For many Occupational Therapists in the NHS, or around the world there are various career options on offer to help develop skills, build a career and maintain Continuing Professional Development (CPD). One of those options is becoming a Locum OT.

For many, a move into becoming a Locum for the NHS, or a Private Healthcare provider can create the flexibility, personal development and freedom that they desire. We’ve collated some of those reasons.

Here are 5 reasons why many make the transition to Locum work.

• It can greatly increase your experience levels in various specialisms in Occupational Therapy.

• As you may know, most OT’s progress through their careers and some tend to specialise in areas such as – Mental Health, Pediatrics, Neuro, Stroke, the list goes on. Becoming a locum can afford OT’s the option to pick and choose which areas they would like to either learn more about or develop, something that may not be easily achievable working a more permanent role.

• It means you can continue to work on the frontline, instead of going into more Senior / Management roles.

• As OT’s careers and experience form and grow, for many there may be an inevitable move into more senior positions. This may be due to the desire to increase salary, increase responsibility, but with this comes the reduction in time spent with patients on the front line, the reason that many get into the profession to help! Locum work is always very patient-focused but with other potential benefits over permanent.

• A higher hourly rate.

• OT Locums can command a higher hourly rate for Locum work, with many experienced OT locums commanding anywhere between £28 and £40 per hour (In London, this hourly rate can increase up to XX). With this can come it’s own challenges, with the need to form your own business, manage your tax liabilities.

• The flexibility of hours and for some, flexibility to work in different countries and travel.

• Family life, other life commitments can mean for busy schedules. Many OT Locums thrive on the opportunity to work reduced hours, when they want, where they want. Avoiding the pressures that can sometimes be associated with full-time positions – as a locum, you complete your clinical work and then go home!. As well as this flexibility, it also affords people to work in other countries not native to their own. Many qualified Occupational Therapists from Australian and New Zealand enjoy working in the UK (Read our guide on how to start your International route to work in the UK) while travelling or gaining experience.

• Passing on your knowledge to more junior OT’s.

• Many Occupational Therapy Locums will have vast amounts of experience and potentially a great deal of specific knowledge within their specialism. Operating in new teams affords many OT’s abilities to share their knowledge and expertise with those less experienced than themselves. This in itself is such a rewarding benefit of working in the Occupational Therapy world.

We’d love to hear the reasons why you prefer to Locum as an Occupational Therapist. Do any of the above reasons resonate with you?

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation on our Instagram or LinkedIn accounts.

Perhaps you are about to begin your journey into the world of Occupational Therapy Locum work and need some advice or representation?

Get in touch or register with us.

Our specialist OT team are always happy to field your questions including a detailed report into ‘What Makes a top Occupational Therapist’, which you can download here.