Research Summary. Below we've compiled a list of the most important skills for an occupational therapist. We ranked the top skills based on the percentage of occupational therapist resumes they appeared on. For example, 22.6% of occupational therapist resumes contained patients as a skill. Let's find out what skills an occupational therapist actually needs in order to be successful in the workplace.

  • The most common hard skill for an occupational therapist is patients. 22.6% occupational therapists have this skill on their resume.
  • The second most common hard skill for an occupational therapist is rehabilitation appearing on 12.4% of resumes. The third most common is home health on 11.6% of resumes.
  • Three common soft skills for an occupational therapist are communication skills, patience and compassion.

Below we've compiled a list of the most important skills for an occupational therapist. We ranked the top skills based on the percentage of occupational therapist resumes they appeared on. For example, 22.6% of occupational therapist resumes contained patients as a skill. Let's find out what skills an occupational therapist actually needs in order to be successful in the workplace.

15 Essential Occupational Therapist Skills For Your Resume And Career

1. Patients

Here's how patients is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Performed numerous evaluations and interventions, and successfully established collaborative goals and treatment plans with patients and the interdisciplinary team.
  • Provided evaluation and treatment to patients with acute hand/upper extremity injuries, chronic hand/upper extremity problems/disorders and repetitive strain injuries.
  • Developed and implemented treatment tracking system to ensure patients stayed within frequencies and the facility was operating within appropriate financial brackets
  • Evaluated and treated mostly inpatient rehabilitation patients on the traumatic brain injury, adult oncology and pediatric units.
  • Worked as part of two multidisciplinary teams focusing on the treatment of physically and psychologically impaired patients.

2. Rehabilitation

Here's how rehabilitation is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Assisted the facility rehabilitation coordinator with delegated responsibilities
  • Managed outpatient occupational therapy rehabilitation program.
  • Contributed to rehabilitation department development.
  • Provided inpatient rehabilitation coverage as needed
  • Provide treatment of occupational therapy services in a pediatric outpatient rehabilitation program for children with developmental delays, sensory processing disorder.

3. Home Health

Here's how home health is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Treated patients as an occupational therapist in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, outpatient, and home health settings
  • Provide caregiver education on dementia care and home health aide training/supervision in order to maximize carry- over and patient recovery.
  • Provided home health care and outpatient rehabilitative services for clients living in local assisted living facilities and general communities.
  • Supervised home health aides and maintained effective relationships with medical equipment vendors, referral sources and community agencies.
  • Provided Occupational Therapy services for Skilled Nursing Facility, Home Health services for Pediatric and adult population.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Aegis Therapies Jobs (537)
  2. ONR Jobs (177)
  3. Kindred at Home Jobs (89)
  4. Encompass Health Jobs (230)
  5. Integrated Resources Jobs (280)

4. Patient Care

Patient care entails the diagnosis, recovery, and control of sickness as well as the maintenance of physical and emotional well-being through the use of healthcare providers' services. Patient care is described as services provided to patients by health practitioners or non-professionals under guidance.

Here's how patient care is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Participate in performance improvement activities designed to identify and resolve problems affecting patient care outcome and to improve quality of care.
  • Conducted Occupational Therapy evaluations, determined individualized patient goals and implemented patient care to adult/geriatric population in a skilled nursing facility.
  • Delivered occupational therapy services on a 25 bed inpatient unit and outpatient care programs for adult and adolescent psychiatric patients.
  • Provide occupational therapy treatment and patient care according to hospital, state, professional and federal regulations and guidelines.
  • Participated in committees designed to improve patient care, staff awareness, interdisciplinary relations and orientation of new employees.


Here's how cota is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Provide therapeutic services, supervise COTA Responsible for all power mobility evaluations Responsible for facility restraint reduction Responsible for all wheelchair positioning
  • Managed rehabilitation therapy team which consisted of Physical therapist/assistant, Speech therapist and COTA.
  • Provide supervision of COTA including treatments and documentation ensuring said items follows state guidelines.
  • Provided COTA supervision with treatments and documentation in skilled nursing facilities.
  • Worked in acute care setting performing primarily evaluations and supervising COTA.

