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Trends in the field of occupational therapy

The demand for occupational therapy services in the United States remains strong and is projected to grow. Therapists use treatments to develop, recover or maintain the daily skills of their patients by helping clients improve basic motor functions and reasoning abilities.

The field's projected job growth predicts that employment of occupational therapists will increase by 26 percent and occupational therapy assistants by 30 percent or more between 2008 and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

This increase is attributed to the growing percentage of the American population entering retirement age, as well as the passing of the Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, according to The American Occupational Therapy Association. The act helps promote early detection and the establishment of intervention programs in schools that enroll students with disabilities.

These programs require occupational therapy services to assist children with disabilities to learn strategic coping mechanisms in order to lead autonomous lives. For those interested in the healthcare industry, a career in occupational therapy can offer personal and professional benefits. The positive outlook on job growth coupled with a median income of $64,722 for occupational therapists could make it an attractive career opportunity, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.