Occupational Therapist
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
9d ago

Pay for occupational therapists employed by district health boards (DHBs) varies depending on experience.

  • Occupational therapists with up to six years experience usually earn between $47,000 and $68,000 a year.
  • Occupational therapists with more than six years experience usually earn between $68,000 and $99,000.
  • Occupational therapists working in private practice usually earn between $45,000 and $110,000 per year.

    Source : Auckland District Health Boards / PSA, Allied, Public Health and Technical : Multi Employer Collective Agreement (MECA)', 2017.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Occupational therapists may do some or all of the following :

  • assess clients' abilities and help them gain or regain skills
  • plan and direct therapy treatment, including physical and social activities
  • recommend adaptations to equipment in environments such as home, work or motor vehicles
  • advise clients on changes to their lifestyle to help them with daily activities
  • observe and report on clients' progress.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Occupational therapists need to have :

  • knowledge of occupational therapy methods
  • knowledge of the human mind, body and behaviour
  • the ability to negotiate with people and motivate them
  • an understanding of different cultures.
  • Working conditions

    Occupational therapists :

  • may do shift work that includes evenings or weekends
  • work in a variety of places, including hospitals, private clinics, nursing homes, workplaces and schools.
  • Entry requirements

    Becoming an occupational therapist

    To become an occupational therapist you need to complete one of the following :

  • Bachelor of Health Science in Occupational Therapy (AUT)
  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Otago Polytechnic / Wintec).
  • Becoming a hearing therapist

    There are no specific requirements for becoming a hearing therapist. However, a National Diploma in Hearing Therapy may be useful.

    Relevant health or social services qualifications and experience such as occupational therapy and teaching may may help with being selected for the diploma, or on-

    the-job training through an audiologist employer.

    The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

    Secondary education

    NCEA Level 3 is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include biology, chemistry, health and physical education.

    Personal requirements

    Occupational therapists need to be :

  • positive and encouraging
  • approachable, with good communication skills
  • skilled at report writing
  • analytical and observant
  • good problem solvers
  • good at time management.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for occupational therapists includes :

  • working with children, the elderly or people with a disability
  • coaching and working with groups of people
  • first aid experience.
  • Physical requirements

    Occupational therapists need to be reasonably fit and healthy as they may have to help lift patients.


    Occupational therapists need to be registered with the Occupational Therapy Board.

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