Becoming A Therapist: Physical Therapy Vs. Occupational Therapy

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Making the decision to enter into a career in health care is not one made lightly. Those who join the health care profession typically are motivated by a powerful call to help people, as well as the opportunities for personal fulfillment and financial security found in the health care sector.

All of those drives can be satisfied with a career in health care — provided you understand where you want to go and what you want to do. For instance, choosing a career path in therapy can be an extremely rewarding experience.

Not only does therapy afford professionals the opportunity to enhance and improve the lives of countless patients, but the job market also has plenty of opportunities for someone with the right skills.

Before you begin on the path, however, it’s important to understand the differences between physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Although both professions share many attributes, there are noteworthy differences.

For example, the biggest difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy is in the type of patients served. While physical therapists tend to help patients who have undergone injuries that have restricted their movements temporarily, occupational therapists serve patients with developmental or cognitive disabilities that limit their ability to perform day-to-day tasks.

The requirements for these two types of therapists differ, as well. Depending on which path you choose, you may need to have a bachelor’s degree before beginning your training. The certification processes for each also are different and vary from state to state.

One commonality shared by physical therapy and occupational therapy is a strong job market, however.

No matter which career track you choose, you can expect to see significant growth in the job market over the next several years. What’s more, the median income for each career is very attractive.

Entering the health care field requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice before one’s career goals are met. Choosing a career in therapy can be one of the most rewarding decisions you can make, as long as you understand what you’re getting into before making the choice.

The following guide illustrates many of the key differences between physical therapy and occupational therapy, so read it and give yourself all the information you need to make a decision.

Becoming A Therapist: Physical Therapy vs. Occupational Therapy was created by Progressus Therapy
Written By
Lisa Orlando is Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Early Intervention at Invo Progressus, a provider of employment and professional development for therapists. The company connects qualified candidates with job opportunities across the United States

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