School Based Occupational Therapist

Assist ill or disabled kids who face challenges in the school system.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$49,000 – $103,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do School Based Occupational Therapists do?

Helping disabled students thrive in the special education environment, a School Based Occupational Therapist uses certain activities to aid in development. Part Teacher and part medical professional, the School Based Occupational Therapist facilitates students’ active participation in a variety of situations.

As a School Based Occupational Therapist, you work in a school environment, and you have a major impact on a student’s life. A background in child development, biology, psychology, kinesiology, and communication prepares you to work closely with Teachers, School Superintendents, and Physical Therapists. The exercises you demonstrate and teach help students learn personal hygiene routines, self-feeding, and even play and leisure activities.

For example, returning to school after a traumatic brain injury, a student needs to relearn how to interact with others, maintain eye contact, and even feed himself. Using specific techniques and exercises, you help him learn these basic concepts once again so he may flourish in his environment. Sometimes, the most basic concepts can be lost from memory (such as self-feeding), and you help your students learn to function as independently as possible once again.

Patience, persistence, and excellent communication skills are needed in this job. Students may become frustrated when challenged, and it’s up to you to remain calm and help them persevere. Because you relay information to parents and education staff members, you need to be able to tailor your conversations to their knowledge and understanding. It can be a challenge at times, but helping someone succeed in life is worth every hardship.

Should I be a School Based Occupational Therapist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.

  • How to Become a
    School Based Occupational Therapist

    Most School Based Occupational Therapists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaag9g&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%289%25%29|master%27s+%2883%25%29|doctorate+%289%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,83
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