Research Summary. Here are some key facts to know if you're looking to hire a staff occupational therapists in the United States:

  • The median cost to hire a staff occupational therapist is $1,633.
  • It takes between 36 and 42 days to fill the average role in the US.
  • HR departments typically allocate 15% of their budget towards recruitment efforts.
  • Small businesses spend $1,105 per staff occupational therapist on training each year, while large companies spend $658.
  • It takes approximately 12 weeks for a new employee to reach full productivity levels.
  • There are a total of 96,317 staff occupational therapists in the US, and there are currently 138,949 job openings in this field.
  • New York, NY, has the highest demand for staff occupational therapists, with 5 job openings.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Staff Occupational Therapist

Hiring a staff occupational therapist comes with both the one-time cost per hire and ongoing costs. The cost of recruiting staff occupational therapists involves promoting the job and spending time conducting interviews. Ongoing costs include employee salary, training, benefits, insurance, and equipment. It is essential to consider the cost of staff occupational therapist recruiting as well the ongoing costs of maintaining the new employee.

You can expect to pay around $73,477 per year for a staff occupational therapist, as this is the median yearly salary nationally. This can vary depending on what state or city you're hiring in. If you're hiring for contract work or on a per-project basis, hourly rates for staff occupational therapists in the US typically range between $26 and $46 an hour.

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How to hire a Staff Occupational Therapist, step by step

To hire a staff occupational therapist, you need to identify the specific skills and experience you want in a candidate, allocate a budget for the position, and advertise the job opening to attract potential candidates. To hire a staff occupational therapist, you should follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Identify your needs
  • Step 2: Create an ideal candidate profile
  • Step 3: Make a budget
  • Step 4: Writing a staff occupational therapist job description
  • Step 5: Post the job
  • Step 6: Interview process
  • Step 7: Send a job offer and onboard your new staff occupational therapist
  • Step 8: Go through the checklist for the hiring process

Identify Your Needs

The first step to find staff occupational therapists for hire is determining what type of worker you actually need. Certain roles might require a full-time employee, whereas others can be done by part-time workers or contractors.

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A staff occupational therapist's background is also an important factor in determining whether they'll be a good fit for the position. For example, staff occupational therapists from different industries or fields will have radically different experiences and will bring different viewpoints to the role. You also need to consider the candidate's previous level of experience to make sure they'll be comfortable with the job's level of seniority.

The list breaks down common staff occupational therapist roles and compares their salaries.

Type Of Staff Occupational TherapistDescriptionHourly Rate
Staff Occupational TherapistOccupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.$26-46
Music Therapy InternshipIn a music therapy internship, an intern's duties primarily depend on the directives of a manager or supervising staff. Typically, they are responsible for gaining industry insights and practical experience while performing support tasks such as answering calls and correspondence, preparing and processing documents, conducting research and analysis, setting-up instruments and other devices, and running errands as needed... Show More$10-29
TherapistA therapist is responsible for improving the patients' health conditions by evaluating their needs and providing physical and mental support. Therapists are licensed, medical professionals who specialize in different areas to perform treatments and bring relief to patients... Show More$18-38

Create An Ideal Candidate Profile

Before you draft a staff occupational therapist job description, imagine the ideal employee for the role and begin creating a profile. What are they proficient in and what sort of background do they have?

Here is a list of skills that are commonly associated with staff occupational therapist:

Common Skills:
  • Patients
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • COTA
  • Direct Patient Care
  • Acute Care
  • Home Health
  • Discharge Planning
  • Family Education
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • OTR
  • Treatment Programs
  • Program Development
Check All Skills

Here is a list of common responsibilities that staff occupational therapists may be expected to fulfill:

  • Achieve advance clinical competency in UE splinting.
  • Implement ADL techniques and fabricate adaptive equipment for increase modified independence.
  • Provide accurate assessments/evaluation on rehabilitation patients.
  • Work contingent for Beaumont home care and at SNF's.
  • Perform screens & evaluations for upper & lower extremity splints.
  • Fabricate and modify a variety of hand and elbow splints.
Check all Duties

Beyond the nuts and bolts, cultural fit is an important factor. It might help to ask yourself how your ideal staff occupational therapist will live by the company's mission statement and contribute to the team dynamic you already have in place. Clearly communicating this vision in your staff occupational therapist job description will help attract candidates who are better suited for the role.

