Find the Best Occupational Therapy Job (2019)
Each year, we update this OT job search guide to help you find the best occupational therapy job for you.
We’ll help you find a wide variety of OT jobs, including:
At the end of the guide, we’ll give some tips on actually landing these jobs! Good luck!
(Note: If you are an occupational therapy assistant, please see our OTA job hunting guide.)
Job boards for a local OT search
Starting by working your way through job boards provides a broad view of what’s available for you in your specific location.
A ZipRecruiter job board is embedded below, followed by a comprehensive list of your other job search options.
Additional occupational jobs boards
Many jobs are cross-posted on different boards, but it is still worth it to pull up each of these sites and search for jobs that are readily available in your area.
Indeed - Indeed has the largest variety of OT jobs out there, so it’s a great place to start. The benefit of using this site is its sheer volume of jobs. The main drawback is that you’re competing with many candidates because of the site’s popularity. I highly recommend that you sort results by date; applying to old jobs is likely not the best use of your time.
Glassdoor - The job search engine on Glassdoor has a pretty good volume of jobs, and it has the added benefit of being attached to, well, Glassdoor itself. Glassdoor is a website that lets you have an insider view at a number of companies. You can view interview questions, company reviews, salary estimates, and more for many of the jobs.
SimplyHired - SimplyHired is a centralized hub that aggregates multiple job postings across numerous platforms. It does have a great option where you can search by industry or by telecommuting, so it’s a good pick for those looking for more non-traditional OT roles. You can also view shared Facebook and LinkedIn connections on SimplyHired, so this enables you to work your network, should a given job interest you.
Monster - Monster has been around for ages, and it’s considered the second-most popular job searching site behind indeed. It’s got a mobile interface and offers the ability to search for career-related content on the site.
CareerBuilder - CareerBuilder might not be as well-known as other job searching sites, but the benefit to using it is that it’s designed for serious job searchers and serious employers. Employers always must pay to post jobs, so there’s less chance of applying for a role that is being filled internally or might be yanked at the last second for lack of funds.
AOTA's OT JobLink - The AOTA has a page called JobLink, where you can search for OT jobs, as well as information like resume help, salary surveys, job outlooks, etc.
LinkedIn - This is a social network with a built-in job search engine. One of the main reasons I love LinkedIn is that its social component is extremely robust. If you search jobs and find one that looks appealing, you can easily view people in your network who are connected with the company, and you can also reach out to them for more information about the role without ever leaving the platform.
Neuvoo - Neuvoo is a great place to start if you’re looking for international OT jobs. At the time of this article’s latest update, Neuvoo posts jobs in 75 different countries! For the globe-trotting OT, this is a great place to explore opportunities.
Chronicle Vitae and Higher Ed - If you’re looking for roles in higher education or academics, two great websites to explore are Chronicle Vitae and Higher Ed. Both are robust, with plenty of non-traditional options for the OT looking to get into the world of academia.
Covalent Careers - Covalent is a job search start-up specifically aimed about helping job seekers in health care. The number of OTs jobs on this site varies, but it is still worth checking out.
Relode: A Healthcare Crowdsourcing Start-up - I believe that crowd-sourcing is the future of job hunting. Through Relode, you can create an account and then track available jobs in your area. You can either apply to the job yourself or refer a friend— and, in some cases, your referral will earn you some bonus cash.
Facebook groups for OT jobs
The Occupational Therapy Job Seekers Facebook Group - I started this group in conjunction with OT Potential as a place for people to post jobs and ask job-hunting questions. It has been growing quickly (it has over 4,000 members), and I am proud to say that several people have already successfully found jobs through it!
Pediatric OT Jobs Facebook Group - This group has over 7,000 members, and is a great spot to view pediatric OT jobs when they first open.
Networking for finding OT jobs
Before we move on, I want to strongly encourage you to leverage your existing network when you search for jobs.
OT is a tight-knit community, and some of the best opportunities arise person-to-person. When you begin the job hunting process, you should drop a note to any OTs or other health care professionals who work at facilities or areas where you have an interest. Person-to-person can be the quickest way to find out about new jobs that might be opening. (For example, I've landed an interview through a Facebook message exchange.)
Find traveling OT positions
When you’re looking for a travel OT job, you’re really looking more for the right company and recruiter (as opposed to the right job).
