Career Theme: Social

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. Cooperation is a strong value in the social work environment.

Occupational Therapist 

  • Necessary Education: A master’s degree is required. A bachelor’s degree in a related field to get started, like biology or physiology, before advancing to a master’s program, or a combined bachelor’s/master’s program is also an option.
  • Special Training Required: All states require occupational therapists to become licensed. To earn the license, a degree from an accredited program and the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) certification are needed. Certification is voluntary. Occupational therapists must pass the NBCOT exam in order to become certified.
  • Job Responsibility: Occupational therapists treat patients with injuries, illnesses or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They’ll work with patients to develop, recover and improve the skills they need for daily working and living.
  • Industry Trend: As the large baby boomer population continues to age and individuals remain more active later in life, occupational therapists are in high demand to help older adults develop strategies to make daily activities easier for optimal independence. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of occupational therapists will grow much faster than average at the rapid rate of 29%, thus creating 32,800 new jobs before 2022.
  • Typical Salary Range: $54,560 – $120,440 (source from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017)

High School Teacher

  • Necessary Education: A bachelor’s degree is required. Teachers may complete a bachelor’s degree program in secondary education with an area of concentration in the subject that they wish to teach or major in their content area and minor in secondary education. Most secondary education programs prepare students for licensure.
  • Special Training Required: A license is required to be a high school teacher but private schools do not require a license. Student or mentorship teaching, a secondary or high school certificate, and background checks are required to obtain a license. Teachers’ permanent credentials can be achieved with additional coursework, exams and tests. Some teachers may be required to earn a master’s degree and a minimum amount of teaching experience.
  • Job Responsibility: High school teachers instruct students through classroom discussions, lectures and other methods and evaluate a student’s progress through exams and coursework. A high school teacher needs to be proficient in the subject matter as well as administrative and technological aspects of the classroom. Teachers should also be able to communicate effectively with parents, students, and other staff members.
  • Industry Trend: The teaching profession has undergone a number of changes in recent years. Changes such as a decline in the ratio of students to teachers at the elementary and secondary school level, the creation of new alternatives to public schools such as charter and pilot schools and the increasing use of adjunct professors at the college level have all brought about new trends in teaching jobs.
  • Typical Salary Range: $39,080 – $95,380 (source from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017)