Occupational Therapist or Social Worker Which Is Better?

Are you attempting to figure out what you want to study or what career you want to pursue?

Are you trying to decide between becoming an Occupational Therapist or a Social Worker?

Choosing which one to study can be a difficult and daunting task.

As a result, this is why I’ve written this article.

Occupational Therapist vs Social worker, Which Career Is Better?

Occupational Therapists career appears to be better as they make more money than Social Workers, are more in demand, and have more career opportunities. Occupational Therapists’ schooling requirements are even more rigorous than those of Social Workers.

This question’s solution can be found in a person’s interests in one or both of the fields.

Both professions have the potential to lead to a rewarding career; nevertheless, your ability to adapt to the domain you pick is important.

Understanding the differences between the two disciplines is perhaps the most efficient approach to discover and follow your passions.

You may then pick the best choices for yourself, taking into account employment prospects, income, and, most importantly, your interests.

But before we go any further let’s discuss want a Social Worker does compare to Occupational Therapist, what are the differences;

Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Social workers help people respond to and cope with social, economic, emotional and behavioral problems in their daily lives

Now that we’ve answered the main question, let’s look at what it takes to be an Occupational Therapist vs. a Social Worker.

So let’s talk about Occupational Therapy?

Being an Occupational Therapist you get the satisfaction of helping people to achieve their life goals by helping them assist them in achieving purposeful activities.

There is flexibility as there are opportunities to work in paediatric, geriatric, hand therapy, neurology and psychiatry, vision therapy, sensory integration therapy etc.

An occupational therapist’s profession is intriguing, gratifying, and enjoyable.

Occupational Therapists are also subjected to mental and physical strain from time to time, particularly when certain patients stop improving and hit a plateau.

Then nothing you try will work. Long job hours, poor patient behaviour, and heavier patients all contribute to the issues.

Occupational therapists must have at least a master’s degree in the field, and some even have a doctorate. Occupational therapists are required to be licenced as well.

Occupational therapy graduate schools often need a bachelor’s degree and certain curriculum, such as biology and physiology.

Applicants to many programs must also have volunteered or worked in an occupational therapy setting. Candidates should enquire about particular criteria from the programme they wish to attend.

Master’s programmes typically last two to three years, while doctorate programmes last roughly three and a half years.

Some colleges provide a five-year dual-degree programme in which a student can receive both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Part-time programmes with evening and weekend classes are also offered.

So if you are thinking about becoming an Occupational Therapist need to consider the cost of education.

You can expect to pay somewhere between $40k to $80k per year for studying.

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So let’s talk about Social Workers

Social workers virtually seldom enter the profession because they want to make money or because they are afraid of losing their jobs,  they do it because they want to assist and help others.

Being a social worker is not a simple profession; in fact, it entails a great deal of responsibility.

This is because you deal with the most vulnerable members of society, such as those with addictions, those with disabilities, and those with mental health issues.

Social work is not for you if you want structure. While social workers spend a substantial amount of time at their workstations, they also spend a significant amount of time visiting clients.

There are no two days that are ever the same. One day, you may be dealing with a partner who is going through a difficult divorce, leaving children in a difficult situation.

The next thing you know, you’re in the home of a drug-addicted family.

Both families need help, but their circumstances are radically different. As a consequence, social work is seldom dull, but it also demands hard work and undivided attention at all times.

Social workers can be found in several places, such as mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and human service organisations, hospitals, settlement homes, community development corporations, and private firms.

They are usually employed full-time and may be asked to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Although some social workers just require a bachelor’s degree in social work, clinical social workers must have a master’s degree as well as two years of experience in a supervised clinical environment after finishing their degree.

Clinical social workers must be licenced by their state as well.

According to BLS overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 12 per cent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

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An Occupational Therapist or Social Worker, who earns more? (Explained)

Occupational Therapists make more than Social Workers, with a median pay of $86,280 compared to $51,760 for Social Workers.

While being a social worker is not the lowest-paying career, it is also not the highest-paying and even long-term social workers are seldom paid as much as they want, regardless of how many clients they have.

Those seeking a career as a social worker can expect to work long hours for little compensation.

Most occupational therapists work full time. They may work nights or weekends, as needed, to accommodate patients’ schedules.

According to BLS.gov, the employment of Occupational Therapists is projected to grow 17 per cent from 2020 to 2030.
Whilst overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 12 per cent from 2020 to 2030. 

Final Thoughts

Occupational therapists and social work jobs exist to assist people in living better lives. Occupational therapists earn more than Social Workers, are in higher demand, and have more career options. The educational requirements for Occupational therapists are much more demanding than those for Social Workers.

It is important to choose what to study.

Speak with trustworthy friends and family members, and think about obtaining professional help.

Before choosing a career path to study, consider your talents and limits, as well as your likes and dislikes.

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  • Social Workers: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
  • Occupational Therapists: Occupational Outlook Handbook:: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)