6. Occupational Therapy

Here's how occupational therapy is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Acted as senior level liaison between program director and occupational therapy staff to ensure clients were receiving appropriate occupational therapy interventions.
  • Provided direct in-patient Occupational Therapy evaluation and treatment to the following patient populations: orthopedic, medical surgery, and general medical
  • Rendered occupational therapy services including evaluation, treatment planning, implementation and documentation for patients in Acute and In-Patient Rehab.
  • Supervised four occupational therapy assistants as part of an interdisciplinary team for discharge planning and appropriate placement for patients.
  • Provide occupational therapy evaluation and intervention in clinic including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for clients with severe and chronic pain.

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7. Adaptive

Here's how adaptive is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Complete comprehensive Occupational Therapy and home evaluation including identification of safety issues and recommendation of any required adaptive equipment and supplies.
  • Provided home assessment and recommended adaptive equipment and/or home modification needs to maximize safety of patients in their own environment.
  • Instructed patients on the effective use Adaptive equipment and energy conservation techniques ensuring safe management during activities of daily living.
  • Implemented treatments through: therapeutic activities, therapeutic exercises, sensory integration, adaptive strategies/modifications, and patient/caregiver training.
  • Demonstrate functional need for purchase of adaptive equipment and ordered test protocols and equipment for students per departmental approval.

8. OTR

Here's how otr is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Reviewed available resident information of evaluation performed by OTR & the impact of this information on the assessment and treatment process.
  • Served as a Clinical Instructor (CI) for both COTA and OTR student(s) to foster self-development.
  • Lead therapist to a staff of four OTR's and provided school-based OT services to students age five through 26.
  • Carried a full case load (on a provisional license prior to taking boards) under supervision of an OTR.
  • Worked with children completing evaluations, treatment plans, discharges, and early intervention under the supervision of an OTR

9. Occupational Therapy Assistants

Here's how occupational therapy assistants is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Supervised occupational therapy assistants in therapeutic intervention.
  • Provide supervision/consultation for certified occupational therapy assistants.
  • Serve as a member of an interdisciplinary team, consult with family, and supervise occupational and certified occupational therapy assistants.
  • Generated home exercise programs, supervised Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, and co-treated with Physical Therapists and Speech Therapists.
  • Supervised two certified occupational therapy assistants and worked closely with multidisciplinary team Hardin Memorial Hospital (inpatient/acute care)

10. Physical Therapy

Here's how physical therapy is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Collaborated closely with physical therapy and speech therapy in order to maximize patient outcomes and provide a team approach to rehabilitation.
  • Participate as an active member of a multidisciplinary team including nursing, physical therapy, speech and language pathology and psychology.
  • Collaborate with physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, nursing staff, and families to facilitate optimal therapeutic resident outcomes.
  • Collaborated with patients/caregivers/family, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy professionals, nurses, and the nurse-practitioner.
  • Participate as an active member of a multidisciplinary therapy team including physical therapy, speech therapy and rehabilitation techs.

11. SNF

SNF is a kind of nursing home perceived by the Medicare and Medicaid frameworks as meeting long haul medical services needs for people who can work autonomously after a restricted time of care.

Here's how snf is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Worked in a SNF setting providing individualized OT evaluation/ treatment intervention using a variety of specialized approaches.
  • Provide Occupational Therapy evaluation and treatment per physician orders at SNF geriatric population
  • Participated in SNF Quality Assurance Committee for Program Development.
  • Provided skilled occupational therapy services to geriatric rehabilitation residents as well as long term care residents in a 180 bed SNF.
  • Completed evaluations and treatments on various units: Acute, PSYCH, SNF, ICU, PICU and the regional burn unit

12. Treatment Programs

Here's how treatment programs is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Administered functional and standardized assessments and developed specific treatment programs with patients to accomplish team and discipline specific goals.
  • Planned and organized individualized treatment programs for compensation, maintaining or restoring ability to perform activities of daily living.
  • Implemented treatment programs including visual-perceptual, visual-motor, hand-writing, fine/gross motor activities, and sensory integration techniques.
  • Plan short and long term goals toward improving/restoring independence and physical/cognitive functioning and implement developed treatment programs.
  • Performed evaluations/designed treatment programs for independence with ADL s and safe return to functional dynamic activities.

