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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapists in Brownsville, Texas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for occupational therapists in the Brownsville, Texas area. About 6,500 people are currently employed as occupational therapists in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 36% to about 8,860 people employed. 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. 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.

A person working as an occupational therapist can expect to earn about $31 hourly or $66,240 per year on average in Texas and about $32 per hour or $66,780 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Audiology, people working as occupational therapists in Texas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Audiology nationally. People working as occupational therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: job trainer, certified occupational therapy assistant, and industrial therapist.

The Brownsville area is home to ten schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Brownsville where you can get a degree as an occupational therapist. The most common level of education for occupational therapists is a Master's degree. It will take about six years to learn 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 Brownsville 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

The University of Texas-Pan American - Edinburg, TX

The University of Texas-Pan American, 1201 W University Dr, Edinburg, TX 78539-2999. The University of Texas-Pan American is a large university located in Edinburg, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 17,584 students and an admission rate of 64%. The University of Texas-Pan American has a master's degree program in Occupational Therapy/Therapist which graduated sixteen students 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 THERAPIST

Licensing agency: Executive Council of Physical Therapy and
Address: Occupational Therapy Examiners, 333 Guadalupe, Suite 2-510, Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 305-6900
Website: Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners

LOCATION INFORMATION: Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville, Texas photo by Jaedza

Brownsville is situated in Cameron County, Texas. It has a population of over 175,494, which has grown by 25.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Brownsville, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Brownsville cost $102,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, four hundred sixty-four new homes were constructed in Brownsville, down from eight hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Brownsville are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 13.4% of Brownsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Brownsville is 10.8%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Brownsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Calvario Lutheran Church, Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana Mexicana Church and Church of Christ are some of the churches located in Brownsville. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Brownsville is home to the Resaca de la Palma Battlefield and the Miguel Fernandez Hide Yard as well as Friendship Gardens and Washington Park. Visitors to Brownsville can choose from Best Western Rose Garden Inn, Comfort Inn and Best Value Colonial Hotel for temporary stays in the area.