You are here

Occupational therapist

Occupational therapists help people overcome mental or physical illness or accidents.
Relevant to

What does an occupational therapist do?

Occupational therapists help people overcome problems caused by mental or physical illness or an accident. You’ll usually work one-to-one with clients, helping them carry out daily tasks in their work and home life. You’ll be working with a variety of people – often for months at a time – so good communication and people skills are really important.


What do I need to do to become an occupational therapist?

You will need to have completed either an undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree in occupational therapy that is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

To do a degree in occupational therapy, you will usually need five GCSEs A-C including maths and English plus three A levels, often including at least one science subject (biology may be preferred).

Certain level 3 vocational qualifications may be acceptable, such as the diploma in applied science. Check with individual universities.


Related skills

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organisation
  • Patience
  • Problem solving

Academic route

  • A levels, often including at least one science subject (biology may be preferred)

Vocational route

Level 3 vocational qualifications may be acceptable, such as diploma in applied science

Related subjects

  • Biology
  • English
  • Religious studies

Essential qualifications

  • Undergraduate or postgraduate degree approved by the HCPC

Where to find out more


Where could I be working?

You could work with clients at a variety of places, including hospitals, health centres, residential or nursing homes, GP surgeries, schools, in the client's own home or at a workplace.


Job families