ability to achieve. You must be able to communicate effectively with people and demonstrate a strong sense of responsibility, good judgement, patience, and self-discipline. Occupational therapists must be creative and unique in their approach to each client.
To work as an occupational therapists you require a university degree in occupational therapy including supervised fieldwork and must be registered with the provincial licensing body.
Labour Market Information
The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is above average. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 400, and so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next five years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With 15% of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Occupational Therapists may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are most typically permanent positions.
The median employment income for 69% of individuals in this occupational group who worked full-time, year-round in 2010 was $59,439. The median income for the occupation overall was $54,865
(Source: 2011 National Household Survey)
|Estimated employment in 2011||Estimated change in employment between 2011 and 2016||Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2011-2016||Estimated rate of unemployment in 2014||Estimated hourly earnings in 2013|
|Area of Employment||% Employed|
|Industry of Employment||% Employed|
|Health Care and Social Assistance||95.1|
|Less than high school graduation certificate||0.0|
|High school graduation certificate or equivalent||0.0|
|Trades certificate or diploma||0.0|
|Non-university certificate or diploma||0.0|
|University certificate or diploma below bachelor||0.0|
|University bachelor's degree||61.8|
|University post graduate degrees||38.2|
Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.
Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.