Why are OTs and PTs different? You may notice that OTps and PTs are not treated the same as other school professionals. Many therapists report that they don’t have adequate workspace, they’re not included in district meetings. Many contract therapists say they don’t even have a school email.
The school setting is the second-largest setting for OTPs (AOTA, 2015).
I ended up working in a school as a contract OT by default—but then I ended up loving it.
However, I had no idea that OTPs and PTs in the school setting weren’t treated equally. In fact, it took me a few months to notice the subtle differences (no budget for supplies, working in the hallway, paperwork on my own time, not getting paid for absences, not getting included in staff meetings).
And a little longer to notice the not-so-subtle differences (limited ability to advance in pay, no mentorship, no supervision, no health insurance, no pension plan).
I had no idea that the limitations and inequities were the norm. AOTA’s Vision 2025 sees Occupational Therapists as powerful leaders. But we are not there yet, and we’ve got a lot to do to get there.
The Differences between OTs and PTs