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Occupational Therapist Jobs: An Updated Overview

July 12, 2023 0 Comments

With a growing demand for healthcare services, the need for skilled Occupational Therapists is on the rise.

Whether you’re an existing professional in this field or contemplating a career in Occupational Therapy, it’s crucial to stay updated about the current landscape of the profession.

We wanted to provide an in-depth overview of the employment landscape, earnings, working hours, industries, locations, profiles, and key skills required for Occupational Therapists in Australia.

Employment Outlook

In 2021, Australia had a workforce of 23,900 Occupational Therapists. This number is expected to rise to 25,600 by 2026, indicating a positive employment outlook for those considering a career in this field. The growing demand for OT services is driven by an aging population, increased awareness of mental health, and the need for rehabilitation services for patients with various conditions.

Earnings and Working Hours

About 58% of Occupational Therapists work full-time, putting in an average of 41 hours per week. The median hourly earnings for Occupational Therapists is around $44. However, earnings can vary significantly, with 3 in 4 Occupational Therapists earning more than $1400 per week and 1 in 4 earning more than $1800 per week. These figures reflect the value of the services provided by Occupational Therapists and the high level of expertise required in this profession.


Occupational Therapists work across various sectors, with the majority (93.8%) employed in the Healthcare industry. Other sectors employing Occupational Therapists include Public Administration (2.7%), Education and Training (2.7%), and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (0.4%). This diversity of industries reflects the wide range of services provided by Occupational Therapists and the broad applicability of their skills.

Gorilla Jobs Blog Occupational Therapist Jobs Updated Overview Woman Drinking Behind And Reading From Laptop Petting Her Dog
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Locations in Australia

Occupational Therapists are employed across Australia, with the highest concentration (29.7%) working in New South Wales. Other states employing significant numbers of Occupational Therapists include Victoria (24.5%), Queensland (20.0%), South Australia (8.1%), and Western Australia (13.4%). A smaller percentage of Occupational Therapists work in Tasmania (1.9%), the Northern Territory (1.0%), and the Australian Capital Territory (1.6%). This geographical distribution highlights the nationwide demand for Occupational Therapy services.

Occupational Therapist Profile

The field of Occupational Therapy is predominantly female, with women making up 92% of the workforce. The average age of Occupational Therapists is 34, with a large share of professionals being aged between 25 to 34. This demographic profile reflects the gender and age dynamics of the healthcare sector more broadly.

Key Skills

Occupational Therapists require a range of skills, knowledge, abilities, and activities to perform their roles effectively.

The highest-rated skills include Critical Thinking (59%), Active Learning, Active Listening, Reading Comprehension, and Reading (all at 57%). In terms of knowledge, the most important areas are Psychology and Therapy and Counselling (both at 82%), Education and Training (71%), and Customer and Personal Service (67%). The top-rated abilities include Deductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning, Oral Comprehension, Oral Expression, and Problem Spotting (all at 57%). The most important activities include Helping and Caring for Others (77%), Building Good Relationships (75%), and Looking for Changes Over Time (74%).

In summary, the field of Occupational Therapy in Australia offers a range of opportunities for professionals, with a positive employment outlook, competitive earnings, and a diverse range of industries and locations to work in. The profession requires a range of skills, knowledge, and abilities, making it a rewarding and fulfilling career choice. As the healthcare needs of the Australian population continue to grow, the demand for skilled Occupational Therapists is set to rise, making it an attractive career option for those interested in making a difference in people’s lives.

Read more about Occupational Therapy in the Workplace, Why Occupational Therapists are Critical in Today’s Healthcare and The Role of Occupational Therapy in Rehabilitation.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as a general overview of the topic and should not be construed as professional legal or medical advice.

Choosing a career in allied health can be a challenging and rewarding process. By researching your options, considering your interests and strengths, looking at the job market, and also letting a specialized recruiter work for you, you’ll be well on your way to finding a career that’s fulfilling and meaningful. If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, be sure to get in touch with us today.