Occupational Therapist Job Search Tips

Occupational therapist job search relates to your preferred area of practice as much as any other factor, and that’s where job hunting can get difficult. In the U.S., state licensing requirements also act as a consideration.

The main areas of employment are another factor, because what’s available has to relate to your experience and areas of expertise. The current job market includes a lot of baseline jobs with a decreasing ratio of higher-end jobs, as you might expect.

Overview of the Occupational Therapist Job Market

According to a current report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, primary areas of employment are in ambulatory care, hospitals, private practice and education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment to increase by 26 percent in the coming decade, and there are already a large number of jobs advertised in the current market, particularly in rehab.

The Online Search for an Occupational Therapist Job

Searching for basic occupational therapist jobs is pretty easy online, but you’ll note that many of the job ads are generic, through agencies. If you’re looking for a particular area of work, however, online searching is much harder. You should conduct your search with descriptors for your work, rather than a job title, which can literally produce 20 pages of searches, most of which aren’t what you’re looking for anyway. You can use generic expressions for your job search, provided they’re sufficient to describe your work accurately.

For example, you can search by any of these descriptors:

  • Facility type (psych, aged care and so forth)
  • State licenses
  • Salary
  • Location name.

Another issue which affects job search in this field is the type of employment, which includes full-time, part-time, per diem and even weekend work. Make sure you have the right categories covered, because you may find yourself looking at the wrong jobs.

Specialist Sites for Occupational Therapist Jobs

For professionals, specialist sites are often better than the big job boards. You may want to bookmark Hospital Jobs Online, which is specific to the health sector. This site allows you to search by state and offers a job matching service which can also save you some time. A series of job categories will also narrow your search results.

Other Options for Your Occupational Therapist Job Search

In many professions, job searching is sometimes frustrating, as well as time-consuming. There are a few other options you might want to consider.

Professional staffing agencies are the first option for some employers, and the staffing agencies get jobs before they’re advertised. When looking for senior occupational therapist jobs, you may want to check with agencies. Ensure that the agency you pick is known to be reliable for making placements in your field. Ask colleagues for any agencies they’d recommend.

A professional network can save you a lot of time and effort. It can find you appropriate jobs, and in many cases provide firsthand contacts with employers. Contacts at a prospective employer can also provide information about the working environment, salary packages and other relevant details.