As a newly qualified occupational therapist in the NHS, you may begin in a rotational post, providing the opportunity to gain experience in a range of specialties. This could include working across a range of acute clinical areas such as:
However, it's also possible to go straight into your chosen specialism, for example alcohol and substance abuse, burns and plastic surgery, mental health or stroke rehabilitation.
There are many ways in which you can develop your career, for example through:
the management of staff;
research into new techniques in occupational therapy or auditing the efficiency of current provision;
specialisation in particular areas of occupational therapy;
working in education, either training in a department or lecturing in an educational institution.
To progress up each pay scale, you must show that you can effectively apply the required knowledge and skills.
With significant experience, you could become a consultant occupational therapist in a senior clinical leadership role with the highest level of clinical responsibility. Consultant occupational therapists work in a range of clinical practice areas, including mental health and learning disabilities. They have a wider role in influencing and driving strategic and organisational development.
With further training it is also possible to work as a high-intensity therapist as part of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. It's also possible to work in related roles such as care manager within primary care, industry or business.
Have a good choice!