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Occupational Therapist - Federal Salaries of 2022

Pay Rates for "Occupational Therapist"

How much does an Occupational Therapist in the federal government get paid? $98,711.13* *Based on the 2022 average.

Occupational Therapist was the 122nd most popular job in the U.S. Government in 2022, with 1,720 employed. The most common payscale was the general schedule payscale.

In 2022, the Veterans Health Administration hired the most employees titled Occupational Therapist, with an average salary of $98,816.

Government Occupational Therapist jobs are classified under the General Schedule (GS) payscale. The minimum paygrade for a Occupational Therapist job is GS-6, and the highest paygrade that can be attained within this job series is GS-15. Remember that the starting and maximum yearly pay listed above reflect base pay only - your actual salary will be higher based on the Locality Pay Adjustment for the area in which you work.

Job Description

Occupational Therapists are licensed healthcare providers who help people with impaired capacities for performing everyday activities regain the ability to perform these activities. In the Federal Government, most Occupational Therapists are working in the Veterans Health Administration providing rehabilitation to veterans for them to improve their functional capacities. A number of them also serve in hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and day-care treatment centers. Occupational Therapists are also employed in government research facilities working on tasks such as measuring the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs and drug clinical trials.

These health professionals help patients develop, recover, improve and maintain the abilities needed for everyday life such as motor functions, sensory-integrative functions, cognitive functions, psychological functions and social functions. They perform assessments of patients and develop and implement an appropriate treatment plan in areas such as self-care, functional mobility, upper extremity function, use of adaptive or assistive devices, visual-motor integration, home management and functional cognition. Their work also includes effectively communicating assessments and treatment plans to patients and their families, providing the necessary education and training to ensure the proper rehabilitation of patients.

Rehabilitation facilities often have equipment and devices used by Occupational Therapists to engage patients in tasks that foster the restoration of normal movement patterns, muscular strength and bodily posture. Occupational Therapists operate work simulation units that enable patients to simulate movements like opening a jar, working with a hammer, or working with a pulley, etc. They have specially designed tools that help with strengthening grip and improving pronation and supination skills. There are also facilities that have a kitchen setup where patients are retrained to perform tasks that will enable them to prepare their own meals. Occupational Therapists observe a patient's ability to cook and to navigate in an environment that can be unsafe for them at home so that appropriate interventions can be provided such as specialized utensils and adaptive kitchen equipment. In all cases, Occupational Therapists work closely with patients to get them not only medically well but also physically stronger so they can live independent productive lives.

This occupation requires knowledge of the structure and function of the human body as well as principles in human development. Occupational Therapists are also expected to have a good understanding of physical and psychosocial dysfunctions and environmental influences for them to develop a suitable program for patients. To work as an Occupational Therapist, a master’s degree in occupational therapy is required. Admission to graduate programs in occupational therapy typically requires a bachelor’s degree in healthcare or a related field. They often gain the needed experience for entry to the profession in an internship program under the tutelage of a licensed Occupational Therapist. Candidates then obtain their license after passing the licensure examination offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. They are required to maintain their license by completing the required continuing education competency hours.

Professionals in this occupation serve in various positions such as staff therapist, specialist, program manager, instructor, and supervisor. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in this occupation to grow at 17% from 2020 - 2030 with a projected 10,100 openings yearly. The average employment growth rate for all other occupations is just 8%. Individuals in this occupation typically receive promotions of 2 grade increases at a time until they reach GS-12.

Agencies that have hired an Occupational Therapist

Agency Employees Hired Average Salary
Veterans Health Administration 1,695 $98,815.60
Indian Health Service 11 $77,898.82
National Institutes of Health 8 $113,603.38
Bureau of Prisons/Federal Prison System 3 $73,258.00
2 $0.00
Armed Forces Retirement Home 1 $107,803.00

Occupational Therapist Pay Distribution

The average pay for an Occupational Therapist is $98,711.13. The highest paid Occupational Therapist made $156,365 in 2022.

Common Occupational Therapist Payscales

Payscale Number of Occupational Therapist Employees
GS - General Schedule 1,680
AD - Administratively Determined Rates, Not Elsewhere Specified 35
GL - Gs Employees In Grades 3 Through 10 Paid A Law Enforcement Officer Special Base Rate 3
* - Invalid 2

Starting Paygrade: $36,070.00 / year base pay at paygrade GS-6, Step 1
Maximum Paygrade: $152,771.00 / year base pay at paygrade GS-15, Step 10
Category: Professional and Scientific

Other Jobs at the GS-6 Paygrade

GS-6 is the starting paygrade for Occupational Therapist jobs. Here are some other Federal Government jobs that can be held by employees at the GS-6 paygrade.

Occupation Occupation Category Starting Paygrade Maximum Paygrade
Insurance ExaminingAdministrative and ManagementGS-4GS-15
General Physical ScienceProfessional and ScientificGS-6GS-15
Health System SpecialistAdministrative and ManagementGS-4GS-15
Insurance AccountsClerical and Administrative SupportGS-1GS-9
Civilian PayClerical and Administrative SupportGS-1GS-9

Average Occupational Therapist Pay Trend from 2004 to 2022

In 2004, the average pay for an Occupational Therapist was $59,571. Since then, the average pay has increased to $98,711 in 2022.

Data Sources

The information provided on these pages is sourced from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) dataset. Postal Service data is managed exclusively by the USPS . All information is displayed unmodified and as provided by the source agency.

Federal employee salaries are public information under open government laws (5 U.S.C. § 552). FederalPay provides this data in the interest of government transparency — employee data may not be used for commercial soliciting or vending of any kind. Learn more about the FederalPay Employees Dataset here.

The series code of this occupation is 0631.

** This Document Provided By - The Civil Employee's Resource **