The Careers of Occupational Therapists Five Years After Graduation

Modified Plans But Satisfying Lives


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The fourth survey in a longitudinal study of occupational therapists' career patterns elicited a 66% response rate (N = 49). The percentage employed in the profession had fallen by 21.5% since 1980. Less than half of the 22.4% who were unemployed planned to return to professional work. Job satisfaction remained high among the employed though work values had changed. Pay, job security, chances for promotion and respect received were considered more important than in 1980. The most stressful aspects of work had altered with work pressure and worries about patients being the most stressful. While 53% regarded themselves as specialists, areas of speciality differed from those planned earlier. Some had been promoted (40%), but few had high status ambitions. Many therapists (63%) had married and 24% had children. Most mothers of young children were unemployed. The number of children desired had decreased. There was little evidence of role conflict and therapists were satisfied with most areas of their lives. 1986 Occupational Therapy Australia Limited

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • careers
  • profession
  • stress
  • work values

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