13. Adaptive Equipment

Any tool, device, or machine that is for the purpose of improving or assisting in daily living is called adaptive equipment. These devices are generally used by people that have short or long-term disabilities.

Here's how adaptive equipment is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Splint fabrication, wheelchair evaluations/selection, adaptive equipment selection/fabrication and some sensory integration activities were among my related job duties.
  • Performed Home Visits targeted at preventing environmental hazards and adaptive equipment recommendations to increase safety and reduce risk of falls.
  • Recommend adaptive equipment, environmental adaptations, and durable medical equipment to clients and caregivers as indicated.
  • Recommended and ordered durable medical equipment/adaptive equipment for maximizing patient safety and increasing independence in daily tasks.
  • Educated clients and caregivers on compensation techniques, therapeutic exercises and proper use of adaptive equipment.

14. Discharge Planning

Here's how discharge planning is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Evaluate potential rehab patients, develop and implement tailored treatment plans, oversee rehab/restorative dining, participate in interdisciplinary discharge planning.
  • Performed intervention planning, client-centered intervention implementations, electronic documentation, and discharge planning for patients with physical and cognitive disabilities.
  • Perform occupational therapy based initial evaluations, re-evaluations, treatment planning for various conditions and diseases, discharge planning for patients.
  • Provided inpatient/outpatient occupational therapy services to injured service members, including evaluation, treatment, care planning and discharge planning.
  • Completed comprehensive evaluation, treatment, discharge planning and paper documentation for geriatric patients at a skilled nursing facility.

15. Compassion

Here's how compassion is used on occupational therapist resumes:
  • Exhibited compassion, flexibility and patience each day to ensure successful learning environment.
  • Demonstrated compassion and empathy with both patients and their families while demonstrating fiscal responsibility for the company.
  • Demonstrate competency in providing quality care to patients according to their individualized needs with compassion.
  • Provided efficient point of service care while engaging with client with compassion and understanding.
  • Interact with patient and caregiver with the highest degree of compassion and support.
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The eight most common skills based on Occupational Therapist resumes in 2023.

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List Of Skills To Add To Your Occupational Therapist Resume

According to recent trends, the most relevant occupational therapist Resume Keywords for your resume are:

  • Patients
  • Rehabilitation
  • Home Health
  • Patient Care
  • COTA
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Adaptive
  • OTR
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Physical Therapy
  • SNF
  • Treatment Programs
  • Adaptive Equipment
  • Discharge Planning
  • Compassion
  • ADL
  • PET
  • Medicaid
  • Program Development
  • Splints
  • Nursing Home
  • Family Education
  • Excellent Interpersonal
  • Speech Therapy
  • Autism
  • Acute Care
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Hand Therapy
  • MDS
  • Functional Mobility
  • Senior Care
  • Discharge Summaries
  • Dexterity
  • Therapeutic Interventions
  • SLP
  • English Language
  • Excellent Time Management
  • IEP
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Early Intervention
  • Orthotics
  • Excellent Organizational
  • Home Management
  • Good Interpersonal
  • Social Work

Real Examples Of Occupational Therapist Resumes That Use These Skills

Most Important Occupational Therapist Skills According To Experts

What Technical Skills For An Occupational Therapist Stand Out To Employers?

Julie Seidle Ph.D.

Instructor & Research Associate, Colorado State University

As a community-based practitioner and employer, I look for a practitioner that has a strong foundational knowledge of OT and the technical skills needed for the practice setting. But I am also looking for someone who has strong interpersonal skills and demonstrates openness and flexibility to an ever-changing practice space. I enjoy working with practitioners who are creative with their skill set and can adjust to a variety of client needs. Practitioners also need to be able to take initiative and work well with all levels of the client system.

