There are many reasons to seek a career in Occupational Therapy. One of the more pragmatic reasons is the pay. Occupational Therapist salaries are well above the median household income in the United States ($51,939/yr). The annual median pay for OTs is $80,150 per year and $38.54 per hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The weekly average salary is reported to be $1,990 by Indeed. Other sources such as SalaryExpert.com report average base salaries for Occupational Therapists of $77,699/yr and about $37/hr. Salary Expert goes on to calculate entry level Occupational Therapy salaries ($53,355/yr) vs senior level Occupational Therapy salaries ($92,720). This is very helpful when deciding whether a position is right for you and where you're at in your career.

Average pays, however, only tell a fraction of the story when it comes to the compensation of occupational therapists. The OT field is brimful of therapists and professionals who are invested in making patients more capable and active. Employment in this field is expected to grow by 27% over the next 8 eight years. While opportunities grow, however, wages and salaries remain greatly impacted by factors such as setting, experience, and location.

Working with a staffing company like Advanced Travel Therapy gives you the luxury of a recruiter who will help you balance all the factors to find perfect jobs that match great pay with awesome locations. This guide will help you make confident employment decisions by demystifying a few of the variables affecting earnings in the profession.

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Highest Paying Locations for OTs

How much do Occupational Therapists make in different states?

RankStateAnnual AverageHourly AverageSearch Jobs
1Nevada$101,870$48.98
2Texas$96,800$46.54
3New Jersey$91,660$44.07
4Virginia$91,450$43.97
5Connecticut$89,340$42.95
6California$89,160$42.87
7District of Columbia$89,040$42.81
8New York$86,940$41.80
9Colorado$86,420$41.55
10Maryland$86,170$41.43
11Delaware$85,930$41.31
12Arizona$85,470$41.09
13Massachusetts$85,280$41.00
14Ohio$84,910$40.82
15West Virginia$84,440$40.60
16Oregon$84,430$40.59
17Florida$84,150$40.46
18Tennessee$82,660$39.74
19Illinois$82,450$39.64
20Alabama$82,250$39.54
21Georgia$82,040$39.44
22Washington$81,670$39.27
23North Carolina$81,570$39.21
24Louisiana$81,510$39.19
25Mississippi$80,980$38.93
26Arkansas$80,850$38.87
27Rhode Island$80,610$38.75
28Utah$80,260$38.59
29Kentucky$80,110$38.51
30Kansas$79,810$38.37
31New Hampshire$79,740$38.34
32Oklahoma$78,620$37.80
33New Mexico$78,540$37.76
34Michigan$78,490$37.73
35Pennsylvania$78,420$37.70
36South Carolina$77,660$37.34
37Alaska$77,560$37.29
38Hawaii$77,280$37.15
39Indiana$76,360$36.71
40Nebraska$75,810$36.45
41Vermont$75,720$36.41
42Iowa$75,000$36.06
43Wyoming$74,360$35.75
44Missouri$74,170$35.66
45Idaho$72,260$34.74
46Minnesota$71,800$34.52
47Montana$70,980$34.13
48Wisconsin$67,710$32.55
49North Dakota$64,900$31.20
50Maine$64,620$31.07
51South Dakota$63,920$30.73

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Data from 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics

The U.S. News Best Jobs Rankings placed occupational therapy as #18, but also stated that 10% of the best-paid OTs made $116,030, whereas the lowest-paid made $53,250. Location is one of the major factors impacting this disparity in salaries. States and cities have different costs-of-living, demands, and wages. We recommend taking location into account and researching these elements during your job hunt to make educated decisions about the future. For the time being, here are some location stats to help get you started because there is no harm in aiming for the best!

Top 5 Paying States for OTs*

Nevada: $98, 930

Texas: $94,360

New Jersey: $89,960

California: $88,850

D.C.:   $87,400

Top 3 Paying Cities for OTs*

Longview, TX: $121,360

Daytona Beach, FL: $120,360

Waco, TX: $119,630

Top 3 Paying Non-Metropolitan Areas for OTs*

Big Thicket Region of Texas: $110,140

Coastal Plains Region of Texas: $103,900

Non-metropolitan areas of Connecticut: $96,410

*All figures are annual mean wages reported by bls.gov. Other states with high average Occupational Therapy salaries are Virginia, Connecticut, Colorado, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Arizona. Several other states such as Oregon, Washington, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana Tennessee, North Carolina and Ohio also have above average annual mean salaries for Occupational Therapists.

Setting Determines Pay

Setting is another factor that can influence how much you make as an Occupational Therapist. Actually, settings can basically impact everything. Hours, team dynamics, documentation, clinical interventions, patient population, and productivity are a few of the things that will shift between settings.

Every setting will have its ups and its downs, especially when it comes to earning potential. And since there are no hard and fast rules, there's some discrepancy in reports.  As a result, we have pulled information from multiple sources to help you better understand the differences in salaries across settings.

Top 3 Highest Paying Settings  for OTs

Scientific Research and Development Services: $122,500

Home Health: $91,860

Skilled Nursing Facilities:$88,760

*Averages reported by Bls.gov

Top 3 Highest Paying Settings/Specialties

Home Health: 13% above national average 

Geriatrics: 7% above national average 

Certified Hand Therapists: 5% above national average 

*Averages reported by Payscale.com

Traveling OTs Make Bank 

Although there are other factors that impact pay such as experience and education, traveling Occupational Therapists are able to try different settings and locations through multiple assignments. At Advanced Travel Therapy, every traveler is matched with a recruiter who helps him or her find the right job in the right setting and location. This not only leads to better compensation packages, but also allows OTs to gain experience and expertise within different facilities and populations.


Travel Benefits

  1. 100% Paid Medical Coverage

  2. Lucrative Pay

  3. 401k with Company Matching

  4. Customized Travel Packages

  5. Company-Paid Life Insurance

  6. Large Support Staff

  1. State Licensure Reimbursement

  2. Significant Referral Bonus

  3. Personal Recruiter

  4. Exceptional Customer Service (24 hours/day)

  5. Clinical Director

  1. Corporate Furnished Housing or Generous Lodging Per Diem

  2. Travel Expense Allowance

  3. Meals and Incidentals Stipend

  4. Professional & General Liability Coverage

Think Traveling May Be A Good Option? Ask us all your questions. We Got You.

Contact Us Today