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Occupational therapists look to bright career prospects

Individuals interested in aiding the mental, physical, emotional and developmental work of patients can embark on a career track of one of this year's hottest professions, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Occupational therapists' professional drive is to enable the independence and satisfaction of patients in need of assistance with a variety of conditions. The sites where people with occupational therapy jobs ply their trade include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, medical offices and the homes belonging to their clients.

The work typically revolves around daily chores of life such as eating, cooking, dressing and using a computer. The age of patients needing assistance ranges from toddlers to the elderly.

The future is bright for people looking to embark on this field since the elderly population is growing. In the 10-year period leading up to 2020, employment of the occupational therapy industry is projected to grow nearly 34 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That translates to 36,400 additional jobs on top of the 108,800 already in existence.

The bright future for occupational therapists is one reason why the publication pegged the profession among this year's best jobs.