What Soft Skills Should All Occupational Therapists Possess?

Dr. Julie Estes

Assistant Clinical Instructor, Northeastern State University

Many soft skills are essential such as:

-Energy and enthusiasm for your field, loving what you do, and wanting to make a difference in clients' lives.

-Strong interpersonal skills and knowing how to relate to people from different backgrounds and cultures.

-Being sincere and knowing how to show empathy and compassion toward clients going through difficult challenges in their lives.

-Organizational skills: knowing how to organize a daily schedule in any setting is essential due to time constraints such as productivity. Allowing time to make sure each client is seen while sometimes working around others' schedules such as physicians, teachers, other therapists. OTs need to be present and provide treatment for each client while not disrupting the workflow of others, such as physicians, teachers, or other therapists.

-Flexibility, being prepared for each day (client, meetings, etc.), but knowing that things can change in an instant and having a backup plan. Going in with a plan A, but knowing you may have to use plan B, C or D. We work with people from all walks of life and stages of life; being okay with knowing that your plan may not go as expected is essential.

-Problem solving, we are professional problem solvers. The Department of Labor's ONet OnLine categorizes occupational therapy as an "investigative occupation." We look at an individual's daily routine, goals, and environment, identify barriers, and plan treatments that help modify, build, or restore daily living skills and independence.

What Skills Stand Out On Occupational Therapist Resumes?

Dr. Julie Estes

Assistant Clinical Instructor, Northeastern State University

This would depend, is the OT was a new graduate or a practicing therapist? When looking at resumes from recent graduates, I look for participation in their programs clubs such as the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA), fieldwork experiences, and if they took additional opportunities to get experience through job shadowing outside of the program required fieldwork. When looking at resumes from practicing therapists, experience is also important, but I look to see how much time they have spent at their previous jobs. If the person's resume shows that they have a pattern of changing jobs every 1-2 years, that is a red flag. Continuing education and additional certifications also show that the therapist takes the initiative to hone their skills to benefit their clients.

What Hard/technical Skills Are Most Important For Occupational Therapists?

Dr. Julie Estes

Assistant Clinical Instructor, Northeastern State University

-Effective communication and collaboration: OT's work not only with clients but family members, doctors, other professionals such as occupational therapy assistants, physical therapists, and insurance companies in various settings. This job requires that we collaborate with various individuals for the benefit of the clients. Being able to communicate in written and verbal format is a vital component to team success. The ability to explain medical jargon to clients so they understand and proficiently write notes regarding client intervention detailing progress can make the difference in reimbursement and client discharge plans.

-Knowing medical terminology, physical and neurological needs of clients, including protocols for specific diagnoses and treatments, helps in planning intervention while preventing further injury to our clients.

-Good observational skills include looking at clients' complete daily tasks, breaking the activity down to identify barriers, and collaborating with the client to develop an effective treatment plan to help them return to what they find meaningful is our focus.

-Though our job is hands-on, we must also have technological skills for documentation purposes (electronic medical records). With COVID-19, understanding how to see clients virtually has been a learning curve for some.

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Online Courses For Occupational Therapists

One of the best ways to acquire the skills needed to be an occupational therapist is to take an online course. We've identified some online courses from Udemy and Coursera that will help you advance in your career. Since occupational therapists benefit from having skills like patients, rehabilitation, and home health, we found courses that will help you improve these skills.

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1. Essentials of Palliative Care


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2. Trauma Emergencies and Care


Welcome to Trauma Emergencies and Care. In this course, you will learn about some of the mechanics and physics of trauma on the human body, and how this can cause injury. You will continue to expand your new vocabulary with medical terminology, and learn how to describe the different injuries you may see. You will also learn about the trauma system itself- and when it is important to transport patients to a trauma center. Then we will dive into specific injuries based on what part of the body...

3. Occupational Therapy Introduction - ACCREDITED CERTIFICATE


How to become occupational therapist, basic Psychology, Physiology & Anatomy, working with disabilities, children adults...

