Occupational Therapy is the therapeutic use of self-care, work/productive activities, and
play/leisure activities to increase independent function, enhance development and
prevent disability. The term "occupation" refers to activities that are meaningful to
the individual and valued within the environments in which the person lives and
functions. Occupational therapy practitioners adapt tasks and the environment to
maximize independence and quality of life.
Watch this video to learn more!
Where can I find Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapists work with people throughout the age span who experience
difficulty in daily living activities or who may be at risk for these challenges.
Learn more about the many different settings where you can find occupational therapy services.
The American Occupational Therapy Association is a key resource for consumers looking
for more information about occupational therapy, or for occupational therapy
professionals searching for information to guide their practice.
Occupational Therapy positions
Visit our Career Center to see current employment opportunities for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in Pennsylvania.
Becoming an occupational therapist
Currently, occupational therapy practitioners are prepared at the associates and bachelor's degree levels (occupational therapy assistants) or at the master's and doctoral levels (occupational therapists). Beginning with those who graduate July 1 2027, all occupational therapy assistant programs must be at the bachelor's degree level, and all occupational therapist programs must be at the doctoral level. See more information from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®).
Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Education in Pennsylvania
Where can I observe an OT in action?
If you are looking for an occupational therapist to observe as part of your volunteer hours, contact local hospitals, assisted living agencies and school districts in your community and ask about opportunities to shadow an occupational therapist during their work. The Hand Therapy Certification Commission provides a searchable database of therapists who are certified to treat persons with hand injuries. Read through the list to identify occupational therapists in your community who are certified hand therapists.