Awareness & Salaries for Occupational Therapy Assistants

Occupational-Therapist-Assistant-SalaryOTAs or COTAs are in high demand and earn very competitive salaries. That said, there is quite a range of what OTAs earn and salaries will vary depending on a number of factors.

First let’s introduce Occupational Therapy and some of the different areas you will find OTRs and COTAs working in. Then we can share some links to where you can compare salaries for occupational therapy assistants in all of the major cities in the U.S.

Introducing Occupational Therapy and Therapists

When I say, “Occupational Therapy”, does the expression ring a bell? I wouldn’t need to ask but unfortunately many people are unaware of the specialized industry or don’t understand it. Most people are familiar with physical therapy, a good example of a main-stream therapy method.

In high school when someone on the football team gets injured they almost always go through physical therapy. Many car accident victims turn to bodily therapy to recover and minimize pain. operation I think you can get the idea, physical therapy is popular procedure practice that lots of people are acquainted with.

Unlike OT, the related and similar sounding, but very independent and much less known practice.

Where do Occupational Therapy Professionals Work?

Here are the 3 most common areas that licensed or registered OTs and certified OTAs work:

  • OTs commonly operate in healthcare facilities or certified nursing establishments where they assist patients following operation as well as other procedures.
  • Alternatively, Pediatric OTs work in grade and pre schools with youngsters.
  • You may also find OTs and OTAs employed at nursing homes with alzheimers and dementia patients.

Who do OTs assist?

OTs assists subjects with many conditions ranging from young to older. Here are some of the examples of the different types of patients that engage in occupational therapy:

  • OTs help kids with autism, sensory processing disorder, increasing motor skills, cerebal palsy, down syndrome, dyspraxia, hand writing problems, and much more.
  • Grown-ups with serious injuries, such as for example quadriplegics, commonly times employ OTs to assist them in restoring functions required for their exercises along with regaining motor skills lost.
  • Elderly folks with memory diseased, or alzheimers, rely on Occupational Therapists to help them in their day-to-day routines. So, older or young, physically or mentally impaired, there are lots of who need assist an OT.

Why use an OT?

You could need occupational therapy for a couple different reasons. Some people need temporary support after surgery or while coping with some type of injury.

Others utilize it through their life for a chronic condition such as multiple sclerosis.

Regardless of why you need OT, all people are involved with therapy to get advice about their deficiencies from their circumstances.

Increasing OT attention

The occupational therapy profession needs more awareness for two reasons. For starters, OT is an incredibly rewarding career as OTs are improving people lives everyday. Moreover, the occupational therapy field is suffering from a good surge in demand. As baby boomers age they’ve been quicly enhancing the number of referrals to occupational therapists. These circumstances are making an incredible opportunity for everybody enthusiastic about profession as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.

Hopefully you’ve had a fantastic intro to OT today so we encourage you to keep studying more.

Now, for those who know they are interested in OT and specifically as working in a COTA position, it is time to switch gears back to earnings and salaries for occupational therapy assistants.

First here is a video intro into the profession of Occupational Therapy Assisting

Average Salaries for Occupational Therapist Assistants

Please excuse the salary data from the video that showed $48,000, that was a few years ago. Today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States the average salary for an occupational therapy assistant is $58,340.

The range making up this average is from $36,420 up to $76,790. With such a huge range it makes sense to do research in the different major cities to compare each cities’ average OTA salary.

Using that link you can access a state by state database where you can see OTA salary data in each major city of every state. It is always good to know what OTA salaries are in some different areas in case you’re interested in, or open to, re-locating.

There are also travelling OTAs which are paid very well and have additional benefits. Med Travelers is a well known recruiting company that you can talk to regarding available travelling OTA jobs.

Ok that does it for today’s post. We will continue sharing more info about OTAs bring more awareness to the profession so check back:) We hope to connect with students and share our OT experiences as well as answer questions.

Just drop us a comment if you have any questions about occupational therapy assistant salaries and we will do our best to answer or at least point you in the right direction 🙂

Welcome to the Educational Blog by the OTA Guide


We hope you are excited to learn about occupational therapy. Specifically about careers as a therapist or a certified occupational therapy assistant.

We are a team of COTAs that created the OTA Guide Website to help spread awareness and information about a career as an OTA.

Why? Because the field of OT is outgrowing its labor force and we need to fix that problem!

As the baby boomer population grows so does the need for OTs and OTAs. Now more than ever it is critical that students learn about the COTA career path and at least get to consider this wonderful career option.

Most people have heard of physical therapy, but many have not heard of occupational therapy. It never took off like PT and went mainstream. Unfortunately, the need for the profession has grown and is still growing tremendously, but there aren’t enough people to service the industry.

If you are just now hearing about OT then I encourage you to research it and learn more. With a 2 year degree you could be making over $50K as a COTA. With 5 year OT program you can make over $80K.

And if you have already heard about OT but dismissed it as a good career.. well did you know that Occupational Therapists rate as some of the most satisfied professionals? (17th highest by USN)

Checkout that ranking and then reconsider the profession. Its a good one. Afterall we need to fill the demanding job market with bright young minds who are ready to make a difference and earn a rewarding career for themselves.

Ok, that is all for now. Keep checking back to learn more about the wonderful field of OT helping others.