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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapists in Athens, Georgia

If you want to be an occupational therapist, the Athens, Georgia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,680 jobs for occupational therapists in Georgia and this is projected to grow 28% to about 2,160 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for occupational therapists, which sees this job pool growing by about 25.6% over the next eight years. Occupational therapists generally assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to disabled persons.

Occupational therapists earn approximately $33 per hour or $69,850 yearly on average in Georgia. Nationally they average about $32 per hour or $66,780 annually. Incomes for occupational therapists are better than in the overall category of Audiology in Georgia, and better than the overall Audiology category nationally. People working as occupational therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: licensed certified occupational therapy assistant , vocational rehabilitation specialist, and industrial therapist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Athens where you can study to be an occupational therapist, among five schools of higher education total in the Athens area. Given that the most common education level for occupational therapists is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years studying to be an occupational therapist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, occupational therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to disabled persons.

Occupational therapists formulate, organize, and conduct occupational therapy programs in hospital or community settings to help rehabilitate those impaired because of illness, injury or psychological or developmental problems. They also confer with rehabilitation teams to decide on activity programs and direct occupational therapy with other therapeutic efforts. Equally important, occupational therapists have to recommend changes in patients' work or living environments, consistent with their needs and capabilities. They are often called upon to train caregivers how to furnish for the needs of a patient during and after therapy. They are expected to complete and maintain needed records. Finally, occupational therapists advise on health risks in the workplace and on health-related transition to retirement.

Every day, occupational therapists are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.

Somewhat less frequently, occupational therapists are also expected to furnish patients with assistance in locating and holding jobs.

They also have to be able to decide on efforts that will help individuals learn work and life-management skills within limits of their mental and physical capabilities and conduct research in occupational therapy. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish patients with assistance in locating and holding jobs.

Like many other jobs, occupational therapists must have a strong concern for others and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Athens include:

  • Audiologist. Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. May fit hearing aids and provide auditory training. May perform research related to hearing problems.
  • Speech and Language Teacher. Assess and treat persons with speech, language, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Occupational Therapist Training

Brenau University - Gainesville, GA

Brenau University, 500 Washington Street SE, Gainesville, GA 30501-3668. Brenau University is a small university located in Gainesville, Georgia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,551 students and an admission rate of 42%. Brenau University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Occupational Therapy/Therapist which graduated fifteen and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Health Fitness Specialist: The ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) is a degreed health and fitness professional qualified to pursue a career in university, corporate, commercial, hospital, and community settings.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist: Becoming ACSM Certified as an Exercise Specialistsays a lot about you.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

LICENSES

Occupational Therapists

Licensing agency: Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy
Address: 237 Coliseum Drive, Room 310, Macon, GA 31217-3858

Phone: (478) 207-1620
Website: Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy

LOCATION INFORMATION: Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia
Athens, Georgia photo by Richard Chambers

Athens is situated in Brantley County, Georgia. It has a population of over 113,398, which has grown by 13.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Athens, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Athens cost $146,800 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred four new homes were constructed in Athens, down from four hundred seventy-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Athens are educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 40.0% of Athens residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 19.0%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Athens residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.6%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of God (Cleveland and the The Wesleyan Church.