4. ISO 45001. Occupational Health & Safety management system


Build a career in occupational health & safety. Learn the requirements of ISO 45001...

5. Traditional herbal medicine in supportive cancer care: From alternative to integrative


Please join us for an exciting and innovative journey, examining one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of the oncology setting: Traditional Herbal Medicine in Supportive Cancer Care. This course is presented with short lectures offering a wide range of issues related to the principles and practice of herbal medicine in cancer care. The course includes interviews with leading world experts from the field of Integrative Oncology, from the U.S. and Canada, as well as Europe, the...

6. Health After Cancer: Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care


This course presents basic principles of cancer survivorship to primary-care physicians. Developed by a team of experts in caring for cancer survivors, and narrated by a primary-care physician, this course provides practical tips and tools that can be easily integrated into medical practice. You will learn about the complex physical and psychosocial needs and concerns of the growing number of cancer survivors, along with the key role that primary care physicians have in guiding these patients...

7. Internationally Accredited Certificate in Art Therapy


Become Professional Art Therapist with this Therapeutic Art Therapy Course / Masterclass for Healing and Life Coaching...

8. CBT: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Therapists & Coaches


Comprehensive CBT Therapy Training Cognitive Behavior Therapy Practitioner Level Treat Anxiety, Depression & More...

9. Value-Based Care: Managing Processes to Improve Outcomes


COURSE 3 of 7. This course is designed to introduce you to critical office-based processes that a value-based practice must manage in the drive towards improved patient outcomes. In Module 2, we’ll focus on office-based and clinical patient-based supporting functions. At every level in healthcare, guidelines, processes, and functions exist to improve outcomes, and following a consistent process will return the best effect. Refine your understanding of value and learn strategies to provide real...

10. Symptom Management in Palliative Care


This course should be taken after the Essentials of Palliative Care course and continues building your primary palliative care skills – communication, psychosocial support and goals of care. You will learn how to screen, assess, and manage both physical and psychological symptoms. You will explore common symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, and distress and learn specific treatments. You will continue to follow Sarah and Tim’s experience and learn cultural competencies critical for optimal...

11. Introduction to Solution Focused Therapy


Learn Solution Focused Therapy To Empower Clients & Improve Outcomes Ideal For Social Workers, Coaches & Therapists...

12. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy


Learn SFBT skills for creative conversations and better outcomes. With video of live sessions...

13. Acute and Chronic Rhinosinusitis: A Comprehensive Review


Welcome to Acute and Chronic Rhinosinusitis: A Comprehensive Review This course, offered by the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is designed to inform primary care physicians and general otolaryngologists, as well as nurses, physician assistants and medical assistants, about the differences between acute and chronic rhinosinusitis and how to distinguish and treat them. It is also applicable to individuals who wish to broaden...

14. Massage Therapy


Massage Therapy Course 101...

15. Bowen Therapy NO MASSAGE Healing Certificate Course (8CEU)


An incredible NO MASSAGE remedial therapy for massage therapists or anyone else that wants to learn how to heal people...

16. Professional Cupping Therapy Massage Certificate Course


Learn Cupping Therapy Massage Today to Treat Your Own Pains, Your Friends, Family Or Massage Clients Effortlessly!...

17. Introduction to CBT: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Online Counselling & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Training Course...

18. Occupational Health & Safety Training


Workplace Health and Safety Course For Employees & Managers...

19. Understanding & Working With Autistic Clients in Therapy


Learn From an Autistic Therapist What it is Like to Be Autistic and How Autism Impacts on Problems & in Therapy...

20. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Certificate


Become a certified CBT practitioner and learn to use cognitive behavior therapy to improve people's mental health...

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Occupational Therapist Skills FAQs

Is Occupational Therapy Harder Than Nursing?

Yes, occupation therapy is harder than nursing because it has more education requirements which take longer to complete. If you are looking for which job has more day-to-day duties, that is definitely nursing, but the actual process of becoming a nurse or occupational therapist is typically easier for nurses.

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