Occupational Therapist Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

Occupational therapists (OTs) assist patients with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities in performing daily living and work activities. Their treatment plans address the specific needs and goals of patients and may include exercises, adaptive equipment, or environmental changes.

The ability to work collaboratively with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals is essential for success as an occupational therapist. They should also have experience with a variety of treatment techniques and modalities, as well as a detailed understanding of anatomy and physiology. Furthermore, occupational therapists should be able to adjust their approach to meet the needs of each patient and be comfortable in a fast-paced setting.

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National Average Salary

Occupational therapist salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.

The average U.S. salary for an Occupational Therapist is:


Occupational Therapist Job Descriptions

Example 1

We are searching for a Pediatric Occupational Therapist for our new location in (City) — someone who works well in a fast-paced setting. In this position, you’ll plan, evaluate, organize, and implement occupational therapy treatment programs in a developmentally and age-appropriate manner.


  • Complete patient evaluations and reassessments
  • Develop an individualized plan of care based on evaluation findings
  • Develop measurable long-term and short-term goals
  • Manage the schedule effectively to maintain productivity expectations
  • Participate in ongoing communication and collaboration with other members of the patient’s interdisciplinary care team
  • Monitor patient response to treatment intervention
  • Recommend appropriate adaptive equipment and/or termination of treatment when appropriate
  • Assess patient and family needs regarding their level of understanding, readiness to learn, ability to assimilate information, and the most desirable method of teaching
  • Develop and instruct the patient and family for appropriate home treatment programs
  • Document the patient information in the electronic medical record


  • Bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy required
  • OT certification required
  • 2 years pediatric and/or clinical experience preferred
  • Outpatient pediatric experience preferred
  • Feeding experience highly preferred

Example 2

Our ESIT (Early Support for Infants and Toddlers) Team is hiring a Occupational Therapist to work with children from newborns to age three, and their families! Join our team of providers and our mission as we partner with families to build healthy foundations and community where all children thrive.

You will be joining a team that is focused on holistic, wrap around care to meet the critical individual needs of the developing child, and support for the family. You will be working with a team of providers offering multidisciplinary care in a community that connects with, encourages, and builds relationships with one another.


The ESIT Occupational Therapist is responsible for the planning and implementation of therapeutic services in conjunction with the early intervention team providing a treatment plan supporting the functional development of a child’s ability to complete daily living activities. The Occupational Therapist works with families and their children age birth to three years old in the child’s natural environment which may include home, childcare, or other community-based settings using a parent coaching model.

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Provide services to children and families, using a parent coaching model during treatment to encourage parent involvement and training
  • Monitor treatment progress and adapt the plan according to the developmental needs of the child and the family goals
  • Evaluate children for program qualification
  • Develop initial and on-going individualized goals and regular updates on progress
  • Collaborate and consult with other therapists as a participant of a multi-disciplinary team of providers and FRCs on a regular basis
  • Complete written daily treatment notes in a timely manner to document services rendered
  • Maintain records on each child as mandated to monitor progress and development
  • Provide daily insurance billing information to facilitate timely reimbursement
  • Using the parent coaching model, implement practices of reflection, observation, and connection to include parents in all aspects of their child’s development, promoting the parent’s ability to support their child
  • Demonstrate a desire to identify, gain knowledge in and awareness of individual experiences and societal oppressions that impact ESIT families and children in underserved populations centered around race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, belief systems, physical/mental/neurodevelopment differences, marital status, and gender
  • Plan and implement play-based activities creating opportunities for children to practice functional skills and work towards developmental goals
  • Actively engage in building a community that thrives from a genuine sense of belonging, involvement, and inclusion; by honoring differences, acknowledging biases, and transforming in togetherness
  • Monitor and track caseload requirements with on-going new referrals
  • Participate in staff development/training opportunities based on Part C, DCYF, and King County contracts
  • Able to work closely and collaboratively with parents, caregivers, and professionals
  • Be resourceful, responsive, engaged, and reflective in addressing the unique needs of every family and their child
  • Execute exceptional time management and organizational skills
  • Maintain all certifications related to the field of Occupational Therapy and Early Intervention
  • Other duties as assigned



