School-Based Occupational Therapist Salary (United States)

More than half of School-Based Occupational Therapists in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $43,278 to $98,261 per year, but standard earnings come to around $60,092 annually. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Although about a third lack health benefits of any kind, a majority do enjoy medical insurance, and about half get dental coverage, too. Most School-Based Occupational Therapists report high levels of job satisfaction. This outline is derived from replies to PayScale's 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.

School-Based Occupational Therapist Job Listings

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Just a handful of professional skills are reported by School-Based Occupational Therapists who took the survey. Those who have experience with Sensory Integration can expect to be compensated well for these skills, typically earning 3 percent more than the national average, respectively.

Pay by Experience Level for School-Based Occupational Therapist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
School-Based Occupational Therapists with less experience do not necessarily bring home smaller paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to have little impact on salary. Salary growth can be slow for School-Based Occupational Therapists who are just starting out. During their first decade on the job, pay typically only increases from $56K to $58K. Between 10 and 20 years, pay reaches $63K. As School-Based Occupational Therapists reach two decades on the job, salary growth continues, albeit at a slower pace, with pay averaging $66K. The largest number of School-Based Occupational Therapists have one to 10 years of experience, followed by those with 10 to 20 years. Workers who have been working for more than 20 years are the least common.

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.
School-Based Occupational Therapists will find that Orlando offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 15 percent. School-Based Occupational Therapists will also find cushy salaries in Boston (+4 percent). Falling short of the national average by 14 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Buffalo. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and Chicago (-7 percent and -4 percent, respectively).

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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%