Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2020

Academic Department

Occupational Therapy

Faculty Advisor(s)

Kerri Hample


There are a multitude of settings for newly graduated occupational therapists (OTs) to work. According to The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the majority of OTs work in direct client intervention instead of indirect or administration, consultation, or research roles (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2019). The top work settings for direct client interventions in occupational therapy (OT) are currently long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, freestanding outpatient centers, hospitals with acute and inpatient care, and school settings, with 74%, 70.4%, 70%, and 60.8% of the OTs working in those settings working, respectively (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2019).

In addition, work setting trends for OTs from 2000 to 2014 show that of the occupational therapists surveyed, two thirds of them primarily work in three settings – hospitals, schools, and long-term or skilled nursing facilities (LTC/SNF), showing that those were the most common settings in which OTs work (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2019). The least common setting for OTs was in the community. While there are statistics telling which direct client intervention settings are the most and least popular, there is little research regarding the reasons as to why OTs choose the settings they work in, whether it be personal or relating to the job and setting itself. There is also little research on why the top work settings are at the top. There is however some research focusing on the factors contributing to job satisfaction which may help to inform the potential reasoning behind choosing and staying in a specific OT workplace setting.


Senior thesis.