These are troubling statistics but they are facts of life that we must face. About 18% of the US population, or some 52 million Americans, have at least one form of disability. About 32 and a half million, or 12% of the U.S. population, have severe disabilities. This is where an occupational therapist will make a difference. With the help of a therapist, there is still hope for this group of the population to be able to work and live in spite of their disabilities, by rehabilitative programs that help restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence for disabled persons. The occupational therapist salary that the therapists receive is one of the factors that attract people into pursuing this career; but ultimately, the chance to help people with disabilities live as normal lives as possible is one of the most motivational aspects of this career pathway.

There are good job prospects for licensed occupational therapists working in all settings, but most particularly for those who are working in rehabilitation, acute hospitals, and orthopedic settings. This is because of the growing elderly population who receives the majority of their treatments in these settings. Licensed therapists earn between $35.35 to $40.72 in median hourly salary. The registered occupational therapy professional's hourly rate ranges from $24.75 to $43.98 while a registered/licensed occupational therapist (OTR/L) receives between $27.17 and $36.81 an hour.

A more well-known employer of occupational therapy workers such as Rehabcare Group, Inc. offers between $26.45 and $37.11 an hour, whilst HCR Manor Care, Inc pays a $29.70 to $36.10 hourly occupational therapist salary rate. Kindred Healthcare, meanwhile, pay their therapists $27.35 to $38.23 an hour.

If you have a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy, you can expect to be paid between $25.77 and $37.70 in hourly salary. A Bachelor in Science, Occupational Therapy degree can earn you $30.41 to $37.36 an hour. You can increase your salary if you will take the time to earn a higher degree.

Occupational therapists are regulated in all States. Normally, the minimum educational requirement to enter the field of is a master's degree or higher. You need to attend and finish an academic program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in order for you to be eligible to take the national certification exam given by the National Board for Certifying Occupational Therapy. If you pass this exam, you will be given the designation of "Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR)". From this, you can take further training and education to ensure a higher OT salary. You can also gain experience and make yourself qualified for promotions. There are many ways to receive higher occupational therapist salary, but getting your certification is your best first step.

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