occupational therapist


The aim of ergotherapy is to promote and maintain mobility depending on the clinical picture . But social, mental and spiritual independence should also be promoted and maintained. Occupational therapy is planned and carried out by trained and state-approved occupational therapists.

Personal requirements

As an occupational therapist you should have the ability to adapt to different people and their needs. You deal with people from all age groups and with a wide variety of illnesses and individual needs for support. In addition, you should be empathetic and be able to muster a lot of patience towards your patients. Reliability and a high degree of responsibility should also be brought along. Likewise, the presence of creativity and design skills is an advantage. Occupational therapists should also have solid psychological and mental strength in order to be able to master everyday life with patients and the individual destinies.

Requirements for learning the profession

In order to be able to complete an apprenticeship, the applicant must have completed secondary school or have already completed an apprenticeship. The training to become an occupational therapist can also be completed if you have a secondary school diploma and have successfully completed at least two years of training. If the applicant is under the age of 18, he must submit a medical certificate before the start of training in accordance with Section 32 of the Youth Employment Protection Act , which attests to his physical and psychological suitability for carrying out the training.


The training is completed at a state-recognized vocational school, including internships, and lasts a total of 3 years. The training ends with a state examination consisting of a written, an oral and a practical part. No training allowance is paid for the training, but under certain conditions funding can be applied for under the Federal Training Assistance Act ( BAföG ).

During the theoretical and practical training to become an occupational therapist you will learn the following:

  • Everything to do with motor skills, their promotion and recovery
  • Help for the patient to cope with his everyday life
  • Handicrafts and musical activities that primarily benefit sick, disabled and old people
  • How psychosocial stabilization is established
  • Creative techniques in therapy
  • Therapeutic measures to reintegrate the patient into his professional life

During the training, an internship is also completed in which the theory learned is to be implemented and deepened. The internships can be completed in different institutions, for example in rehabilitation clinics with a focus on orthopedics or psychiatry.

career development opportunities

After successfully completing the training, you can also complete further training, for example to become a play therapist.


The possible locations for are diverse. They can support patients with the help of occupational therapy not only in special occupational therapy practices, but also in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, old people's homes, health centres, social centers or psychiatric facilities.

The everyday

The day-to-day work of an occupational therapist consists primarily of planning and implementing occupational therapy measures. The daily routine varies greatly, but it changes depending on the need for support and the illness of the patient, because this is what the therapy measure to be carried out is based on. In addition to movement therapies, measures are also carried out to promote the motor skills of the hands, for example handicrafts or kneading.

Viet Trinh

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