Occupational therapists play very important role in the recovery of patients from various disabling conditions or diseases. A lot of people nowadays suffer from disability problems affecting the capability to work and do basic functions every day. Occupational therapy is one of the main healthcare professions that help patients recover from these conditions as well as help them feel and become more capable.
With the increasing cases of patients of disabilities and disabling illnesses, and the growing population of aging baby boomers, more and more healthcare professionals focusing on rehabilitation and disability care like occupational therapists and physical therapists will be needed. Entering this profession will be a good choice not only for the good job opportunities but also for the good salary and the fulfillment of being able to help people who are in need.
Salary Scale And Outlook For Occupational Therapists
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income of occupational therapists employed in the country is around $73,820 for the year 2011. The highest paid 10% of occupational therapists earn annual income of approximately $104,350 while the lowest 10% earners earn average income of about $49,980. Hourly, occupational therapists receive an hourly wage of $35.39. The highest 10% earners earn an income of $50.00 per hour while the lower 10% receive about $24.03 per hour.
The income level of occupational therapists is one of the highest in the healthcare industry next to the salaries of physical therapists and higher than that of registered nurses. Future and aspiring occupational therapists can expect better job opportunities in the future with the 33% projected employment growth for occupational therapists from year 2010 to 2020. The employment growth will lead to about 145,200 job openings for occupational therapy professions.
Cities Offering Highest Salaries For Occupational Therapists
- Elizabethtown, Kentucky
According to the BLS report, registered occupational therapists working in the city of Elizabethtown in Kentucky earn an annual mean wage of $98,920, which is $25,100 higher than the average annual income of all occupational therapists employed in the country. OTs in Elizabethtown can earn an hourly mean wage of approximately $47.56.
- Las Vegas Paradise, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada is not only one of the top paying cities when it comes to physical therapy professions but this flourishing city is also the second highest paying metropolitan area for occupational therapy professions. Registered occupational therapists employed in this area earn an annual mean wage of $97,450 or $23,630 higher than the average annual income level for OT professionals in the whole country. OTs in Las Vegas earns an hourly wage of $46.85.
- Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
With an annual mean wage of $95,290, the city of Coeur d’Alene in Idaho is the third highest paying cities for occupational therapists in the whole country. Occupational therapists working in this area can earn $21,470 more than the average income of OTs in other places. The hourly mean wage offered in Coeur d’Alene is about $45.81.
- Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
Beaumont Port Arthur metropolitan area in the state of Texas is the 4th highest paying cities for occupational therapists offering an annual mean wage of $93,240 or about $44.83 hourly mean wage. The salary offered in the city is approximately $19,420 higher than the overall OT average income.
- Stockton, California
Registered occupational therapists employed in Stockton City, California receive annual mean wage of approximately $93,050, an income $19,230 higher than the annual average income for all OTs working in the country. Occupational therapists can earn an hourly wage of $44.74.
- Dallas Plano Irving, Texas Metropolitan Division
Occupational therapists working in Dallas-Plano-Irving metropolitan area in Texas can earn an annual mean wage of $92,340 which is $18,520 higher than the annual average income for OTs for the whole country. The hourly mean wage offered in this area is about $44.40.
- San Francisco San Mateo Redwood City California Metropolitan Division
The annual mean wage offered in this city for occupational therapists is $90,770, still higher than the annual average income of occupational therapists with an hourly mean wage rate of $43.64.
- Amarillo, Texas
Cities in Texas are not only some of the highest paying cities for physical therapists but also for occupational therapy professions. OTs working in Amarillo City in Texas earns an annual mean wage of $90,770 with an hourly mean wage of $43.64. That is about $16,950 higher than the annual average income.
- Visalia Porteville, California
A lot of metropolitan areas in the state of California offer high salaries of occupational therapists including the metro area of Visalia Porteville where occupational therapists receive an annual mean wage of $90,140, which is about $16,320 higher than the overall annual average income.
- Salinas, California
Another high-paying city in California for occupational therapists is the city of Salinas where occupational therapists earn an annual mean wage of $89,710, about $15,890 higher than the overall average income of OTs in the country. The hourly mean wage offered for OTs is $43.13.
Top Paying States And Industries For Occupational Therapists
When it comes to top paying states in general, the state of Nevada tops the list. According to the US BLS report, occupational therapists working in the state of Nevada earn an annual mean wage of $94,800 a figure $20,980 higher than the overall annual average income for all OTs working in the country. Next is the District of Columbia with an annual mean wage of $85,120.
Other top paying states in the country for occupational therapists are the states of Texas, California, and New Jersey. Getting a job from these cities and states will definitely provide you higher income opportunities especially occupational therapy jobs in the home health care services industry.
When it comes to high paying industries, the home health care services tops the list, which is only 3rd when it comes to physical therapy professions. Registered occupational therapists can also earn higher salaries in the employment services industry, nursing care facilities, and the community care facilities for the elderly. Benefits and incentives may vary from company to company, or employer and company size but most occupational therapy jobs come with a benefit package worth $20,000 or more per year.