Skills & Knowledge
Most Important Skills for Occupational Therapists
- Thinking Critically—Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Learning New Things—Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Listening—Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading—Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking—Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing—Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Helping Others—Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Monitoring Performance—Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Being Aware of Others—Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Coordinating with Others—Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Most Important Knowledge Areas for Occupational Therapists
- Psychology—Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Therapy and Counseling—Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- Education and Training—Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Customer and Personal Service—Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Sociology and Anthropology—Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Medicine and Dentistry—Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Clerical—Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Philosophy and Theology—Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
- Biology—Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:
- Social—Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Investigative—Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Learn more about your interests. Take the MnCareers Interest Assessment.
Describe Your Skills
People who have worked in this career typically perform the following tasks. These statements can help a prospective employer understand what you can do, on a resume or during an interview.
- Helping and caring for people.
- Making decisions or solving problems.
- Documenting or recording information.
- Communicating with supervisors, co-workers, or people that work under you.
- Collecting information from different sources.
- Creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships.
- Keeping up-to-date with new knowledge.
- Thinking creatively.
The following careers use skills, knowledge, and abilities that are similar to those used for Occupational Therapists.
- Health Care Social Workers
- Athletic Trainers
- Kindergarten Teachers
- College Health Specialties Teachers
- Middle School Teachers
- High School Teachers
- Recreation Workers
- Physical Therapists
- College Recreation and Fitness Teachers
- Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors
- Elementary School Teachers
- Recreational Therapists
- Middle School Special Education Teachers
- Occupational Therapists
- College Nursing Instructors and Teachers
- Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers
This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.