HealthJob is supported by readers. Some of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

How Much Do Occupational Therapists Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupational therapists earn a median annual pay of $86,280. The data derived in 2020 also reported that the occupational therapist salary per hour is $41.48. Occupational therapists in the lowest 10 percent income bracket earned less than $57,330. High earners in the highest 10 percent group make more than $122,670.

A chart showing the average salary of occupational therapists, $86,280.

Do Occupational Therapists Get Paid Well?

Occupational therapists earn higher than other workers in the healthcare diagnostics and treatment industry. Based on the May 2020 data of the BLS, occupational therapists make an annual income of $86,280. This value is slightly higher (2.2%) than the yearly wages of healthcare diagnosing or treating practitioners who earn $84,430 annually. Occupational therapists make more than other professionals. Occupational therapists earn more than twice the annual salary of the average worker in the United States, $86,280 versus $41,950.

How Much Do Occupational Therapists Get Paid Starting Out?

An occupational therapist at the 25th percentile earns $70,880 per year. However, the BLS does not provide data regardingthe average entry-level occupational therapist salary. 

How Many Occupational Therapists Are There In The United States?

The BLS estimates that there are 126,610 occupational therapists in the United States with its highest employment levels in places such as Offices of Other Health Practitioners, General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Elementary and Secondary Schools, Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities), and Home Health Care Services. 

States such as New York (10,560), California (9,840), Texas (8,790), Pennsylvania (7,070), and Florida (6,820) are the land areas with the highest employment level in Occupational Therapists. 

Locations that give the highest amount of annual OT salary include Nevada ($ 111,270), California ($ 101,080), Arizona ($ 99,950), New Jersey ($ 98,750), and District of Columbia ($ 96,330). 

Is Going to Occupational Therapy School Worth It?

There is an increasing demand of 17% for occupational therapists from 2020 to 2030 that does not happen in other job categories. BLS projected about 10,1000 openings for occupational therapists every year to replace OTs who decided to have a career shift, an exit in the labor force, or retirement. 

Amidst this surge of demand, one should examine if Occupational Therapy is their best choice and consider the average Occupational Therapist's salary, job responsibilities, educational requirements, and job requirements. 

Yes, becoming an occupational therapist comes with exciting salary packages. However, it requires candidates to be efficient in their day-to-day tasks

In general, occupational therapists treat and assist injured, ill, or disabled patients through regular administration of therapeutic activities. Occupational therapists formulate realistic rehabilitation goals for patients and utilize tests and evaluation strategies assessing a patient's physical and mental states and abilities. Planning, selection, and implementation of social programs that patients can use in school, work, and other social situations come next. In addition, occupational therapists complete and maintain the necessary records that other medical practitioners need in further treating the patient.

To further learn more on certificate renewal and exam preparation for Occupational Therapy, visit the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy website. For occupational therapy job listings with corresponding job descriptions in your state or area, visit HealthJob.org’s occupational therapist job board.

How Much Do Cccupational Therapists  Earn in Each State?

The table below compares occupational therapist salaries across states and U.S. territories (Source: BLS Occupational Employment and Wages May 2020). You can also find data for the number of occupational therapists in each state as well as the number of occupational therapists per 1,000 jobs—a figure that can help you determine the job's popularity in a given location. Not all locations have employment statistics.

Occupational Therapist Salary
Location
Annual Salary
in location
Employment
In location
Employment per 1,000 jobs
New Jersey
$97,490
4070
1.075
District of Columbia
$96,980
360
0.525
Arizona
$94,510
2190
0.774
Alaska
$94,020
270
0.922
Rhode Island
$93,580
520
1.167
Virginia
$93,260
2940
0.794
Oregon
$92,610
1320
0.730
Oklahoma
$91,370
820
0.524
Connecticut
$90,480
2470
1.603
Georgia
$89,290
2960
0.687
Colorado
$89,070
3380
1.309
Mississippi
$88,820
830
0.770
Hawaii
$88,310
300
0.516
Florida
$88,220
6820
0.808
Louisiana
$87,820
1610
0.893
Washington
$87,680
2590
0.812
Texas
$87,140
8790
0.726
Kansas
$87,080
1490
1.118
Alabama
$86,960
1140
0.599
Maryland
$86,610
3230
1.279
Ohio
$86,120
5980
1.164
Massachusetts
$85,620
4350
1.299
West Virginia
$85,010
450
0.687
Tennessee
$84,970
2250
0.775
New York
$84,760
10560
1.215
Idaho
$84,570
620
0.860
Utah
$84,390
730
0.489
Illinois
$83,000
5820
1.035
New Mexico
$82,710
630
0.804
South Carolina
$82,600
1630
0.807
Arkansas
$82,430
1200
1.021
Indiana
$82,130
3180
1.090
Pennsylvania
$81,380
7070
1.283
North Carolina
$81,370
3390
0.790
Iowa
$80,750
920
0.622
New Hampshire
$80,720
1000
1.608
Delaware
$79,940
550
1.296
Missouri
$79,680
2180
0.808
Nebraska
$79,100
940
0.997
Wyoming
$78,990
210
0.806
Kentucky
$78,960
1550
0.870
Montana
$77,730
360
0.790
Wisconsin
$77,410
3180
1.174
Minnesota
$77,250
2840
1.048
Michigan
$76,370
4400
1.121
Vermont
$75,330
190
0.661
North Dakota
$74,430
470
1.164
South Dakota
$73,850
390
0.941
Maine
$72,550
810
1.412
Puerto Rico
$35,110
290
0.355
Nevada
$105,440
850
0.681
California
$103,200
9840
0.599