Many people make a substantial change in their career paths when they reach mid-life. The lessons they have learned in the early stages of their careers inform the decisions they make as they move forward. Many seek a more fulfilling way to apply their energy and talents. For those who have a passion for helping people fulfill their physical capabilities, despite existing challenges, occupation therapy jobs offer a rewarding career path. If you want to work with people who are motivated to recover their ability to participate in life to the fullest, in spite of a disability or injury, then getting involved in occupational therapy is even more attractive.
Choosing to get the education and training necessary for occupational therapy jobs also has a strong potential for a good, solid income. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for occupational therapists and OT assistants has a higher than average rate of projected growth. As the healthcare landscape changes, there will still remain a need for those who are adept at helping people deal with physical and mental challenges that can feasibly be overcome or turned into assets in the workplace. Occupational therapy jobs do not only deal with getting people back to income-producing work, though. They also help people learn to navigate their own home territory and the environment in which live.
Mid-life Approach to Becoming an Occupational Therapist
Becoming an occupational therapist at mid-life will necessitate that you return to school. As a non-traditional student, you have many resources available to help you facilitate the financing and educational support you may require to make the transition. Be bold as you seek a program that is friendly to mature students. Interview with several colleges and universities that respect older students and provide staff to give them support. The educational institutions that acknowledge the value of experience and maturity are the ones that will expedite your efforts to get educated, do your internships, and move into an important career. As an aspiring occupational therapist, you may choose to focus on growth areas in this professional medical field.
Newcomers to the field are often inspired by the real-life experiences they have had during their career they have pursued to date, or by personal family experience. Areas of interest that many older students who pursue occupational therapy jobs pursue include Alzheimer and dementia patient care, accident victim recovery and vocational rehabilitation for those who face age-related disabilities. It’s rather likely that you will know, intrinsically, that you are about to become part of the healthcare team that is devoted to restoring individuals to their best options for productivity and their sense of belonging in a productive workplace.
Becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant
The bottom line for many who make a change in mid-life is that they cannot and will not pursue a full-fledged professional degree. The good news is that those who choose occupational therapy jobs as a goal can decide that they want to be hands-on assistants. As the Bureau for Labor Statistic reports, this career path can expect an amazing increase over the next decade. Your empathy and the practical skills you develop in your mid-life educational path will make a real difference to real people. Take the classes that prepare you for certification as an occupational therapy assistant. Your career change can happen within a year. You may find financial aid to help you along the way, or you may choose to finance your career change privately. Whichever path is the best for your current position, do not hesitate to pursue the training and internships that bring you up to the level the course of your life has guided you to pursue.