Occupational therapy: career and salary variation factors

Occupational Therapy is an evidence-based health program and a fulfilling career. As a therapist, you can help and treat people of all ages with physical, cognitive, and mobility impairments. It can help infants, toddlers, and adults lead productive, meaningful, safe, and quality lives in the environment in which they live. With your support, these individuals can independently perform the functions necessary for their activities of daily living (ADL), manage homes, and participate in their communities.


Bright career prospects, attractive salaries, and easy employment opportunities combine to make Occupational Therapy the fastest growing career. There is a greater demand for these health professionals in a variety of settings because they help people with disabilities and impairments to recover and develop the skills necessary to perform daily activities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), May 2015, their jobs will grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, and 30,400 more professionals will be required in all settings. In the same period, the employment of therapy assistants will grow 40 percent. Workplaces for both professionals include public and private hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, doctor’s offices, adult day centers, schools, home health services, orthopedic centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes , community centers, psychiatric centers and Scientific Research and Development Services.


There is a significant increase in the demand for these health professionals in recent years. The growth in demand is also one of the main reasons for the increase in salaries and career opportunities in Occupational Therapy. According to the BLS, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2015, his median annual wage was $ 81,690, his median annual wage – $ 80,150, and his median hourly wage – $ 80,150. The annual percentile salary ranged from $ 66,040 to $ 116,030. Factors responsible for wage variation include location, work experience, population, and environment.

Population density

The demand for occupational therapists is greatest in these densely populated towns and cities because these areas have growing patient populations, facilities, and employment opportunities.

Work experience

After a few years of work experience, these healthcare professionals can earn higher pay than their counterparts with little or no work experience.


Working in cities and metropolitans can earn them attractive salaries because these areas have a larger patient population, a greater number of settings, and a growing demand for these professionals. In the US, the metropolitans that pay the most salaries for this occupation are Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach Longview, Waco, Beaumont-Port Arthur, and Beaumont-Port Arthur.


Compensation for therapists is not uniform across settings because few settings pay better salaries than others. Skilled nursing facilities, scientific research and development services, and home health care services are the best centers that pay salaries compared to doctors’ offices, schools, hospitals, and other settings.


The salary structure is also not the same in every state in the US, but it varies widely based on factors such as population, number of patients, settings, demand and supply, job opportunities, and cost of living. . The remuneration even differs in towns, cities and metropolitan areas of the same state.

According to OES, May 2015, the top five paying states for this occupation were Nevada, $ 98,930, Texas $ 94,360, New Jersey $ 89,960, California, $ 88,850, and DC $ 87,400.

Occupational therapists should keep these points in mind when looking for work because these factors can influence their salaries. They should also remember that each US state has its own rules and regulations for education, licensing, and jobs, and they must complete these requirements before applying for a job in that particular state.

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