If you’re an aspiring therapist, it’s essential to know which country offers the highest earning potential in your field. It’s also important to note that each country has different requirements and standards. For example, some places require a master’s degree while others only need a bachelor’s degree. Other countries have differing certification systems as well.
In this article, we’ll look at the top 10 countries with the highest average salary for an OT. We’ll explore how these locations stack up against one another based on several factors including cost of living, job opportunities, and wages.
Let’s get started!
Average Annual Salary: $112,000
The standard of living in Switzerland is high. This makes it easier for employers to offer higher paychecks to their employees. In fact, the average annual salary for an OT in Switzerland is over $100K per year.
This figure may seem like a lot compared to other countries in Europe but keep in mind that the cost of living is much lower than most nations. As such, even though the salary is quite high, the amount actually buys less stuff than in other parts of the world.
Job prospects are excellent. There’s plenty of demand for occupational therapists across all age groups and specialties. The Swiss government provides ample funding for the training of new professionals. And there are numerous schools offering courses related to occupational therapy.
There are many career paths within the field. A typical career path might include working as a physical/speech therapist before becoming an occupational therapist.
Average Annual Salary: $103,000
Another European nation that’s known for its wealth, Belgium has had a long history of supporting education initiatives. This includes providing financial support for students who want to attend vocational school or university.
Occupational therapy programs can be found at both public universities and private schools throughout the country. Additionally, there are dozens of colleges and universities that provide post-secondary training for people looking to enter this profession.
Belgium also hosts various conferences and conventions focused on every aspect of occupational therapy. Job fairs are held regularly where companies from around the globe come together to discuss employment options.
With so many positive factors surrounding Belgian OTs, it should come as no surprise that the average annual salary is more than $90k annually.
3. United States
Average Annual Salary: $91,400
Although the cost of living tends to be slightly inflated in the U.S., the salaries paid out to occupational therapists tend to be very generous indeed. You will find that the average annual salary for an occupation therapist in the US is almost $70K per year.
As far as job prospects go, there’s an endless supply of job openings in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, etc. So if you’ve been dreaming about working in healthcare, then now might be the time to make your move to America.
Most states in the U.S. require a Master’s degree to practice as an occupational therapist. But if you already hold a Bachelor’s degree, you’ll likely be able to work right away without having to sit through additional schooling.
Average Annual Salary: $88,600
Germany is home to some of the best medical facilities in the entire world. Many of them employ occupational therapists to help improve patient recovery times and overall health outcomes.
Because of this, there are many job opportunities available in Germany for those interested in working in healthcare. In addition to hospitals, institutions like retirement communities, daycare centers, schools, etc. also rely heavily on occupational therapists.
Education is relatively expensive in Germany. However, because of this, the average annual salary for occupational therapists in Germany is just under the $80K mark.
German citizens typically enjoy good benefits packages when they become employed by big corporations. There are also plenty of small businesses that employ occupational therapists. These types of jobs usually don’t pay as well as larger firms do but they still offer great perks like vacation days, bonuses, etc.
Average Annual Salary: $84,800
Austria is located in Central Europe. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, it’s easy to see why people would choose to live here.
The scenery is beautiful, the food is delicious, and the culture is welcoming. All of these things contribute to making Austria a popular destination for retirees. Because of this, there’s a large market for occupational therapists specializing in gerontology (rehabilitation for older adults).
The cost of living in Austria isn’t too bad either. Especially considering that the average annual salary for an OT in this part of the world is $81K.
Average Annual Salary: $82,200
Canada is North America’s largest country. It boasts hundreds of thousands of lakes, forests, mountains, rivers, and oceans. If you love nature, then you’ll probably feel right at home in Canada.
Like in any other developed country, there are plenty of job opportunities for occupational therapists in Canada. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, etc. are constantly seeking qualified personnel.
Education is pretty affordable in Canada. Just remember that tuition fees vary depending on where you plan to study. Schools in major cities tend to charge more money than schools in rural areas.
Average Annual Salary: $80,900
The Dutch are known for their cuisine, arts, architecture, and music. They also pride themselves on being friendly and helpful. People often refer to the Dutch as “the nicest people in the world.”
All of these characteristics combine to create a wonderful place for anyone looking to relocate. That said, the cost of living is quite reasonable in the Netherlands. This means that it’s possible to earn a decent income without needing to take out a loan.
For occupational therapy, there are tons of job opportunities available in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, and elder care facilities.
Average Annual Salary: $79,300
Australia is a huge continent full of natural beauty and wildlife. Whether you prefer beaches, snowcapped mountains, deserts, rainforests, or coral reefs, you’ll certainly find something interesting to experience down under.
It’s hard to say exactly what kind of job opportunities exist in occupational therapy in Australia due to the size of the country. However, it’s safe to assume that there are plenty of positions available wherever you end up.
9. New Zealand
Average Annual Salary: $78,000
New Zealand is made up of two islands. One side is inhabited by Maori tribespeople while the other is populated by white settlers. Regardless of race, everyone seems to get along rather well.
Occupation therapy is not particularly common in New Zealand. There are only three accredited schools that offer training to future occupational therapists. Also, the number of practicing occupational therapists is low compared to other countries.
Despite these facts, the average salary is quite good. Almost $75K per year is enough to buy a house, drive a nice car, eat out at restaurants, etc.
10. United Kingdom
Average Annual Salary: $76,500
England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland comprise the United Kingdom. While England is the birthplace of English literature, Scottish bagpipes, and Welsh dragon racing, Northern Ireland is the place to visit for spectacular golfing.
People from all over the world flock to the UK to experience these unique cultures. With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that occupational therapy is fairly common in the area.
Over half of all occupational therapists in the UK specialize in geriatrics. There are also lots of job opportunities in hospitals, retirement communities, schools, etc.
What Kind Of Career Can I Expect?
Before moving anywhere, you should always check out a local job board to see what kinds of job postings are currently available. Some boards let users search by location and category whereas others let users filter results according to specific keywords.
We recommend using SimplyHired—a site that’s dedicated to helping people find jobs worldwide. It allows you to narrow down your search based on a variety of criteria like specialty, salary range, years of experience, geographic region, etc.
Now that you know the top 10 countries for OTs, it’s your turn. Where do you hope to land once you graduate? Have you considered relocating overseas? Share your thoughts with us below!