Emerging job trends for Occupational Therapists in Australia

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Occupational therapy in Australia offers a wealth of opportunities for internationally-trained OTs seeking to transition into the Australian healthcare landscape.

Knowing about the latest trends and special areas can really help you do well in your career.

In this blog, we explore some emerging trends for Occupational Therapists (OTs) in Australia. This knowledge could enhance your prospects of getting work here.

Telehealth and Digital Health

As technology improves and more people are open to telehealth services, there’s a new trend in occupational therapy: using digital health platforms. This means doing sessions remotely, assessing people online and using apps and wearable devices to help them manage their health.

 An OT with knowledge of these platforms who is comfortable using them and explaining them to clients could open job opportunities in this field.

For Internationally-Trained OTs:

Understanding and being proficient in digital health platforms is crucial for internationally-trained OTs looking to work in Australia. Familiarise yourself with popular telehealth software and digital health tools commonly used in Australian healthcare settings. Consider taking additional training or certification courses to enhance your skills in this area.

Ageing Population and Geriatric Care

Like many other countries, Australia has an ageing population. This means there’s a rising demand for OTs specialising in geriatric care. 

This includes working in: 

  • aged care facilities, 
  • community health centres and 
  • providing home-based care services to help elderly individuals maintain independence and quality of life.

For Internationally-Trained OTs:

As the demand for geriatric care OTs grows, internationally-trained OTs can prepare themselves by familiarising themselves with the unique needs and challenges of the ageing population in Australia. Consider gaining experience or additional training in geriatric care practices and interventions.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental health awareness and the recognition of the importance of mental wellbeing have been growing in recent years. OTs are increasingly involved in mental health settings, including working with individuals with anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health conditions. This can involve therapeutic interventions, lifestyle modifications and community integration programs.

For Internationally-Trained OTs:

Mental health is a significant focus area within the Australian healthcare system. Internationally-trained OTs interested in working in mental health settings should familiarise themselves with the Australian mental health landscape, including local resources, policies and evidence-based practices. Consider pursuing additional training or certifications in mental health occupational therapy to enhance your qualifications.

Workplace Health and Ergonomics

With a greater emphasis on workplace safety and employee wellbeing, there’s a demand for OTs specialising in workplace health and ergonomics. These professionals assess work environments, recommend ergonomic modifications and develop strategies to prevent work-related injuries and promote employee wellness.

For Internationally-Trained OTs:

Understanding Australian workplace health and safety regulations and practices is essential for internationally-trained OTs interested in working in this field. Consider familiarising yourself with Australian workplace standards and guidelines, and explore opportunities for further training or certification in occupational health and ergonomics specific to Australia.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy

The field of paediatric occupational therapy continues to evolve, with a focus on early intervention, sensory integration and supporting children with developmental delays or disabilities. OTs may work in schools, paediatric clinics or community settings to help children develop the skills they need to participate fully in daily activities.

For Internationally-Trained OTs:

If you’re interested in paediatric occupational therapy, gaining experience or additional training in this area can strengthen your qualifications. Familiarise yourself with the Australian education system and policies related to children with special needs. Additionally, consider seeking opportunities to work with children or adolescents in diverse settings to broaden your experience.

If you’re interested in working as an Occupational Therapist in Australia, get in touch. We can guide you through the process and connect you with potential employers who are seeking your expertise.