  • Graduate of an accredited Occupational Therapy program
  • Valid Washington Certified Occupational Therapy license
  • Infant Toddler CPR certification required within 90 days of hire
  • Must have valid current State Driver’s License and vehicle insurance
  • Pass Washington State DSHS criminal history and background check and FBI fingerprint check if not in state for more than the past 3 years
  • Proof of most current COVID Vaccination
  • Must possess a positive attitude and friendly manner with strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to be flexible, solution focused, collaborative, and mindful


  • At least one year of pediatric experience
  • Experience with telehealth
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish

Physical demands:

  • This is an active job requiring lifting of up to 50 lbs, frequently squatting, sitting on the floor, and active work with children

Example 3

The OT – Occupational Therapist provides direct rehab care in occupational therapy to patients upon physician referral in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and ABC Company standards.

Education, experience, and licensure requirements

  • NBCOT certified upon hire, but renewal is optional going forward
  • Graduate of an accredited program in occupational therapy (BSOT or MSOT)
  • Currently registered/licensed in applicable State. Must maintain an active license in good standing throughout employment
  • One (1) year experience in post acute care or related setting preferred
  • CPR certification upon hire or obtain during orientation. CPR certification must remain current during employment

Specific job requirements

  • Participates in community health matters/projects as appropriate
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and e mail
  • Liaisons with patients, families, support departments, etc., to adequately plan for patient needs
  • Must demonstrate good body mechanics at all times
  • Make independent decisions when circumstances warrant such action
  • Knowledgeable of practices and procedures as well as the laws, regulations, and guidelines governing functions in the post acute care facility
  • Implement and interpret the programs, goals, objectives, policies, and procedures of the department
  • Perform proficiently in all competency areas including but not limited to: patient rights, safety, and sanitation
  • Maintains professional working relationships with all associates, vendors, etc.
  • Maintains confidentiality of all proprietary and/or confidential information
  • Understand and follow company policies including harassment and compliance procedures
  • Displays integrity and professionalism by adhering to ABC Company’s Code of Conduct and completes mandatory Code of Conduct and other appropriate compliance training

Essential functions

  • Follow occupational treatment plans for patients (i.e., activities of daily living)
  • Establish, assess, and modify realistic, measurable, timely, and functional goals
  • Oversee and evaluate care given by OTAs, Rehab Aides, and students
  • Chart appropriately and timely
  • Utilize therapy software appropriately and accurately
  • Exhibit excellent customer service and a positive attitude towards patients
  • Assist in the evacuation of patients
  • Demonstrate dependable, regular attendance
  • Concentrate and use reasoning skills and good judgment
  • Communicate and function productively on an interdisciplinary team
  • Sit, stand, bend, lift, push, pull, stoop, walk, reach, and move intermittently during working hours
  • Read, write, speak, and understand the English language

Sample Interview Questions

  • Can you tell us about what inspired you to become an occupational therapist, and what experience you have in this field?
  • How do you tailor your approach to each patient’s unique needs when developing treatment plans?
  • What techniques do you use to track patient progress over time, and how do you measure the effectiveness of your treatment plans?
  • To ensure patients receive comprehensive care, how do you collaborate with other healthcare professionals?
  • What is your experience working with patients of varying ages and conditions?
  • In your work as an occupational therapist, what steps do you take to ensure patient confidentiality and compliance with relevant healthcare regulations and guidelines?
  • Describe a time when you had to adjust your treatment approach based on a patient’s specific preferences or needs.
  • In terms of continuing education, what resources do you use to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in occupational therapy research and techniques?
  • When managing patient caseloads and completing administrative tasks, how do you prioritize your time?
  • If you have worked on a challenging case, how did you approach the patient’s treatment plan?

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