Occupational therapists treat patients of all ages whose ability to meet the needs of daily life has been temporarily or permanently impaired by injuries or physical or mental illness. Treatment is on an individual or small group basis and incorporates specialized equipment, machines, toys, games, handtools, devices and everyday household items. Therapists also may evaluate the home and workplace for safety and ease of functioning.

Occupational therapists must pass a national certification examination. OT assistants must complete an approved two-year Associate program. Therapists must graduate from an accredited master's degree program and complete several months of supervised clinical experience.