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School-Based Occupational Therapist Salary (United States)

School-Based Occupational Therapists in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with a little over a half bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $54K per year on average but can range from $43K to $98K per year. Geography and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and roughly one in three lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by more than half and dental coverage is claimed by around half. Most School-Based Occupational Therapists report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview are derived from responses to the PayScale salary survey.
School-Based Occupational Therapist Salary (?
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.
)
$40,789 - $72,495
(Median)
41K
48K
54K
63K
72K
MEDIAN: $54,024
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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School-Based Occupational Therapist Salary (?
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.
)
$26.56 - $61.87
(Median)
27
32
40
49
62
MEDIAN: $40
10%
25%
50%
75%
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$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$40,789 - $72,495  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,024  
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).
)
$43,278 - $98,261  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 344
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
$26.56 - $61.87  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $67.17  
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 - $1,024  
   
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).
)
$43,278 - $98,261  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 174
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Job Description for School-Based Occupational Therapist

As the field of special education evolves, it is becoming better understood how to evaluate the skills of special needs students; as such, schools are increasingly taking steps to help special needs students with their unique learning challenges and in obtaining necessary skills. School-based occupational therapists focus on two primary areas: assisting special needs students get the most out of their education through various programs and preparing students to lead productive and independent lives by helping them learn vital personal and self-maintenance skills; when possible, these therapists also help students learn skills that will help them find a job after they complete their education. This position requires direct interaction with the students, as well as the development and implementation of educational plans with instructors, administrators, and parents.
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School-Based Occupational Therapist Tasks
  • Test and evaluate patients' physical and mental abilities and analyze medical data to determine rehabilitation goals for patient.
  • 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.
  • Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs and coordinate with other therapeutic activities.
  • Record prognosis, treatment, response and progress in patient's chart or computer database.

Occupational Therapist (OT) Job Listings

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School-Based Occupational Therapists usually report a few specific skills. Sensory Integration and Pediatrics are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay.

Pay by Experience Level for School-Based Occupational Therapist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. During the first five years of their careers, School-Based Occupational Therapists see a median income of $56K. Survey respondents with five to 10 years of experience report an only modestly higher median of $58K. School-Based Occupational Therapists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $63K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $66K. Those with more than 20 years of experience are scarcest in the field. School-Based Occupational Therapists typically report having spent one to 10 years on the job, with those with 10 to 20 years following close behind.

Pay Difference By Location

Orlando
up arrow 15%
Boston
up arrow 4%
National Average
$60,000
Chicago
up arrow 4%
Atlanta
up arrow 7%
Buffalo
up arrow 14%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Orlando offers some of the highest pay in the country for School-Based Occupational Therapists, 15 percent above the national average. School-Based Occupational Therapists will also find cushy salaries in Boston (+4 percent). In Buffalo, salaries are 14 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in Atlanta (7 percent lower) and Chicago (4 percent lower).

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Experience Affects School-Based Occupational Therapist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 9%
Experienced
up arrow 5%
National Average
$60,000
Mid-Career
up arrow 3%
Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Skills That Affect School-Based Occupational Therapist Salaries

Sensory Integration
up arrow 3%
Pediatrics
up arrow 1%
National Average
$60,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 98 votes.

Gender

Female
97%
female alumni
 
Male
3%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
21%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
36%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 67% dental benefits Dental: 49%
vision benefits Vision: 35% employee benefits None: 32%