Occupational Therapist Salary
For an occupational therapist salary is just one of the reasons they find fulfillment in their career. Occupational therapists enjoy other rewards by helping people who have physical, mental or developmental challenges to improve the quality of their lives. They teach patients to perform daily tasks on their own in order for them to be independent and productive citizens. The amount of an occupational therapist salary depends on education, experience, geographical location and industry.
Job Duties of an Occupational Therapist
An occupational therapy salary can also differ depending on the job duties they perform. Some therapists work with patients who have loss of functions such as motor skills or reasoning abilities. Others work with people who have suffered a permanent loss of either a mental or physical function. This includes helping them to perform daily activities such as getting dressed, cooking meals and eating. Some therapists earn a lucrative occupational therapist salary in positions that require a lot of physical activity, such as exercising with patients with physical limitations resulting from cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injuries. Some occupational therapists work exclusively with certain patients such as the elderly, children or the developmentally challenged who have special needs.
In 2008, there were 104,500 occupational therapists in the United States. Twenty nine percent of these workers earned an occupational therapist salary working in the ambulatory health care services industry. Hospitals, educational services and nursing facilities were among the other industries that employed occupational therapists in high numbers. A relatively small number of people earned their occupational therapist salary by opening private practices. The states that had the highest number of occupational therapists were Pennsylvania at over 6,000, Michigan with 4,300 and Massachusetts with almost 3,900 occupational therapists in 2009.
Occupational Therapist Salary National Estimates
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2009 the mean annual occupational therapist salary was close to $71,000. The statistics estimate the percentile wages as 10 percent earned $45,000, 25 percent earned $57,000 and 75 percent earned $84,000. The highest number of occupational therapists, ninety percent, earned over $100,000 a year.
Top Paying Occupational Therapy Salary by Industry
In 2009 schools and other learning institutions paid an average occupational therapist salary of close to $89,000 a year; depending on the location. Occupational therapists in the home health care services industries were paid $81,000 and employment services paid $80,000 annually. Physician’s offices and nursing care facilities paid $78,000 and $75,000 a year, respectively.
Going forward, the chances of earning a good occupational therapist salary are rated as good by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment is this field is projected go grow faster than average, especially for therapists who are trained to treat the elderly. The number of occupational therapists is projected to increase by 26 percent in the ten years between 2008 and 2018. This translates into an estimated 131,000 workers who will be earning an occupational therapists salary in the United States by the year 2018; over 26,000 more than in 2008.