I am an OT after retraining when I was 30. You get to find out loads about people, sit and chat to them, and then tell them what to do!! (well, kind of). If you're nosy and bossy like me it is the perfect job! In some roles, you can literally spend the working day talking to people, going out for a walk with them, helping them make a meal or go shopping....One of my placements at university involved 2 hours on a beach, walking along talking to the patient whilst eating an ice-cream - and this is a a proper job?!?!? How much better can you get? (OK, so you do have to write pages of notes too but still....)
You can work in so many areas, mental health, learning disabilities, community hospitals, prisons, refugee/homeless hostels, schools, GP surgeries......it's a really wide range of work.
I work in an acute general hospital, and although the work is fairly similar stuff day to day - basically helping assess people to see if they are able to be discharged and then working on what to do if not - the sheer variety of people means the work is never dull. There is also a weekend working rota but I have managed to pass off my shifts and only actually worked once in over 5 years - result!
Also in our hospital physios need to be on call for respiratory so often get called in overnight, OTs don't. Although I think that would only be an issue for more senior staff and presumably only applies to hospitals so might not be an issue for you.
Do you have any ideas what area you want to work in? You say you like children, that is hard to get into as so many want to work there (not me, I have enough of kids at home!) but I think for both professions, it is common to take a rotational post in a larger hospital as a starting job, and you might find you really love it - I did.
I'd recommend OT-- as more about the person and their environment in all senses of the word environment. if you're very much a peoples person you can get to know them better by facilitating their functioning in all kinds of different environments that are meaningful to them. ha this sounds like bollox wot I am writing but it makes sense to me:-) in my mind ot can be more varied but again i think i am talking bollox. both equally important professions etc etc.
I am going back into education after about 15 years (scary!!!) but I do not know which career to aim for...Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist? I am very much a peoples person, love getting to know people and helping them. Also love working with children. Does anyone which career path would be best for me? pros and cons of either? better career prospects, pay etc? I am so confused and I am prepared to put in the hard work and training involved for either. Any real advice is welcome. xx