Ever since I started MamaOT.com in 2012, I have consistently received emails from people who have discovered the field of occupational therapy and want to learn more about pursuing a career in OT.
They either tend to be really excited, or really stressed out. And they want my help.
They want to know what it’s like to be an OT. What a typical day is like. What the best and worst parts of the job are. What prerequisites are required in order to apply to OT school. Whether they completed the right coursework in their undergrad. How much it will cost. Whether it’s really worth it. Whether it’s too late for them to become an OT. Whether they should change their major. Whether their previous graduate degree (or career) was a total waste. Whether they will be able to balance family life with a career in OT.
When people reach out to me, my heart goes out to them and I feel their excitement and stress with them! I want to help them, give them the tips and answers they need, and make sure I encourage them and point them in the right direction. Although I am usually able to respond to their emails, I am not always able to get to all of them in as timely and helpful a manner as I (and probably they) would hope. It’s just the reality of balancing blogging alongside working and raising a family.
I found out that my occupational therapy colleague and fellow therapy blogger, Abby Brayton-Chung of OT Café, also consistently receives emails from eager pre-OTs who have important questions about entering the field of occupational therapy. After exchanging a few emails, we discovered that we both tend to receive the same types of questions so we thought, Hey! Why don’t we combine our powers to create a FREE resource to answer the variety of questions people have about the journey to becoming an OT practitioner?
And so our e-book project was born.
If you are trying to decide if OT is the right career path, then this FREE e-book is for YOU!
Our goal with this resource is to answer questions and provide information in a helpful, personable way without overwhelming you or stressing you out. We want this e-book to feel like a helpful conversation with a friend rather than a dry read from a textbook. And we made it just in time for #OTMonth!
Curious about exactly what topics are covered in this 35-page e-book?
Here’s a preview of the breakdown:
PART 1: THE BASICS
- What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?
PART 2: OUR STORIES
- How Abby Discovered OT
- How Christie Discovered OT
PART 3: BIG DECISIONS
- Things to Consider When Deciding on a Career in Occupational Therapy
- Transitioning from a Different Educational Path Prior to Graduating College
- Transitioning from Another Career or Profession
- How do I Know if OT is a “Right Fit” for Me?
PART 4: WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTITIONER?
- A Typical Day
- What are the Best and Worst Parts of Working in OT?
PART 5: HOW DO I BECOME AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTITIONER?
- Deciding Between Becoming an Occupational Therapist (OT) and Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)
- Do I Need Work Experience Related to Occupational Therapy Prior to Attending OT/OTA School?
- Completing Your Educational Prerequisites
- Tips for Choosing the Best OT/OTA School for YOU
- What to Expect in OT/OTA School
PART 6: THE NITTY GRITTY DETAILS
- Can I Take Time Off Before or After OT/OTA School?
- Is it Possible to Balance Family Life with a Career in OT?
- Can Men Make it in a Female-Dominated Profession?
- What if I Have a Medical Condition or Disability?
- What’s the Pay Like in OT?
- Can I Work Part-Time?
- Can I Be a Traveling Therapist?
- How’s the OT Job Market?
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Abby is promoting our e-book on her site as well, so be sure to stop by and say hello by clicking this link. And learn more about what a typical day is like for all types of OT professionals by checking out her blog series called, “A Day in the Life.” There are some really cool practice areas represented in that series!
We hope this e-book helps you find the information and inspiration you’re looking for!
Feel free to download it, send it to a friend or family member, and spread the love using #OTguide on your social media channels!
Continue reading to see what people are already saying about this e-book:
“Abby and Christie have done a great job at providing information and inspiration for anyone considering occupational therapy as a profession. Their e-book is a fun read and a valuable resource for prospective students.”
– Susan Tucker, M.P.H., OTR/L, Assistant Professor, College of Allied Health, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
“I’ve never seen such a helpful resource for prospective OT students. I haven’t seen anything else out there as thorough yet interesting. I wish this had existed when I was thinking about going into OT!”
– Karen Dobyns, MOT, OTR/L, author of the blog Miss Awesomeness
“Christie and Abby share a practical and honest reflection on occupational therapy as a profession and what it means to be an occupational therapy professional. They share a realistic view of the “before, during, and after” of OT school and offer accurate expectations of a career in the field. This book would be an asset for any high school, college, or library as a guide for people of all ages who are considering OT as a career. I highly recommend it!”
