Occupational therapy is all about helping patients who are suffering from disabilities or illnesses caused by physical, emotional, or psychological problems, accidents, or aging to improve their ability to perform daily tasks at home and at work. Therapists in this area facilitate various methods to treat the patients, including exercises, activities, and special equipment. They may also help patients and earn their occupational therapy salary by changing the patient’s environment to help them regain their independence in moving about and functioning. The median pay in 2010 for those working in the field of occupational therapy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, was $72,320 a year. The employment outlook cited by the same organization is a 33% increase in job demand, a rate faster than the average rate of other jobs in the US. Read more about occupational therapy salary and educational requirements.
The main goal of an occupational therapy expert is to treat patients with illnesses, injuries or disabilities by letting them perform daily activities. It is a part of their occupational therapy salary to conduct several duties, starting with monitoring the patients as they perform tasks, ask them questions, and review their medical history to assess the overall condition and requirement of the patients. Occupational therapists also develop a treatment plan for their patients with goals and specific activities laid out. They help patients accomplish various tasks, such as assisting an autistic child during play time or teaching an elderly with a poor memory to be computer literate. Patients with chronic conditions are also aided in exercising to relieve their pain, such as in the case of arthritis sufferers who need joint stretches. It is also the therapists’ responsibility to assess the home or office to make sure that it is suitable for the patient and to teach the family, employer and co-workers of the patient on how to look after the disabled or ill and how to accommodate that disability. In occupational therapy, eating aids or wheelchairs might be necessary so the therapists might recommend these special equipment as well.
Average occupational therapy salary
The average occupational therapy wage, based on the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics, is $36.73. This translates to around $76,400 a year in average salary.
Occupational therapy salary in the USA
The occupational therapy’s salary, based on PayScale reports in the US, ranges from $50,126 to $92,882, with the median salary being $68,285. The hourly rate is in the range of $25.36 to $46.27 with an overtime pay of up to $67.29. Bonuses may reach up to $3,005.
Experience is one of the determining factors of an occupational therapy salary. Therapists who are just starting off can receive an annual pay between $44,236 and $70,627. Those with one to four years’ experience can take home around $70,465 to $76,545, all based on PayScale reports. The occupational therapy salary for therapists with five to nine years in the business ranges from $40,000 to $82,424, while that of therapists with 10 to 19 years is reported to be between $50,320 and $89,615. But the highest compensation of all goes to therapists with at least 20 years of experience working in the field, with an occupational therapy’s salary of $57,993 to $98,832.
Occupational therapists can choose to master several specialties or skills and this also determines how much the occupational therapy salary is going to be. According to PayScale, a Certified Hand Therapist is the highest paid specialist in this field with an annual pay ranging from $50,868 to $92,000, followed by a home care therapist with a salary between $42,085 and $87,586. Occupational therapists in rehab and pediatrics are next up with a salary ranging from $44,958 to $80,522, respectively. Therapists in geriatrics take home a yearly pay of $44,834 to $77,571; those in orthopedics receive around $43,873 to $77,259; and those in acute care get a salary of $43,028 to $70,217.
Gender-wise, the occupational therapy salary for males is higher at around $50,355 to $87,796. Female therapists, on the other hand, receive an annual pay between $49,081 and $80,184.
It matters whom an occupational therapist is working for when it comes to payday. The highest paying employer, according to PayScale surveys, would be the private companies since they pay around $45,302 and $82,244. The other high paying employers are private practice at $50,768 to $82,108; federal government at around $64,470 to $80,779; state and local government at $30,521 to $81,000, and non-profit organizations at $49,365 to $80,537.
Occupational therapy salary by state and city in the US
Based on PayScale reports, the occupational therapy’s salary is the highest in the US in the state of California, with the annual pay ranging from $50,335 to $96,775. This is followed by Florida that pays occupational therapists around $57,657 to $$87,586; Pennsylvania pays between $$49,296 and $$86,088; and Texas compensates therapists with a yearly pay of $53,319 to $86,027.The occupational therapy’s salary in New York is between $39,732 to $80,537, the salary in Illinois ranges from $38,783 to $77,281, and the salary in Tennessee is between $53,237 and $70,000.
Occupational therapy assistant salary
The BLS reported that the average occupational therapy assistant salary as of May 2012 was $53,090, or $25.52 per hour. The lowest 10% of the therapists earned lower than $32,790, while the top 10% earned more than $73,120 per year. The median pay was around $53,240 per year. Read more about about occupational therapy assistant salary.
The certified occupational therapy assistant salary ranges from $36,648 to $70,534. Certified therapists earn more than their non-certified counterparts.
Pediatric occupational therapy salary
PayScale reports cited that the pediatric occupational therapy’s salary to be in the range of $48,810 to $93,687. The median pay is around $64,356 per year. The basic salary is actually around $46,178 to $77,483, if the bonus of up to $1,788 is excluded.
Occupational therapy aide salary
The occupational therapy aide salary as of May 2012, according to the BLS, was $29,870, or $14.36 per hour, on the average. This is so much lower than that of an occupational therapist’s annual pay. The top earning 10% takes home more than $47,880 per year, while the lowest 10% receive less than $18,030 per year.
