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Occupational therapist: Salary and conditions

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  • Jobs in the National Health Service (NHS) are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) Pay Rates . Occupational therapists beginning their career as allied health professionals in the NHS typically start at Band 5 (£21,388 to £27,901), moving to occupational therapist specialist (Band 6, £25,783 to £34,530) and then occupational therapist advanced (Band 7, £30,764 to £40,558). To progress up each pay scale, staff must demonstrate that they can effectively apply the required knowledge and skills.
  • Consultant occupational therapists can earn between £63,000 and £79,000.
  • Salaries in local government are at similar levels, although there can be variations depending on skills and experience.
  • Applicants for entry-level positions may need to be flexible about the geographical area in which they are willing to work.
  • Occupational therapists generally work office hours, Monday to Friday. However, there are a number of posts, notably in mental health community services, acute hospitals, accident and emergency services and private practice, where evening and weekend work are more common.
  • Part-time, other flexible working arrangements and career breaks are possible.
  • Occupational therapists work in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, community facilities, schools, businesses, prisons and people's own homes.
  • Some areas of work may be stressful and require physical and mental strength, flexibility and stamina.
  • Travel within a working day is common if you work in the community.
  • The World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)  recognises qualifications accredited by the British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) which facilitates employment abroad.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

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Written by AGCAS editors
April 2014

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