More than 10,000 workers are retiring every day. Among those will be a large percentage of teachers. If you’re a recently retired teacher (or you're soon to retire), traditional post-retirement job options will be increasingly limited.
In the past, many retired teachers could count on landing jobs in industry as technical instructors, technical writers, or general administrative staff. But those jobs are disappearing due to the bad economy. Companies are simply assigning those jobs to existing staff or promoting clerical workers from within to fill in as instructors or administrative staff.
Yet the fact remains that you have a teaching talent that someone can use. One area you may want to explore is the healthcare sector. Fortunately, the growing numbers of aging baby boomers will require physical and occupational therapy. This is where certified teaching therapy assistants will be needed. These individuals will serve to support licensed physical therapists in a wide spectrum of therapy services.
In most states, therapy assistants or teaching assistants need not be licensed; however, it's a good idea to check your state's licensing requirements in these fields. You may decide that obtaining a license is well worth the fee and testing requirements--if a lucrative job is at stake. If a license is required in your state, you may be able to simply take a course online to be certified as an occupational therapist assistant.
As an occupational therapy assistant or aide, you’ll work under the supervision of an occupational therapist. You’ll be asked to treat patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities using therapeutic activities. You’ll help patients develop and improve the skills they need for everyday living and work tasks.
Much like occupational therapy assistants, physical therapist assistants interact closely with elderly or injured patients. Here, under the direction of a licensed physical therapist, you’ll help improve a patient mobility and reduce their physical limitations. You may coach patients through exercise programs, perform massages, or teach patients to use crutches or artificial limbs. Physical therapist assistants may help in treating patients with such disabilities as lower-back pain, heart disease, fractures, arthritis, head injuries and cerebral palsy.
Physical and occupational therapist assistants can usually find employment in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, outpatient clinics, fitness centers, acute care facilities, nursing homes, and sports training facilities. As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities and venues for work in these areas.
But keep in mind, you’ll be competing for these jobs with other wannabe therapy assistants, retired teachers, and college graduates who may not be able to find traditional teaching jobs. Many states are trimming teaching staffs and have moratoriums on hiring.
If you’re eager to put your teaching talents to work after retirement, look into the growing healthcare sector.
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