Often overlooked and widely undeserved, the professions in school-based therapy provide some of the most beneficial work environments in any industry. In recent years, school-based therapy positions have received a bit of negative attention, with therapists citing the obvious stresses associated with a diverse caseload. What these same therapists failed to report were the numerous emotional, professional, and academic benefits gained through helping children on their journey to better themselves.
A benefit most industries fail to provide their employees is job security and job availability. In reviewing therapy staffing websites, you can find school-based therapy jobs from New Jersey to California. Many industries in recent history have become over-saturated with workers, whereas there is a continually growing need for more therapists throughout the country. Just take a look at an occupational therapy recruiter website, and you’ll see numerous jobs in adolescent and pediatric occupational therapy opening up across the U.S. Physical Therapy, considered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world, is expected to grow an astounding 34% by the year 2024. In recent years, jobs in physical therapy have become more available in schools, as school athletic programs have taken on a more serious initiative to maintain the health of their athletes.
Dynamic Work Environment
No one wants to be stuck doing the same droning task for the rest of their life. Inherently we all seek excitement and diversity, not only in our personal lives, but also in our careers. This is something that can be easily found in school-based speech and language therapy jobs, occupational therapy jobs, and physical therapy jobs. Working in a school exposes a therapist to a melting pot of different personalities, cultures, personal backgrounds, and languages. The working environment is fundamentally dynamic, and always leaves you open to new surprises and experiences. The dynamic nature of school-based therapy is something that few other industries offer, and is one of the greatest benefits of the job.
Maybe one of the most overlooked aspects of participating in a school-based therapy job is the vacation time. School-based therapists such as speech pathologists and occupational therapists get to enjoy close to 3 months of vacation throughout the year. When working in such a high maintenance industry, no matter how rewarding it may be, it is always good to take some time to yourself. Having a school-based therapy job provides just that benefit.
You’re Always Learning
As note earlier, school-based therapy jobs provide a dynamic work environment where you engage with students from all walks of life. Many of these children are looking to you for guidance on how to proceed in solving their problems. As any therapist knows, every individual has a unique host of problems with which to cope. As a therapist, you are always looking for new ways to help these children, and in the process, you are learning new ways to interact and solve problems. Whether you have an SLP job and are helping a teen manage their language disability, or you’re a Physical Therapist helping a child develop their basic motor skills, you will be faced with a new challenge every day. In conquering these challenges, you have added a new facet to your skill set, making you an even more marketable employee in the future.
Some say its cliché — while others call it a myth — but you generally don’t choose to become a therapist if you weren’t looking to help others. There is something intrinsically altruistic about the profession of therapy. That in itself can be rewarding, knowing that you chose to take on a profession to help others solve their problems. But it is fulfilling to know when someone asks you “what does a speech and language therapist do?” you can reply with an answer that you are proud of. Knowing that you have helped a child to learn how to speak, and have set him or her on a path to success, is an inimitable feeling that you can find in the profession of school-based therapy.
As you can see, the benefits of becoming a school-based therapist far outweigh the day-to-day stressors of the job. You are helping children create a better tomorrow for themselves in their most formative years. For whatever therapy you decide to pursue, whether it be special education, speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy, you can be sure to find a fulfilling environment, personally and professionally. The great salary doesn’t hurt either.
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