Occupational Therapy Salaries

When you are learning about different healthcare professions and are considering a career as an occupational therapist, you may be seeking out occupational therapist salary information and occupational therapist salaries to compare pay scales for various positions. This type of information usually isn't listed in the occupational therapist job description, but it will likely be discussed near the end of your interview. Keep in mind that occupational therapist salaries vary significantly by region, employer and are dependent on several other factors.

Average Occupational Therapist Salary Information

The median expected occupational therapist salary in the United States is $73,300. The range for occupational therapist salaries is from $62,000 to $85,500 and this is largely depending on the employer, the geographical location of the position, and the level of education and training the occupational therapist has received. Several other factors come into play when determining the occupational therapist salary.

Occupational therapists do acquire a specific set of skills during their training and education program. Unlike physical therapists, occupational therapists learn how to help patients regain mobility and strength after an accident or injury, so that they can perform their work-related tasks without pain. They also work with patients who have permanent disabilities. Occupational therapists must be familiar with standard concepts and practices within their field, and become certified as an occupational therapist after getting their bachelor's degree.

Employment of occupational therapists is expected to grow much faster than the average. This could have a positive effect on the occupational therapist salary potential.

Factors that Affect Occupational Therapist Salaries

Several factors affect occupational therapist salaries, so your actual salary may be much higher or significantly lower than the average or median in your area. Some of the key factors affecting an occupational therapist salary include:

  • Extent of experience in the field
  • Level of education completed
  • Any advanced training or specializations
  • Geographic location of the employer
  • Any travel involved with the position
  • Types of patients the therapist is working with
  • Setting of the position - e.g., mental health clinic, elderly care home, general hospital or a private clinic

Increasing Your Occupational Therapist Salary

Being certified and having a bachelor's degree in a related field are essential for earning at least the average occupational therapist salary in your state. There are several ways to increase your occupational therapist salary over the course of your career. Keep in mind that occupational therapists working in a mental health clinic, private clinic or in a senior living facility often earn higher than average occupational therapist salaries because they have specialized knowledge and advanced skills or experience working with a particular type of patient.

Some occupational therapists work as independent contractors for more than one employer, which means they may be able to earn a higher occupational therapist salary than those who work for a single employer or healthcare facility. Occupational therapists may offer services such as educational workshops, training or certain types of services independently, which could also increase their income and overall occupational therapist salary.