Masters in occupational therapy salary
PayScale reports for the masters in occupational therapy salary put it in the range of $48,186 to $83,500.
Doctor of occupational therapy salary
A doctorate degree in the field of occupational therapy is not the minimum requirement so a doctoral program graduate will likely have the same salary as an OT with a master’s degree. The only difference is that a doctoral level graduate OT can branch into medical leadership. Based on BLS’ 2010 data though, the top earners in occupational therapy, including those with doctorate degrees, took home around $102,520. This is a huge leap from the starting salary of $48,920 during that time.
Home health occupational therapy salary
As of May 2010, the BLS reported the home health occupational therapy salary to be $79,570 on the average. Even as of May 2012, home health care services continued to be the highest paying industry for occupational therapists with an annual pay of $86,850. This is comparably higher than the occupational therapy’s salary for those working in nursing care facilities who received $83,180 and the pay in management, scientific, and technical consulting, which was reported to be $83,050.
Occupational therapy salary in Canada
The occupational therapy’s salary in Canada ranges between C$39,573 and C$85,005, with the basic salary being C$30,639 to C$75,590 and the bonus possibly reaching up to C$4,932. The median pay, according to PayScale, is C$62,613 per year.
Based on a therapist’s experience, the occupational therapy salary for someone who is just starting ranges from C$39,027 to C$58,133, while a therapist who has a bit more experience of one to four years in the field can take home C$25,532 to C$72,404. An occupational therapist with 10 to 19 years in the business is compensated around C$52,381 to C$75,300 per year.
The salary for professionals offering occupational therapy services is higher in Ontario than in British Columbia. The former ranges from C$30,410 to C$79,416, while the latter is between C$32,500 and C$62,400 per year.
Occupational therapy salary in Australia
According to PayScale, the occupational therapy salary for therapists working in Australia is between AU$41,706 and AU$81,245. Their median pay is at AU$58,294. The basic salary ranges from AU$41,009 to AU$73,727 but it is boosted by a bonus that may reach around AU$5,087.
A newbie occupational therapist, the annual pay ranges from AU$37,506 to AU$61,152 per year. A therapist with one to four years of experience gets between AU$40,614 and AU$70,042. The occupational therapy salary grows even bigger for someone with five to nine years in the business since it reaches the range of AU$42,215 to AU$79,295.
The highest paying industry for occupational therapy in Australia is the community mental health center, which pays around AU$42,500 to AU$79,183 per year. PayScale showed that this is followed by rehabilitation with an annual pay of AU$239,885 to AU$74,190. The other industries pay below AU$70,000, based on PayScale figures.
Occupational therapy salary in the UK
The average occupational therapy salary for professionals in the UK is categorized under Band 5, which has a salary range of £21,176 to £27,625. This is actually the starting salary for the therapists in this field. A specialist OT earns around £25,528 to £34,189, which is already at Band 6. Advanced OTs are paid between £30,460 and £40,157, which is Band 7. A registered occupational therapist can rake in around £20,434 to £33,739 a year, based on PayScale reports.
Occupational therapy salary in South Africa
The salary for an occupational therapist working in South Africa ranges from R116,794 to R247,151. PayScale noted down the median pay to be R179,55 per year. Occupational therapists actually receive a basic salary of R115,314 to R239,199, but a bonus of up to R23,757 usually raises it to a bigger total pay.
The occupational therapy salary for a starting therapist with less than four years of experience is in the range of R115,314 to R204,212. It’s a bit higher for someone who has been around for five to nine years, an annual pay of about R141,499 to R244,168.
To become an occupational therapist, one needs to at least have a master’s degree, which can qualify an applicant to take an exam, pass it and get a license. Most professionals in this field take up a master’s degree in occupational therapy, although there are also available doctoral programs. During the undergraduate level, there are various majors that can prepare those who are aspiring to be occupational therapists, such as psychology, kinesiology, biology, sociology, anthropology, and more. To get accepted to a master’s degree program, applicants should have a competitive GPA in these prerequisite courses. Volunteer work with disabled people is also a requirement. A master’s degree needs two years, when students will learn about social and medical conditions, functional anatomy, patient care concepts, assistive technology, and research methods. Fieldwork in nursing homes, rehab centers, acute hospital settings, private firms, and school systems is part of the program as well. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) conducts the exam, which determines if applicants will be given a state license or not.
As of May 2011, the BLS reported the average occupational therapy salary to be $79,470, or $36.05 per hour. This salary though was also cited to be below $49,980 or above $104,350 per year. On the other hand, the BLS reported the average physical therapy salary during the same period to be $79,830, or $38.38 per hour, which is only a bit higher than an occupational therapist’s salary. The compensation range varies as well. The bureau stated a PT’s salary could also be lower than $54,710 or higher than $110,670 per year. Read more about physical therapy salary.
The average occupational therapy salary in 2012 was $76,400, according to the BLS. The fact that the US population is aging and more seniors want to stay active even as they grow older would contribute to the rise in the demand for occupational therapists in the country.