Much like any other field of work, the average salary is going to vary widely based on the state in which you reside. Further, there are a variety of different types of medical facilities that an occupational therapist may choose to work in. For example, some occupational therapists work in schools, some work in a day clinic, others are hired on at nursing homes. Each of these specific jobs is going to have a different average salary.

How do You Become an Occupational Therapist?

Consider that in order to practice occupational therapy in all of the states with the exception of one you will need to earn a master’s degree. The fact that practicing occupational therapists must first earn their master’s degree seems to suggest that should also make a comparable salary.

Average Salary for Occupational Therapist

The average occupational therapist salary is around $85,000 per year. Again, you must remember that different parts of the country may fall above or below this average. Further, where you choose to work might also affect the amount of salary you are awarded each year.

Occupational therapy can sometimes be a tricky billing area for medical specialists. There are very strict restrictions when it comes to health insurance and their willingness to pay for certain services. Further, some patients may choose to forgo recommended occupational therapy if they are unable to pay out of pocket.

What this means for an occupational therapist’s salary is that when there is a change in the way the health insurance laws are governed there may be a rise or a fall in demand for occupational therapy services. For this reason, it is important to keep up with what is happening in the political world as it relates to health.

In different fields, there will be different salaries. For example, occupational therapists working in a school district make significantly less on average than those who are employed by a hospital. Check out this list of average salaries rounded up to the nearest thousand:

  • School District: $67,000
  • State or Local Hospital: $75,000
  • Local Doctor’s Office or Therapy Office: $78,000
  • Home Health/Traveling Therapist: $83,000
  • Nursing Home: $84,000

Final Thoughts

We can all agree that an occupational therapy career is a respectable career that is fairly well-paid. While occupational therapists can make a wide range of salaries, each of those specific fields has pros and cons to working within that area.