What is OT?

Occupational Therapy makes it possible for people to live life to the fullest

Many people face daily challenges – a refugee new to America, an injured worker returning to work, a child with autism at school, a grandfather who has had a hip replaced, a young adult with a traumatic brain injury, a mother with depression.

Occupational Therapists help people learn new ways to do things they used to do but, for whatever reason, can no longer do them. Occupational therapy helps people be successful in doing what is important to them.

An occupational therapist should be resourceful, compassionate, a good listener, a creative problem-solver and interested in health, science and the arts. Occupational therapy is a perfect blend of life science (anatomy & physiology) and social science (psychology & sociology). Occupational therapists have knowledge of the person and the environment and how to support the person in what they want and need to do. Occupational therapists make a difference.

What is it like to be an occupational therapy student?

Liza Young, MOT Class of 2018, BS in English, writes about her experiences in The Occupassionist blog.

How can I learn more about occupational therapy?

There are a number of ways to learn more about Occupational Therapy:

  • American Occupational Therapy Association ( AOTA) website
  • Utah Occupational Therapy Association ( UOTA) website
  • What's Occupational Therapy? blog
  • Contact the occupational therapy department of a hospital, rehabilitation center, clinic, or other facility and ask to observe or volunteer.
  • Interview an occupational therapist.
  • Take our Introduction to Occupational Therapy course OC TH 3000.
  • Make an appointment with a career counselor.  U of U students can visit  Career Services
  • Visit the US Department of Labor  Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What is the difference between a degree as an occupational therapist (OT) and a degree as an occupational therapy assistant (OTA)?

In a statement by the Joint OTA and OT Program Directors it was determined, Technical (OTA) and professional (OT) level occupational therapy programs are two distinct paths of study leading to complementary, but different practice roles.

The program at the University of Utah is a program leading to an OT at the master's entry-level. The State of Utah has an OTA program at  Salt Lake Community College.

Expected Learning Outcomes


Current salary information can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook. Below is a 2016 Salary Survey results published by Advance OT.

2016 Salary Survey

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