Occupational therapy salary

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tedkem
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#1
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#1
I dont want to sugar coat anything, I am interested in OT and it seems like a great job, but I am worried about the salary. The fees for the pre-register course costs a lot and its 2 year so there's a lot of dedication. I wish I chose it as an undergraduate degree but I wasn't aware of it at the time.
If I start working as an OT, I know that I will be on band 5 in the beginning. But truthfully how long does it take to excel up the bands? The prospects website states 60k as a salary for bands 8 - which is very good, but its at the highest end and I have no idea how much experience is actually needed for those roles. Does anyone know of OT roles that earn higher than this?
The reason why im asking this, is because I could possibly go into a different sector, depending on the MA course that I choose (which could be cheaper and only takes 1 year) where I can possibly be earning a lot more, although it wouldn't be as interesting or enjoyable.
If I could earn 50k in around 7 years as an OT, it would be pretty great, but I dont want to wait 12-15 years for that type of salary. I know its about how much experience and skill you have as well, but generally speaking, how long would it take?
A lot of the jobs seem to have a salary cap at around 40-45k - even roles that are titled as "lead" or "chief" OT. My student debt will be 75k or so if I take this course + a lot of hard work in practice placements which are unpaid. I know that student debt isn't a real debt but I still feel anxious about it anyway.

I really dont want to be working for 10+ years and stay at 39k after spending so much to become qualified in the first place.
That being said, anyone know any other high paying jobs that I could do with an OT degree if I decided I needed something more?

I know this was really blunt, but salary is really important to think about as well - and people don't like speaking about it. I have never really been in real world work so everything I just said may seem delusional and I apologise for that, just want to get a gist of what the salary is really like.
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orenjikas
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#2
Report 2 months ago
#2
(Original post by tedkem)
I dont want to sugar coat anything, I am interested in OT and it seems like a great job, but I am worried about the salary. The fees for the pre-register course costs a lot and its 2 year so there's a lot of dedication. I wish I chose it as an undergraduate degree but I wasn't aware of it at the time.
If I start working as an OT, I know that I will be on band 5 in the beginning. But truthfully how long does it take to excel up the bands? The prospects website states 60k as a salary for bands 8 - which is very good, but its at the highest end and I have no idea how much experience is actually needed for those roles. Does anyone know of OT roles that earn higher than this?
The reason why im asking this, is because I could possibly go into a different sector, depending on the MA course that I choose (which could be cheaper and only takes 1 year) where I can possibly be earning a lot more, although it wouldn't be as interesting or enjoyable.
If I could earn 50k in around 7 years as an OT, it would be pretty great, but I dont want to wait 12-15 years for that type of salary. I know its about how much experience and skill you have as well, but generally speaking, how long would it take?
A lot of the jobs seem to have a salary cap at around 40-45k - even roles that are titled as "lead" or "chief" OT. My student debt will be 75k or so if I take this course + a lot of hard work in practice placements which are unpaid. I know that student debt isn't a real debt but I still feel anxious about it anyway.

I really dont want to be working for 10+ years and stay at 39k after spending so much to become qualified in the first place.
That being said, anyone know any other high paying jobs that I could do with an OT degree if I decided I needed something more?

I know this was really blunt, but salary is really important to think about as well - and people don't like speaking about it. I have never really been in real world work so everything I just said may seem delusional and I apologise for that, just want to get a gist of what the salary is really like.
I recently attended a OT careers talk at my NHS trust and asked how long it takes to get from band 5 to 6 - they said that back in the day it took a couple of years but nowadays people do it in about 18 months because of demand for people to full senior roles. Higher bands in the NHS also require more than just OT skills - they're usually management roles.

One thing to consider maybe is private practice (after years of experience obviously). Most NHS practitioner roles don't earn more than 60k+ unless you are a doctor etc. There are roles in leadership, management or in commissioning etc that might get you further in terms of salary - but then you probably won't be practicing OT.