I say this because a good recruiter is key to finding those good jobs. In fact, the whole reason you use a recruiter is so you don’t have to stress about vetting each travel OT job every time it’s time to change roles.
If you are just starting to consider traveling, check out my interview with Emily Butler, OTD about life as traveling occupational therapist for an overview of what traveling entails.
My other go-to source for OT travel information is the Travel Therapists Facebook Group. This is an extremely active and supportive community with nearly 10,000 members at the time of this article’s latest update. Here are some of the travel companies I see mentioned regularly.
Just let Nomadicare do all of the vetting for you!
All things considered, traveling is still a bit scary when you’re first starting out. The industry is notoriously sketchy, and many recruiters are out to make the most money off of you, rather than find you the right job.
We are extremely lucky as occupational therapists to have one of our own, Laura Latimer, OTR/L, working tirelessly to advocate for travelers in the travel industry. Her company, Nomadicare, vets recruiters through a three-hour interview process—and then connects therapists with recruiters who match their needs.
Find non-traditional OT jobs
If you’re not enjoying patient care, can’t find a clinical role in your area, or simply become too injured or ill to work with patients, you can always consider a non-traditional OT role. Check out my post, Your Guide to Non-Traditional OT Jobs.
If there is a specific non-traditional job title you are interested in, you can use the boards above to search whether there are any openings in your area.
Here are some specific non-clinical jobs that I would love to see an OT fill :
You can also browse The Non-Clinical PT, a website devoted to helping all rehabilitation professionals (not just PTs) transition out of patient care, and into non-traditional roles. There are tons of helpful free resources and articles on the site, including an inspiring spotlight series that highlights a number of OTs in non-clinical roles.
The Non-Clinical PT also runs these free Facebook Groups:
Find telehealth/teletherapy OT jobs
There are parts of our country where OT jobs are simply hard to come by. And not all of us have the option of packing up our lives to travel. Plus, some of us have health issues and cannot work with patients face-to-face.
If this is you, do not despair.
Another avenue you can pursue is teletherapy. You can either serve clients in remote portions of your state, or apply for a license in a state where there is a need.
You need to be licensed where you live and where you are providing therapy.
You may also need to have experience in pediatrics, though adult teletherapy is on the rise.
Here are some of the teletherapy companies that hire OTs:
After finding job openings, don't apply willy-nilly. Be Choosy.
Hopefully, after exploring these options for finding jobs, you've found a few roles that pique your interest.
You may be tempted to apply for these jobs without looking back.
Creating the perfect OT resume and cover letter for the job
It’s never a good idea to use a generic OT resume for every job. After all, each job is looking for unique attributes in an OT, and you should address those in your OT resume.
If your resume needs some work, this blog post on How to Make Your OT Resume Stand Out gives some general pointers.
I also highly recommend exploring the website DIY Career Docs. It was created by a physical therapist who has all sorts of cool training in resume writing. She has tons of great resources to help occupational therapists create resumes. If you’re new to the profession, I recommend exploring her new grad packages!
Below, you can find an example of my occupational therapy resume, a sample OT cover letter, and a reference list that you can use for inspiration.
Most applications will be online. I strongly recommend that you print out a finished version, and save it for your reference. The info may come in handy when filling out future applications.
The OT Job Interview
This is always the most nerve-racking part for me. If you need some help prepping for your own interview, check out Nail Your Occupational Therapy Job Interview.
Negotiating Your OT Salary
OK, this is the most nerve-racking part!
Negotiating your salary takes a little finesse and a lot of confidence, and the negotiation phase is many people’s least favorite part about finding a new job. But, the first offer you receive might not be what you should be paid.
Keep in mind that where you live, your experience level, and both your setting and patient population you serve will likely affect what you earn in a given OT job.
When you do receive an offer, be sure to do some market research to see if it’s what you should earn for that role. If not, it’s always worth explaining your rationale for asking for a bit more.
We created the OT Salary Guide to help you with this research.
I’ve thrown a lot of information at you in this article, so I hope your head isn’t spinning!
The job industry is always changing, and I will be updating this article periodically to keep up with the newest job boards, as well as other information that will affect how you search for that perfect role.
If you think of anything I should include in the meantime, please let me know via my chatbox in the lower right!
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of ZipRecruiter and Nomdicare. When you utilize these links, you are supporting the creation of more content that is carefully crafted to empower OTs!