Employment pathways for Occupational Therapist graduates in Australia

Job options for OT graduates and students

Start Working Sooner Than You Think

You don’t have to wait for graduation or AHPRA registration to begin your career. Many employers are willing to hire you conditionally, pending your successful completion of studies and registration. 

Becoming an AHA while you study is a great option. Read our blog about Why you should start working as an AHA.

Working while you study is a great way to get a foot in the door. The right employer may even contribute financially towards your tuition!

Hospitals: Private or Public 

Hospitals offer a diverse range of specialties. Your practicum placements can help you discover your preferred area of focus – make sure you communicate early with your Course Coordinator about your placement preferences.

Some areas of work for OTs in hospitals:

  • Paediatrics, 
  • Orthopaedics
  • Neurology
  • Mental Health
  • Community
  • Pre and Post-natal

Occupational Rehab

OTs can work in Case Management, helping injured workers successfully return to work. This could be at a Rehabilitation Provider, Insurer or a final employer within their RTW co-ordination team.

This is often a commercially-focused, billing-centric job involving little to no hands-on OT work. 

Some roles in Occ Rehab include:

  • Rehab Consultant
  • IMA – Injury Management Advisor
  • RTWC
  • CTP Consultant
  • Life Insurance Specialist
  • Medico-legal Consultant
  • Catastrophic Claims Consultant
  • Self-Insurer Consultant

Aged Care

Working with a vulnerable population can be challenging yet rewarding. Seek advice from OTs already working in aged care and consider undertaking a placement or volunteering at an aged care facility.

Aged care work is often solitary, with short client appointments typically lasting 15 minutes or less.

Community Work

Community services encompass a broad range of activities, including NDIS support, consultancy, equipment prescription, home modifications, ADL support, case management, and therapy.

NDIS is a growing sector within community-based work, presenting significant opportunities for career growth. You can read more about that below.


This involves working at an Accredited NDIS Provider where services are provided to clients under the NDIA.

Some of these services include:

  • Functional Capacity Assessments
  • Assistive technology Assessments
  • Therapy and Rehab
  • Home modifications

These roles could involve working from:

  • an office
  • in a community setting
  • a mobile setting
  • a work from home setting.

A lot of our NDIS clients have AHAs to assist their OTs with service provision.

Private Practice

Whether as a solo practitioner or part of a team, private practice offers various financial arrangements, including salary, percentage billing or a combination of both. Specialisations such as hand therapy, occupational health or paediatric OT are also possible.

Private practice often allows for specialisation and flexibility in how you structure your income.


Roles in medical equipment or pharmaceutical sales are common, involving tasks such as equipment installation and extensive travel.

These roles may require significant travel and customer interaction, so make sure that’s something you’re comfortable with before you sign up.

Occupational Health and Safety 

Occupational health and safety (OHS) roles focus on ensuring workplace safety through ergonomic assessments, training delivery and compliance with OHS regulations.

Many OHS roles require industry-specific post-graduate qualifications or continuous professional development in occupational health and safety.

Education and Research

Can you pursue further study and research to become a subject matter expert in your field. Opportunities may include media appearances, CPD facilitation, lecturing or tutoring.

Education and research often go hand in hand, requiring a commitment to ongoing learning and development.

If you’re interested in discussing your career options with an Allied Health Recruitment Expert at Medijobs Australia, contact us. Our services are completely FREE for jobseekers.