Most Common States For Staff Occupational Therapists In The US

Rank #State# Of Jobs% of PopulationAvg. Salary

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Make A Budget

Including a salary range in your job description is one of the best ways to attract top talent. A staff occupational therapist can vary based on things like:

  • Location. For example, staff occupational therapists' average salary in vermont is 47% less than in california.
  • Seniority. Entry-level staff occupational therapists 42% less than senior-level staff occupational therapists.
  • Certifications. A staff occupational therapist with certifications usually earns a higher salary.
  • Company. Working for an established firm or a new start-up company can make a big difference in a staff occupational therapist's salary.

Updated March 16, 2023

Staff Occupational Therapist Salary Estimate


$35.33 hourly

Entry level Salary
$56,000 yearly

Staff Occupational Therapist Average Salary By Location

RankStateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
3District of Columbia$85,285$41

Staff Occupational Therapist Average Salary By Company

Writing a Staff Occupational Therapist Job Description

A staff occupational therapist job description should include a summary of the role, required skills, and a list of responsibilities. It's also good to include a salary range and the first name of the hiring manager. Below, you can find an example of a staff occupational therapist job description:

Example of Full Job Description

**UNAC has been recognized as the collective bargaining representative for this position. Kaiser Permanente and UNAC will bargain to establish contractual terms covering this position. Until such time as bargaining is completed, this position is not covered under the terms of any existing collective bargaining agreements between Kaiser Permanente and UNAC.*

Responsible for the occupational therapy of patients under the direction and supervision of the Rehabilitation Services.

UNAC/UHCP (United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals) is the collective bargaining representative of Rehab Services positions in Northern California effective 9/26/2021.
Essential Responsibilities:

+ Evaluates patients, interprets evaluation findings to determine the nature and extent of dysfunction. Establishes treatment goals and plans treatment to achieve established goals. Initiates discharge planning for occupational therapy.

+ Implements the treatment program through direct treatment of the patient. May delegate a portion of the treatment program to the appropriate supportive personnel. Coordinates the treatment program with other health care personnel as appropriate. Provides advice and education to patient and family.

+ Regularly assesses clinical signs and symptoms to determine effectiveness of treatment, progress of patient towards goals, the need for modifying goals and treatment. Discharges patient from occupational therapy when the patient has received maximum benefit from occupational therapy. Provides accurate, timely documentation of occupational therapy patient management. Demonstrates progress toward meeting the criteria for professional practice.

+ Kaiser Permanente conducts compensation reviews of positions on a routine basis. At any time, Kaiser Permanente reserves the right to reevaluate and change job descriptions, or to change such positions from salaried to hourly pay status. Such changes are generally implemented only after notice is given to affected employees.


+ This position will include a rotation to other units of the hospital based on operational needs.

+ This position includes a weekend rotation which may result in 3 weekend days per month.

Basic Qualifications:


+ N/A


+ Graduate of an accredited occupational therapy curriculum with a bachelors or masters degree with certification in occupational therapy or foreign-trained equivalent by date of hire.

License, Certification, Registration

+ Occupational Therapist License (California) required at hire

+ Basic Life Support required at hire

+ National Provider Identifier required at hire

Additional Requirements:

+ Must be able to work in a Labor/Management Partnership environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

+ N/A


TITLE: Staff Occupational Therapist Inpatient Medical Psych Unit - 24 hrs Benefit Eligible

LOCATION: Fremont, California

REQNUMBER: 1118619

External hires must pass a background check/drug screen. Qualified applicants with arrest and/or conviction records will be considered for employment in a manner consistent with Federal, state and local laws, including but not limited to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran, or disability status.