I don't know your individual financial circumstances but, one thing that makes the OT fees easier for me is that: the student loan for these healthcare courses just gets added to my existing BSc student loan sum, so I won't be paying off any more monthly than I would normally. Obviously the total sum is bigger, but under the current terms, I'll be unlikely to pay it off within 30 years.

I'm going into this profession for the love and enjoyment of it, not the money. As I work at around band 4 salary currently I know that I can afford to live comfortably within the higher bandings.
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tedkem
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#3
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#3
(Original post by orenjikas)
I recently attended a OT careers talk at my NHS trust and asked how long it takes to get from band 5 to 6 - they said that back in the day it took a couple of years but nowadays people do it in about 18 months because of demand for people to full senior roles. Higher bands in the NHS also require more than just OT skills - they're usually management roles.

One thing to consider maybe is private practice (after years of experience obviously). Most NHS practitioner roles don't earn more than 60k+ unless you are a doctor etc. There are roles in leadership, management or in commissioning etc that might get you further in terms of salary - but then you probably won't be practicing OT.

I don't know your individual financial circumstances but, one thing that makes the OT fees easier for me is that: the student loan for these healthcare courses just gets added to my existing BSc student loan sum, so I won't be paying off any more monthly than I would normally. Obviously the total sum is bigger, but under the current terms, I'll be unlikely to pay it off within 30 years.

I'm going into this profession for the love and enjoyment of it, not the money. As I work at around band 4 salary currently I know that I can afford to live comfortably within the higher bandings.
I'd be happy if I could be labelled as experienced after 18 months and move to band 6. I'm open to management roles for the future as well, but I guess I'd need more qualifications. Yeah, the student loan isn't something we're supposed to worry about anyway but the course fee is significantly higher than the other masters so that's why it feels like a big factor.
I guess my case is that, I either choose a job that I will enjoy which is lower (but not low) in salary or I choose a job that is higher in salary but not something i'd be passionate about. I guess I shouldn't involve the fees of the course in my decision.
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Ironmike
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#4
Report 2 months ago
#4
There is a huge shortage of OT’s (and most other AHPs), and certainly in London 12-18 months from 5 to 6 isn’t uncommon. Band 6 to 7 which with inner London weighting will give you 50k per year is doable in another couple of years. Beyond that you don’t necessarily need additional qualifications to get to 8 level, but it helps. You could do band 5 to 8a in 7 - 10 years.
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tedkem
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Ironmike)
There is a huge shortage of OT’s (and most other AHPs), and certainly in London 12-18 months from 5 to 6 isn’t uncommon. Band 6 to 7 which with inner London weighting will give you 50k per year is doable in another couple of years. Beyond that you don’t necessarily need additional qualifications to get to 8 level, but it helps. You could do band 5 to 8a in 7 - 10 years.
Good to hear. I definitely want to pursue this career, and I hope the Msc is worth it for the expenses considering its higher than the normal 1 year msc fees.
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Uni of Southampton Students
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#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by tedkem)
I dont want to sugar coat anything, I am interested in OT and it seems like a great job, but I am worried about the salary. The fees for the pre-register course costs a lot and its 2 year so there's a lot of dedication. I wish I chose it as an undergraduate degree but I wasn't aware of it at the time.
If I start working as an OT, I know that I will be on band 5 in the beginning. But truthfully how long does it take to excel up the bands? The prospects website states 60k as a salary for bands 8 - which is very good, but its at the highest end and I have no idea how much experience is actually needed for those roles. Does anyone know of OT roles that earn higher than this?
The reason why im asking this, is because I could possibly go into a different sector, depending on the MA course that I choose (which could be cheaper and only takes 1 year) where I can possibly be earning a lot more, although it wouldn't be as interesting or enjoyable.
If I could earn 50k in around 7 years as an OT, it would be pretty great, but I dont want to wait 12-15 years for that type of salary. I know its about how much experience and skill you have as well, but generally speaking, how long would it take?
A lot of the jobs seem to have a salary cap at around 40-45k - even roles that are titled as "lead" or "chief" OT. My student debt will be 75k or so if I take this course + a lot of hard work in practice placements which are unpaid. I know that student debt isn't a real debt but I still feel anxious about it anyway.

