How Much Do Occupational Therapists Make? (2023)

Per Year
Per Hour

How Much Do Occupational Therapists Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that occupational therapists make a median annual income of $85,570 or $41 per hour. The lowest 10% of occupational therapists earned less than $60,680 and the highest 10% earned more than $123,840.

Do Occupational Therapists Get Paid Well?

Occupational Therapists are paid well—they earn more than the average worker in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for occupational therapists is $85,570 per year. This is 104% more than the average salary for all occupations, which is $45,760.

How Much Do Occupational Therapists Make Starting Out?

The BLS does not provide average compensation data for entry-level positions for occupational therapists just starting out, but the bottom 25% of occupational therapists earn $75,710 each year according to the BLS.

How Many Occupational Therapists Are There In The United States?

In 2021, there were 131,600 occupational therapists in the United States. The BLS predicts the number of occupational therapists will increase by 17%, approximately 23,000 jobs, by 2030.

Where Can Occupational Therapists Earn The Most?

Occupational Therapists' salaries depend on location and work setting. According to the BLS, occupational therapists earn the most in the following industries: offices of other health practitioners, general medical and surgical hospitals and elementary and secondary schools. The metropolitan areas with the highest pay for occupational therapists are:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - $121,190
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA - $113,210
  3. Santa Rosa, CA - $113,190

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’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.

Program outcomes may vary depending on each institution's specific curriculum and employment opportunities are not guranteed.