Post A Job

To find the right staff occupational therapist for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Consider internal talent. One of the most important sources of talent for any company is its existing workforce.
  • Ask for referrals. Reach out to friends, family members, and current employees and ask if they know or have worked with staff occupational therapists they would recommend.
  • Recruit at local colleges. Attend job fairs at local colleges to recruit staff occupational therapists who meet your education requirements.
  • Social media platforms. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter now have more than 3.5 billion users, and you can use social media to reach potential job candidates.

Post your job online:

  • Post your staff occupational therapist job on Zippia to find and recruit staff occupational therapist candidates who meet your exact specifications.
  • Use field-specific websites.
  • Post a job on free websites.

Interview Process

During your first interview to recruit staff occupational therapists, engage with candidates to learn about their interest in the role and their experience in the field. During the next interview, you can go into more detail about the company, the role, and the responsibilities.

It's also a good idea to ask about candidates' special skills and talents. If you think that a candidate is good enough for the next step, you can move on to the technical interview.

The right interview questions can help you assess a candidate's hard skills, behavioral intelligence, and soft skills.

Send A Job Offer And Onboard Your New Staff Occupational Therapist

Once you've found the staff occupational therapist candidate you'd like to hire, it's time to write an offer letter. This should include an explicit job offer that includes the salary, as well as the details of any other perks. Qualified candidates might be looking at multiple positions, so your offer needs to be competitive if you really like the candidate. Also, be prepared for a negotiation stage, as candidates may way want to tweak the details of your initial offer. Once you've settled on these details, you can draft a contract to formalize your agreement.

It's equally important to follow up with applicants who don't get the job with an email letting them know that the position has been filled.

Once that's done, you can draft an onboarding schedule for the new staff occupational therapist. Human Resources should complete Employee Action Forms and ensure that onboarding paperwork is completed, including I-9s, benefits enrollment, federal and state tax forms, etc. They should also ensure that new employee files are created for internal recordkeeping.

Go Through The Checklist For The Hiring Process

  • Determine employee type (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.)
  • Submit a job requisition form to the HR department
  • Define job responsibilities and requirements
  • Establish budget and timeline
  • Determine hiring decision makers for the role
  • Write job description
  • Post job on job boards, company website, etc.
  • Promote the job internally
  • Process applications through applicant tracking system
  • Review resumes and cover letters
  • Shortlist candidates for screening
  • Hold phone/virtual interview screening with first round of candidates
  • Conduct in-person interviews with top candidates from first round
  • Score candidates based on weighted criteria (e.g., experience, education, background, cultural fit, skill set, etc.)
  • Conduct background checks on top candidates
  • Check references of top candidates
  • Consult with HR and hiring decision makers on job offer specifics
  • Extend offer to top candidate(s)
  • Receive formal job offer acceptance and signed employment contract
  • Inform other candidates that the position has been filled
  • Set and communicate onboarding schedule to new hire(s)
  • Complete new hire paperwork (i9, benefits enrollment, tax forms, etc.)
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Hiring Staff Occupational Therapists FAQs

How Much Does A Good Staff Occupational Therapist Cost?

A good staff occupational therapist costs $35.33 an hour in the US. However, it can vary based on factors such as the staff occupational therapist experience, abilities, industry, and the specific requirements of your business.

What Are The Duties Of A Staff Occupational Therapist?

The duties of a staff occupational therapist are:
  • Achieve advance clinical competency in UE splinting.
  • Implement ADL techniques and fabricate adaptive equipment for increase modified independence.
  • Provide accurate assessments/evaluation on rehabilitation patients.

Should I Hire A Staff Occupational Therapist With No Experience?

Yes, you should hire a staff occupational therapist with no experience. Hiring an entry-level staff occupational therapist with no experience offers versatility for your team. They may lack some qualifications, but are adaptable and have not yet formed problematic habits. However, more training may be required compared to experienced.

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