Occupational Therapy Provider Jobs (+ Salary by State)

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapists help people who have physical or mental limitations with work and daily activities. The average salary for this position is $79,850 per year.

The “occupational therapy salary by state 2022” is an article that provides a list of the average salary for occupational therapists in each state.


Occupational therapists have a master’s or doctoral degree and have achieved state licensing after passing a national certification test. They work in a variety of contexts, including schools, hospitals, non-profits, private practice, and more.

In 2019, an occupational therapist’s average national pay was little over $86,000. This figure changes somewhat depending on where you live and how many years you’ve worked. Entry-level therapists make about $35 per hour, while professional therapists make more than $40 per hour.

What Is an Occupational Therapist and What Do They Do?

An occupational therapist (OT) is a clinician who has passed a national test and is licensed by the state to offer specialized therapy to children and adults. Occupational therapists (OTs) help individuals of all ages who are affected by disability, sickness, or accident who want to live more completely and independently.

Occupational therapy professionals assist clients in developing abilities that they are presently suffering with via the therapeutic use of interventions or activities. An occupational therapist’s purpose is to assist their clients in regaining or learning key everyday skills.

Occupational therapists effectively teach new skills to their clients by:

  • Conducting customer assessments on an individual basis.
  • Setting objectives with the person and their family.
  • Creating a personalized intervention strategy.
  • Consultation with educators and other clinicians with whom the client is working.
  • Providing activities for the client to work on outside of treatment.
  • Performing frequent reviews to ensure that the objectives are being accomplished.
  • If treatments are ineffective or objectives have been accomplished, the treatment plan should be updated, including the creation of new goals if necessary.

An occupational therapist (OT) assists clients in improving their cognitive, physical, social, and motor abilities. An occupational therapist may discover where a client is failing and how to assist them overcome those obstacles by observing how they study, play, care for themselves, and interact with their surroundings. To assist the client improve their abilities, a variety of interesting and engaging exercises are employed.

Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings.

Providers of occupational therapy operate in a range of contexts. Occupational therapy employment are available in a variety of contexts, including big corporations, school systems, and private offices.

Knowing your employment possibilities might assist you in deciding what kind of occupational therapy job you wish to do. The location has a big influence on the people you work with.

In order of most frequent to least common, below are the most prevalent OT work settings:

Occupational therapists who opt to work as independent consultants, work from home writing or blogging, build independent OT programs, or work for telehealth firms fall into the “other” category. Once you’ve earned your OT certification, you’ll be able to work in a number of settings to suit your personal and professional requirements.

Requirements for Occupational Therapists

There are fundamental prerequisites that must be accomplished before you may work as an occupational therapist, regardless of whatever context you choose to practice in. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, these qualifications equip persons to operate effectively as occupational therapy practitioners (AOTA).

To become a qualified occupational therapist, you must complete the following steps:

  • Complete an accredited master’s or doctorate degree program in occupational therapy education approved by the Accredited Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
  • Complete a guided practice experience or internship for a period of 24 weeks.
  • Pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) national certification test (NBCOT).
  • Submit an application for state licensure.

You must complete the aforementioned standards in order to properly establish your skill and capacity to operate in each function, whether you want to be an OT who is a practitioner, academic, management, advocate, consultant, or researcher.

State-by-State OT Salaries

Occupational therapists in the United States earned an average of $86,210 per year, or $41.45 per hour, in 2019. Occupational therapists may find well-paying jobs all around the nation, however typical compensation differ somewhat by state.

Based on May 2019 statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the top-paying states for occupational therapists:

  • $105,450 per year; $50.70 per hour in Nevada
  • $98,450 per year; $47.33 per hour in California
  • $96,820 per year in New Jersey; $46.55 per hour
  • $95,180 per year; $45.76 per hour in Arizona
  • Colombian District: $94,430 per year; $45.40 per hour

The following were the median average OT wages for all states in 2020:

How to Make More Money as an Occupational Therapist

If you want to earn more as an occupational therapist, consider your place of employment. Certain settings are likely to pay more than others. According to 2018 data presented by U.S. News & World Report, factors such as specialty, industry, and employer can impact your salary as an OT.

The following are the highest-paying jobs for occupational therapists, as well as their typical salaries:

OTs are paid less in early intervention programs and public schools than in the other settings. Some individuals are willing to accept lesser income in specific situations because working with children in educational settings may be very fulfilling. Some settings may also provide higher perks to compensate for the decreased pay.

The majority of occupational therapists work full-time. You increase your earning potential if you can meet your customers’ schedules by working some evenings and weekends.

With more years of experience, you may also anticipate your occupational therapy income to rise. The following are the average hourly pay for occupational therapy professionals based on years of experience:

Occupational Therapists’ Job Prospects

Occupational therapists have a bright career outlook from 2018 through 2028. Occupational therapy employment are predicted to expand by 18 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is much faster than the national average of 5% employment growth.

Occupational therapists will continue to be in great demand as a key modality of therapy for persons of all ages with a variety of requirements. Occupational therapy professionals will be in high demand throughout the nation as the baby boomer population ages and needs treatments to help them stay active and independent later in life. Occupational therapists assist the elderly with everyday routines such as eating, dressing, and bathing.

Furthermore, as the country’s autism incidence rises, so will the need for autism-related occupational therapy services. To satisfy this group’s particular combination of treatment demands, a rising number of occupational therapists will be required in schools, NGOs, and health-care settings.


The “occupational therapist salary” is the average annual salary for occupational therapists. The average annual salary in the United States of America is $76,000.

Frequently Asked Questions

What state pays occupational therapists the most?

A: California pays their Occupational Therapists the most.

What is the highest paying field in occupational therapy?

A: The highest paying field of occupational therapy is physical rehabilitation.

What state pays occupational therapists least?

A: The state that pays the least to occupational therapists is Nebraska, with an average pay of $41,000 per year.

Related Tags

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