Occupational Therapy Salary

What is the salary for an occupational therapist?

While the salary is greatly dependent on the geography of where that person is practicing, the field of occupational therapy tends to be very lucrative. Some settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes, pay better than others. Learn more about the occupational therapy degree.

Is this career in high demand?

Occupational therapy is a highly valued profession that is definitely in high demand. In fact, in many geographic regions there is a shortage of these professionals. Over time occupational therapy employment opportunities are expected to increase with the population aging and people living longer. It is likely that salaries will increase with the continued demand.

Job TitleBottom 10% Annual WageAnnual Median WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Occupational Therapists-U.S.5267078810112950
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

Job TitleProjected 2012-2022 Growth
Occupational Therapists-U.S.29%
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

What opportunities exist for career advancement in this field?

There are a variety of opportunities available for career advancement such as promoting into management or leadership positions, or even director positions, which involve managing other occupational and sometimes physical therapists. Occupational therapy supervisors are responsible for performing evaluations and conducting annual reviews for other occupational therapists. An individual could also advance to the head of rehabilitation where they are managing occupational therapist, physical therapists, and speech pathologists in a practice setting.

What personality traits make someone a good fit for this profession?

Perhaps above all else it is important for an occupational therapist to be compassionate; having a love of people and wanting to see them succeed. Being creative is also important in this field because when one technique or method does not improve a person or get them closer to achieving his/her goal, the occupational therapist must have the ability to think outside the box and come up with another method. It is also important to be both flexible in this field since oftentimes goals are not met within the desired timeframe. As with most fields, communication skills are essential, both in written form for charting and documentation, and in oral form when communicating with clients and other staff.

Learn more about the occupational therapy assistant.

What are the benefits of a job as an occupational therapist?

Occupational therapy is deemed as a profession that is highly desirable because it has a high level of job satisfaction, jobs are plentiful, salaries are lucrative, and there is a lot of opportunity for growth. In this field an individual is able to work in a variety of settings and focus on a specialty or a specific population if they so desire. There are also both full and part time jobs available in this field.

What are some of the challenges in this profession?

The job of an occupational therapist can be emotionally and physically taxing since these professionals work with people with special needs and disabilities. To be effective at this job one has to be emotionally strong. There can be some lifting of people in this profession, which can be hard on one's body, especially the back muscles.

Occupational Therapy Schools

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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Serving students in higher education since 1941.
            • Offers diplomas and degree programs in accounting, healthcare, and business. 
            • Uses a unique inverted curriculum that enables students to take core classes in their first year.
            • Provides flexible scheduling for students with four start times per year.
            • Has 36 campus locations across the United States, as well as online courses.
            • Formed program advisory boards to ensure that all course material stays up to date.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Began in 1899 as Draughon’s Practical Business College.
            • Features campuses that are heavily engaged in their respective communities, providing professional service from students and faculty.
            • Offers financial aid, scholarships, and counseling for both active and post-duty military students.
            • Has 15 campuses across the United States, as well as 4 art institutes in North Carolina and Texas.
            • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            Fortis Institute , Montgomery
            • Provides a 24/7 myCampusLink system that lets students access their records, e-mail, communicate with faculty, and more.
            • Designated a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Offers career education in nursing, dental, business, information technology, and more. 
            • Has 44 campus locations across 15 states, with online options as well.
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            • Financial Aid
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            • Provides flexible scheduling options are available; day, afternoon, and evening classes are available Monday through Saturday and terms begin in October, January, April, and June.
            • Offers bachelor’s, associate’s, and certificate programs in legal studies, business administration, healthcare, nursing, accounting, and more.
            • Assists students with various academic and career advising services.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
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            Keiser University Campus , Fort Lauderdale
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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