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Lymphedema is a chronic debilitating condition involving fluid retention and swelling, usually in the arms or legs, due to a compromised lymphatic system. Lymphedema therapists are usually licensed physical or occupational therapists with a specialty in treating this disorder.
A lymphedema therapist helps patients decrease swelling and control pain with exercises, massage, compression techniques and other therapies.
Lymphedema therapists with 1 to 4 years experience are earning about $29.50 per hour median salary as of 2009, according to the PayScale salary survey website. Those with 10 to 19 years experience generally make about $33 per hour, or about $69,000 annually.
Physical vs. Occupational Therapist
Average salary for all physical therapists in 2008 was about $36 per hour or $74,000 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Average salary for all occupational therapists was about $32.50 per hour or $68,000 annually.
Lymphedema therapists can become certified for better employment opportunities and higher salaries. Registered nurses with this certification also are qualified lymphedema therapists.
Full-time lymphedema therapist positions include benefit packages with paid vacations and holidays, insurance, a 401(k) plan or other savings plan and tuition reimbursement for further education.
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Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short-story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in "Family Circle" magazine and the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.