– Katherine J. Collmer, M.Ed., OTR/L, owner of Handwriting with Katherine
“There are more than 180,000 occupational therapy practitioners in the United States and the demand for trained clinicians is expected to increase by 30% in the coming decades. Similarly, public interest in the profession and in educational programs has increased substantially. Christie and Abby provide answers to many of the most common questions that I see from prospective students. They provide an easy-to-read, real world, and friendly perspective on what it means and takes to be an occupational therapist. I highly recommend this e-book for all future occupational therapists as they begin their professional journey.”
– Andrew Persch, PhD, OTR/L, Assistant Professor, Division of Occupational Therapy, The Ohio State University
“Meet OT in this chatty, informal yet highly informative conversation with two practitioners. Christie and Abby shine a mirror on Occupational Therapy so prospective or curious candidates may see themselves in it. Honest. Thoughtful. Real. This is a loving reflection of their passion for the profession, the many roads leading to it, as well as the many roads from which one can then journey. A terrific eye-opening career guide!”
– Beverly H. Moskowitz, DOT, OTR/L, FAOTA, CEO of Real OT Solutions, Inc.
“What a great ‘book’! I put BOOK in quotes not because it was the first book where I wasn’t holding fibrous pages, but because it’s truly fun and unique. Christie and Abby answer all the questions I wish I had asked passionate occupational therapists 25 years ago while making one of the biggest decisions of my life. Reading this book is not studying; it felt like sitting down to coffee and energetic, lean-in conversation with two new mentors. They are caring and comprehensive yet concise, and although I have never met either author, their personalities shine through. If you’re already buried in books or paralyzed by the big career decision, this short book will be an enjoyable and encouraging breath of fresh air that has the power to steer you in the right direction.”
– Christine Jackson, OTR/L
“In The Most Important Things You Need to Know about Becoming an Occupational Therapy Practitioner Christie Kiley and Abby Brayton-Chung have created a valuable guide for anyone considering this career. From the broader perspective of searching self-awareness questions, to the details of the daily life of an OT, this book will have much to offer anyone interested in this field. Their passion for OT comes through clearly, but they also offer insight that could help someone decide that it might not be for them. Although both are in pediatrics there is information that is of value to all, even those drawn to another area of practice. This book is like having a good friend who is an OT to talk with.”
– Elizabeth Gomes, MS, OTR/L, Co-Chair of the Practice, Ethics and Reimbursement Committee, Occupational Therapy Association of California
“When I first began pursuing a career in occupational therapy, Abby and Christie’s blogs were some of the most important resources I found in my often unfruitful hunt for information. This book reads just like their blogs – understandable, insightful, and informative – and is a fantastic resource for any person who is interested in pursuing a career as an OT or OTA, regardless of where they are in their journey. From deciding whether to study OT, to getting observation hours, to OT school, fieldwork, and the licensure process, it’s all here! My only issue with this book is that it wasn’t around when I decided to become an OT!”
– Lauren Jones, occupational therapy student, author of the blog Gotta Be OT
“This e-book is an essential and comprehensive resource for anyone considering a career in occupational therapy. A big thank you to the authors for taking the time to put together a substantial reference for therapists and OT programs alike to give to prospective students.”
– Jen Tompkins, MA, OTR/L, school-based pediatric occupational therapist
“If you are considering a career in OT, it is a no-brainer to check out this quick read from Abby and Christie. No other resource gathers the logistics that you need to consider and offers such solid advice. I am grateful that this has been written!”
– Sarah Lyon, OTR/L, author of the blog OT Potential
“If you’re interested in occupational therapy and would like to know more, this e-book is a great place to start. All your pressing questions about college and starting work are detailed by two of the field’s excellent bloggers. This e-book provides a realistic look at occupational therapy practice and gives you a starting block for the best career you could imagine.”
– Cheryl Morris, OTR/L, author of the blog OT Notes
“As a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, I highly recommend this e-book to anyone looking into the Occupational Therapy profession, whether as a therapist or an assistant. Christie and Abby were very thorough in explaining what to expect during schooling as well as the career of Occupational Therapy. Occupational therapy is a highly rewarding career and you can definitely sense their passion for it in the writing of this e-book.”
– Heather Greutman, COTA/L, author of the blog Golden Reflections
I want to extend a big THANK YOU to all who offered editorial support to make this e-book project a success: Beverly Moskowitz, Katherine Collmer, Lauren Jones, Andrew Persch, Susan Tucker, and Christine Jackson. Thank you to my patient, loving husband who supported me through this project. And, of course, thank you to my amazing writing partner, Abby Brayton-Chung, who was brave enough to jump into this big project with me — I couldn’t have done this without her!