Find the Best Occupational Therapy Jobs
By Sarah Lyon, OTR/L
October 19, 2022
Great OT care begins with finding the best occupational therapy job for you.
Whether you’re searching for full-time, part-time, PRN, or entry-level occupational therapist jobs—we are here to help.
We’ll start with some general tips, then go into 6 main categories:
- Traditional OT jobs near you
- OT travel jobs
- Non-clinical OT jobs
- OT jobs in academia
- Telehealth OT jobs
- Health-tech jobs
We’ll help you check the big players in job hunting, but also introduce you to the OT-specific sites. At the end of the guide, we’ll give some tips on actually landing these occupational therapy jobs!
(Note: If you are an occupational therapy assistant, please see our OTA job hunting guide.)
Getting Started on Your OT job Hunt
Before we head into the six categories of jobs, here are two important things to consider.
Understand the OT job demand in 2022
Right now is a good time to be job hunting.
In light of the great resignation, all healthcare jobs have seen a massive increase in demand. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics:
- Demand for occupational therapists will grow 17% from 2020 to 2030
- 10,000 occupational therapist openings are projected annually
With this in mind, really take the time to see what opportunities are out there. You are in high demand.
Leverage your network
OT is a tight-knit community, and some of the best opportunities arise person-to-person.
No matter what type of OT job you are looking for I encourage you to drop a note to any OTs or other health care professionals you know who work at facilities or areas where you have an interest. (For example, I’ve landed an interview through a Facebook message exchange.)
We also encourage you to check out OT Near Me where you can connect with an OT who is doing the type of work you aspire to do!
1.) Local Search for Traditional OT Jobs
Let’s start with a traditional occupational therapist job search in your area.
In addition to reaching out to your network, you should do your diligence of checking through all of the job boards to see what is currently available.
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.
Google has become a major player in the job hunting arena. And, you’ll find many of the jobs posted here. But, not everything is here, so we encourage you to keep moving down this list!
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.
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.
This job board allows employers to post to multiple partner job boards, including ZipRecruiter.
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 occupational therapy jobs 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 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 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.
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 for 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.
I believe that crowdsourcing 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 Occupational Therapist Jobs
Another way to leverage the helpfulness of OT is to post in a FB group. Here are two options:
2.) Find Traveling Occupational Therapy Jobs
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 occupational therapist 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 15,000 members at the time of this article’s latest update. Here are some of the travel companies I see mentioned regularly.
- Anders Group
- Ardor Health Solutions
- Aureus Medical Group
- Comp Health
- Core Medical Group
- Fusion Medical Staffing
- Jackson Therapy Partners
- Med Travelers
- Pioneer Healthcare Services
- Supplemental Health Care
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 occupational therapist 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. (I am an affiliate of Nomadicare!)
Let a seasoned OT traveler vet the recruiters for you
Laura Latimer, OTR/L founded the website, Nomadicare.
3.) Find Non-Clinical OT Jobs
If you’re not enjoying patient care, can’t find a clinical role in your area, or simply unable to work with patients, you can always consider non-clinical OT jobs. 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 job titles to look for:
- Director of Rehabilitation
- PPS Coordinator
- DME Coordinator
- DME Sales Representative
- Clinical/Rehab Liaison
- Clinical Support Coordinator
- Care Manager
You can also browse The Non-Clinical PT, which is run by our friend Meredith Castin. Her website is 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 non-clinical OT jobs.
The Non-Clinical PT also runs this free group:
Pro-tip: If you get on the non-clinical PT mailing list, Meredith actually sends out non-clinical jobs she has found from around the country. It is awesome!
Our friend, Meredith Castin, will walk you through launching your non-clinical career
Save $75 on her Non-Clinical 101 Course with the “OTP75” coupon code!
4.) Find OT Jobs in Academia
If you are hoping to find a faculty position, this is its own unique track. We’ll refer you to this post on becoming an OT/PT educator. Here are two job boards that are helpful to look at for OT faculty positions:
If you’re looking for roles in higher education or academics, a great website to explore is Higher Ed. This site has options for OTs looking to get into the world of academia.
I feel like this is a popular place for OT schools to post positions. Just use the keyword “faculty” to find them!
5.) Find Occupational Therapy Telehealth Jobs
There are parts of our country where occupational therapist 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 occupational therapy telehealth jobs. 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 are hiring for occupational therapy telehealth jobs.
6.) Find OT Jobs in Health Tech
I am really passionate about OTs moving into health tech. Many tech companies are looking to fill the many gaps in our healthcare industry. And, I think these companies need OTs to be working for them to keep the patient at the heart of this health tech revolution.
Many of these companies will not be advertising for OTs. But, I encourage you to identify companies you would like to work for and watch their job openings. Here is a list of OT tech companies to get you going: OT Tech Tools.
After Finding Job Openings, Don’t Apply Willy-Nilly. Be Choosy.
Hopefully, after exploring these options for finding occupational therapist 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.
Below, you can find an example of my occupational therapy resume, a sample occupational therapy 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 and writing a corresponding occupational therapy cover letter.
The OT job interview
This is always the most nerve-racking part for me. If you need some help prepping for your occupational therapist jobs 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.
What Is the Highest Paying Occupational Therapy Job?
To give you a basic orientation to salary, in 2022 the top two highest-paid occupational therapist jobs are:
In this specialization, occupational therapists can anticipate making 20% more than the average salary for occupational therapists.
Occupational therapist jobs that involve senior care also rank high on the payment list. Occupational therapists working with geriatric patients can make 17% more than other therapists.
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 those perfect occupational therapist jobs.
If you think of anything I should include in the meantime, contact us!