Occupational therapists are trained to help their patients develop, improve and recover the skills needed to maintain their daily living and working routines. Many occupational therapists majored in biological sciences, human development, psychology or other social sciences as undergrads, then fine-tuned their training through an OT graduate program. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2013, occupational therapists earned an average annual salary of $77,890.
Factors Affecting Salary
According to the BLS, most occupational therapists in the U.S. made between $51,310 and $109,380 a year in 2013. While it stands to reason that your salary will increase as you gain experience in the field, the industry that you work in can also play a significant factor. Among industries that ranked in the top five in employment for occupational therapists in 2013, the top paying was home health care services at an average of $87,500 a year. Nursing home facilities ranked second at an average of $84,490 a year. Among the states, Nevada ranked first in average salaries at $112,120 a year, while California ranked second at $89,620. North Dakota had a much lower average salary of $58,040, according to the BLS.
2016 Salary Information for Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists earned a median annual salary of $81,910 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, occupational therapists earned a 25th percentile salary of $67,140, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $99,300, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 130,400 people were employed in the U.S. as occupational therapists.