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What are the Different Pediatric Occupational Therapist Jobs?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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There are four different pediatric occupational therapist jobs: consultancy, working for an educational services firm, teaching, and working for a government agency. A pediatric occupational therapist is a fully trained occupational therapist who specializes in children with learning, behavioral, and cognitive disabilities. All occupational therapists are required to pass a certification examination to become fully licensed, professional therapists.

In order to become an occupational therapist, you will need to complete a university degree in occupational therapy. Pediatric occupational therapy is a specialty area. Additional courses are required to focus in this area. Most programs require candidates to have at least five years' experience working in occupational therapy before accepting them into the pediatric specialty program.

A growing number of pediatric occupational therapists open their own private practice. Working as independent consultants, they provide their expertise to schools, government agencies, and parents who want to provide additional assistance to their children. Most commonly, the therapist is not employed by a specific school, but by a school board. She is assigned a series of schools in an area and visits each school on a schedule.

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There are a broad range of pediatric occupational therapist jobs available in an educational services firm. These private organizations offer therapies and support that has not yet received mainstream support, but have been found effective when working with children with specific issues. An increasing number of private health insurance policies cover the cost of these therapies, as they can reduce the need for specialized school and increase the cognitive functioning level of the child.

An increasing number of pediatric occupational therapist jobs are available for instructors at local community or career colleges, teaching courses to occupational therapy technicians or assistants. In order to become an instructor, many professionals complete a certificate program in adult education. Learning the most effective way to teach adults can be a huge help when making this career transition.

Many social services-related government agencies hire pediatric occupational therapists. They are typically responsible for evaluating clients, creating a treatment program, and working with the social worker and other members of the health services team to meet that child’s needs. Many governments have adopted a "prevention" method of social services, where they are willing to invest additional resources when the client is young in hopes of reducing the total support costs throughout his lifetime.

People who report the greatest satisfaction in pediatric occupational therapist jobs enjoy problem solving and working independently. Professionalism, dedication, and self-discipline are very important in this career. Interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate clearly to an audience with a wide range of educational backgrounds are very important in this role.

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