OT’s salary (occupational therapist) is around $75,000 in the United States. An OT, or occupational therapist, treats ill, injured, or disabled patients through various treatment methods, from exercises and activities to using special equipment, such as walkers. These therapists aim to help the patients get better at performing skills needed in their daily life and work. Many of them are employed in hospitals or occupational therapy offices, while others work in nursing homes, schools, home health services, and physician’s offices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cited that the average OT’s salary was around $75,400 in 2012, or around $36.25 per hour. Demand for OTs is estimated to grow by 29% from 2012 to 2022, mainly due to the nonstop need for treatment for people afflicted with disabilities and illnesses, such as cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’s, loss of a limb, or autopsy. Keep reading for more information about OT salary and career requirements.
OT job description
OTs monitor patients as they perform tasks, learn more about their condition, and assess their medical history. They also look into their condition and needs to create a treatment plan for the patients, which should include different activities and goals. OTs also assist people with different disabilities and give them different tasks. They demonstrate exercises, such as joint stretches, to help patients manage their pain. It is also a part of an OT’s job to assess the home and workplace of the patients and suggest possible improvements, such as putting labels on the cabinets and containers in the kitchen to help patients with poor memory. The patient’s family and even the employer are also educated about how to help care for the patient. OTs may also recommend eating aids, wheelchairs, and other special equipment when necessary, educating the patients on how to use the said equipment in the process.
How much does an OT make ?
Average OT salary
The BLS reported that the average OT’s salary is around $77,890, while their average wage is around $37.45.
OT salary in the USA
According to Indeed.com, the average OT’s salary for therapists working in the US is $81,000. Salary.com, on the other hand, showed that their median pay is around $79,185, with the highest earners making at least $92,453 and the lowest earners taking home at most $66,380 per year.
PayScale reports that based on their survey, the OT salary ranges between $43,930 and $78,216. Their median pay is about $59,967. The base salary is further boosted by the addition of $4,948 in the form of a bonus and $986 in the form of profit shares. Based on the same report, an OT’s hourly rate is around $25.24 to $45.91, while overtime pay ranges from $20.13 to $66.39.
The starting salary for an entry-level OT ranges between $41,862 and $72,058, while that of a mid-career OT is between $43,404 and $82,906. An experienced OT’s salary ranges between $49,019 and $91,551, while a late-career OT makes between $48,924 and $95,232 per year.
Aside from years of experience, the skills of an OT also determine their salary. A Certified Hand Therapist earns an OT salary ranging between $50,251 and $86,162, while someone with geriatric experience make between $49,489 and $83,748 per year. An OT’s salary for someone skilled in home health and home care receives between $43,000 and $86,476, while a therapist with pediatrics skills takes home between $41,569 and $73,851 per year. An OT with rehabilitation skills receives an OT’s salary ranging between $43,930 and $78,216.
OT salary by city/state in the USA
The BLS report showed that Nevada is the best state for an OT to work in because this is where an OT salary averages around $112,120. The next best place to work in would be California, where earnings are typically around $89,620. The other top paying states to consider would be New Jersey, where the average OT salary is $88,170; Texas, $86,550’ and the District of Columbia, $85,970.
In comparing the OT’s salary by cities in the US, Las Vegas tops the list as OTs earn $109,880 in the city. Elizabethtown, Kentucky also made it to the top paying city for OTs as it pays these therapists around $109,150. The other cities with generous compensations include Sherman, Texas, where the average OT salary is $99,860; Stockton, California, where OTs make $90,190; and Carson City, Nevada, where they take home $98,690 per year.
OT assistant salary
OT assistants in the US earn around $55,250 per year, or $26.56 per hour, according to the BLS. The top earners make at least $74,510, while the lowest earners take home at most $34,870 per year. They are paid the highest in Nevada, where the average OT assistant’s salary is around $75,000.
OT starting salary
According to PayScale, the starting salary for OTs in the US ranges between $41,862 and $72,058. In addition to this, some employers may also give a bonus of up to $5,038 and profit shares of up to $509.
OT salary in Canada
Based on PayScale reports, OTs in Canada earn between C$38,677 and C$75,991, while their median pay is around C$59,488. Their wage is between C$25.64 and C$42.28.
According to Livingin-Canada.com, the typical OT’s salary for someone working full time ranges between C$67,000 and C$77,000. The highest hourly rate is earned in Calgary, Alberta at C$40.61, while the lowest is in Montreal, Quebec at C$17.25.
OT salary in Australia
OTs working in Australia receive a salary ranging between AU$41,739 and AU$71,388 per year, according to Payscale. The median OT’s salary is around AU$55,346. Bonus may amount to AU$5,101 from some employers. PayScale reported that their typical wage is around AU$22.02 to AU$39.94, with overtime rate ranging from AU$32 to AU$52.40. The starting OT’s salary ranges between AU$41,109 and AU$69,197.
According to CareerCentre Western Australia, OTs make between AU$500 and AU$2,000 per week. But this is also determined by the OT’s experience, employer, and demand for their services.
OT salary in the UK
The National Careers Service cited that the starting OT salary is at least £31,288. But with experience, this may increase to between £25,500 and £34,500 per year. Senior OTs, on the other hand, may earn as much as £40,000 as their OT salary.
According to Prospects UK, the typical OT’s salary at entry-level ranges between £21,176 and £27,625 for being in Band 5. But as the OTs become a specialist, this could increase to Band 6, with a salary ranging between £30,460 and £40,15725,528 and £30,460 and £40,15734,189. An OT advanced may earn between £30,460 and £40,157.
OT salary in South Africa
OTs who are based in South Africa usually earn between R93,597 and R238,390. PayScale also showed their median OT salary to be around R146,991. Some employers may grant a bonus of up to R30,201.
How to become an OT
To become an OT, one often has to have a master’s degree in occupational therapy. But this program is only available to those with a bachelor’s degree and some coursework in physiology and biology. Master’s programs often last for two to three years, while doctoral programs are about three years. Both programs require the students to have 24 weeks or more of supervised fieldwork to gain clinical work experience. Aspiring OTs must pass the exam provided by the National Board for Certification in Occupation Therapists. Certifications are also offered by the American Occupational Therapy Association to those who want to specialize in mental health, pediatrics, and low vision.
Conclusion about OT salary
The OT salary is around $77,890. But their top earners make $109,380 or more, while their lowest earners only receive $51,310 or less.