How An Occupational Therapist Salary Differs By Location

An occupational therapist salary is quite lucrative in comparison to the salaries of other health care workers. An occupational therapist is mainly concerned with therapy that helps patients regain their motor skills after a physical or mental trauma, or due to old age. depression The therapist has to plan and execute programs as per the requirements of each patient and it also involves teaching skills for using adaptive equipments.

Although a well paid profession, the salaries are not standard throughout the country and will depend on factors like location and the type of institution you are working for. For example the state of California has the highest average salary at $82,610, followed by Nevada at $81,310.

Furthermore, certain cities within the state have higher salary structure then other areas. If we again take the example of California, places like Redwood City and San Mateo pay a salary of around $94,580 whereas areas like Oxnard and Ventura in the same state pay around $89,080.

The second factor impacting the increase of an occupational therapist salary is the type of establishment in which the professional works. These professionals are mainly needed in hospitals, nursing homes, health care centers, schools and other institutions.

Therapists in health care establishments and hospitals get relatively better pay than those who work in elementary or secondary schools. If we also see the spread of therapists working in different institutions; hospitals and health care centers account for more than half the total amount of OTs in employment today.

Taking the overall median salary of an OT working in hospitals and health care centers in the country, would be work out to about $70,680 per year; whereas the mean for therapists working in schools would amount to $61,590 in a year. This again is an overall perspective, as therapists employed in specialty schools are able to draw $75,260 annually on an average.

If you are planning to become an OT, these figures should be considered only as a broad guideline. Don't decide to move to another state just because it seems the salaries are better there. You also need to consider the demand in each area for occupational therapists and how fast you can land a job there.

Although California is the highest paying state at this moment, the numbers of occupational therapist positions are highest in the state of Massachusetts. Also need to consider the age group of patients you prefer to work with. If you're good with children and younger people, then schools would be the best placement for you.

Considering the overall prospects for an occupational therapist, the picture looks promising. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the demand for these professionals is likely to go up. Presently there are about 98,740 salaried therapists across the country and the requirement is going to be beyond 122,000 therapists by 2016.

Although there is a lesser chance of occupational therapist salary rising in the near future, due to the present economic situation, the demand for these professionals is steadily growing and there is good chance of finding employment in this field.

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