Occupational Therapist (OT) Salary

The average Occupational Therapist in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $34.84 per hour. Pay generally varies between $26.18 per hour and $46.21. Geographic location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The vast majority (82 percent) of Occupational Therapists who took the survey are female. Medical benefits are awarded to a fair number, and more than half earn dental coverage. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$46,686 - $80,725
(Median)
$47K
$62K
$81K
MEDIAN: $62,455
10%
50%
90%

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$26.18 - $46.21
(Median)
$26
$35
$46
MEDIAN: $34.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$31K$62K$93K
Salary
$46,686 - $80,725  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,108  
Profit Sharing
$25.00 - $700  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$50,519 - $92,180  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 747
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$23$46$69
Hourly Rate
$26.18 - $46.21  
   
Overtime
$5.21 - $67.24  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,108  
   
Profit Sharing
$25.00 - $700  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$50,519 - $92,180  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 826
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Job Description for Occupational Therapist (OT)

An occupational therapist (OT) specializes in certain therapies that are intended to relate directly with improving a person's ability to function in daily living and working activities. OTs frequently aid patients in recovering their motor skills and they may help them learn how to once again independently dress themselves, cook, use a computer, write, and many different activities requiring strength and dexterity of the hands and fingers.

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Occupational Therapist (OT) Tasks

  • Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs and coordinate with other therapeutic activities.
  • Help clients improve decision making, abstract reasoning, memory, sequencing, coordination and perceptual skills using computer programs.
  • Select and recommend activities that will help individuals learn work and life-management skills consistent with their needs and capabilities.
  • Record prognosis, treatment, response and progress in patient's chart or computer database.
  • Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs and coordinate with other therapeutic activities.

Common Career Paths for Occupational Therapist (OT)


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Occupational Therapists do not often transition into Rehabilitation Director roles. The role averages $87K per year. Occupational Therapists most often move into positions as Licensed Registered Occupational Therapists or Registered Occupational Therapists; those groups report median salaries that are $2K higher and $2K higher, respectively.

Occupational Therapist (OT) Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Occupational Therapist (OT)


Survey results suggest that Occupational Therapists put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in Home Health/Home Care, Geriatrics, Certified Hand Therapist, and Rehabilitation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 10 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Pediatrics. It is often found that people who know Geriatrics are also skilled in Acute Care and Pediatrics.

Pay by Experience Level for Occupational Therapist (OT)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Occupational Therapists with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $64K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $73K. Occupational Therapists with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $78K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $82K.

Pay Difference by Location


Seattle offers some of the highest pay in the country for Occupational Therapists, 18 percent above the national average. Occupational Therapists will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+8 percent), Dallas (+5 percent), Cleveland (+5 percent), and Philadelphia (+3 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 10 percent south of the national average, can be found in Columbus. Employers also pay below the national average in Houston (4 percent lower) and Denver (3 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Occupational Therapist (OT) Salaries




National Average
$68,000


Skills That Affect Occupational Therapist (OT) Salaries



Certified Hand Therapist (CHT)
up arrow 4%

Rehabilitation
up arrow 3%

Orthopedics
up arrow 3%

National Average
$68,000

Acute Care
up arrow 2%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 123 votes.

Gender

Female
82 %
Male
18 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
20%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
14%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 79% dental benefits Dental: 65%
vision benefits Vision: 53% employee benefits None: 19%
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