How to become a Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists assess and treat people who, due to illness, injury or circumstance, are limited in their ability to undertake everyday activities. They assist people to regain lost functions, develop their abilities and social skills, as well as maintain and promote independence in their everyday lives to enhance health and wellbeing.

Personal requirements of a Occupational Therapist

  • Patience
  • Able to show initiative
  • A flexible attitude
  • Practical, innovative and observant
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Able to maintain client confidentiality
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team

Education & Training for a Occupational Therapist

To become an occupational therapist you usually have to complete a degree in occupational therapy at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For further details, visit www.gooduniversitiesguide.com.au.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,094

Future growth:

very strong growth

Employment by state:

ACT 0.3%

NSW 27.7%

NT 0.8%

QLD 19.8%

SA 10.2%

TAS 2.4%

VIC 24.8%

WA 13.9%

Hours worked:

31.6

Unemployment:

below average

Gender split:

Male 7.7%

Female 92.3%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 0%

Not completed Year 12: 0%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 0%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 0%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 0%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 80.4%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 19.6%

Age bracket:

Below 35 years: 53.9%

Above 35 years: 46.2%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.




Additional Information
Before undertaking clinical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate and immunisations, and undergo a Working with Children Check. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. It is a legal requirement for graduates to register with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia before practising as an occupational therapist in any state or territory of Australia. Visit the board's website for more details.
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