I really dont want to be working for 10+ years and stay at 39k after spending so much to become qualified in the first place.
That being said, anyone know any other high paying jobs that I could do with an OT degree if I decided I needed something more?

I know this was really blunt, but salary is really important to think about as well - and people don't like speaking about it. I have never really been in real world work so everything I just said may seem delusional and I apologise for that, just want to get a gist of what the salary is really like.
Hi there,

2nd year MSc OT student here!! In terms of finances, the MSc couse is funded like an undergraduate course meaning you're student loans are covered and you get the maintence loan. As UK students you are also entitled to a £5000 bursary from the NHS learning support fund which you don't have to pay back. When I found out about this it definitley eased some of my worries about managing financially.

The course and placements are hardwork but it I do find it is a such a rewarding career choice and it has made me so much more motivated to work than I was for my undergraduate degree. If possible, some shadowing experience with OTs may help you to understand the ins and outs of OT and help you to formulate your decision.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Katie - University of Southampton Student Ambassador
MSc Occupational Therapy Student
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ZA753
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#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
Hi! I am considering a BSc in Occupational Therapy. However, is it a vast benefit to do the MSc?
Also when talking about salaries, they mention specialist OT. What are the potential ways to specialise . Any help would be appreciated!
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naanybready
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#8
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#8
(Original post by ZA753)
Hi! I am considering a BSc in Occupational Therapy. However, is it a vast benefit to do the MSc?
Also when talking about salaries, they mention specialist OT. What are the potential ways to specialise . Any help would be appreciated!
most band 5's after a year or two of qualifcation move on to band 6 ot which is usually specialist ot roles (between £32k and £40k). if you're going into ot just for the money idk if its a good idea cos the pay is comfortable, secure and decent but isnt anything extravagant. its sufficient and decent pay (not for the job you are required to do most hcps are underpaid for what theyre worth like ot). you can specialise in anything from stroke to neuro to mental health etc, so the role is versatile and fulfilling. are you wondering whether to do msc or bsc? have you got a degree or looking at other ones?
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ZA753
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#9
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#9
(Original post by naanybready)
most band 5's after a year or two of qualifcation move on to band 6 ot which is usually specialist ot roles (between £32k and £40k). if you're going into ot just for the money idk if its a good idea cos the pay is comfortable, secure and decent but isnt anything extravagant. its sufficient and decent pay (not for the job you are required to do most hcps are underpaid for what theyre worth like ot). you can specialise in anything from stroke to neuro to mental health etc, so the role is versatile and fulfilling. are you wondering whether to do msc or bsc? have you got a degree or looking at other ones?
No I’m not just doing it for the money. I genuinely wanted a career where I’m constantly helping others. But obviously the salary is an important factor when considering your career options. I am looking into BSc so far. But also wanted to specialise into paediatric area. What is the process for that. Thank you for your help!
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Uni of Southampton Students
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#10
Report 4 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by ZA753)
Hi! I am considering a BSc in Occupational Therapy. However, is it a vast benefit to do the MSc?
Also when talking about salaries, they mention specialist OT. What are the potential ways to specialise . Any help would be appreciated!
(Original post by ZA753)
No I’m not just doing it for the money. I genuinely wanted a career where I’m constantly helping others. But obviously the salary is an important factor when considering your career options. I am looking into BSc so far. But also wanted to specialise into paediatric area. What is the process for that. Thank you for your help!
Hi there,

I'm currently in my second year of the MSc Occupational Therapy course at Southampton It's great to hear you're interested in OT!!

I picked the masters course as I only discovered OT and picked it as a career during my third year of my undergraduate course - the masters is great if you have a relevant undergraduate degree already and want to transfer those skills and train to become an OT.

Once you graduate, if you work in the NHS you can go in to a band 5 role - this can be either static (staying in the same department/ward/area) or it can be rotational (changing between wards/departments/teams often every 6-8 months). People often choose rotational to try out different areas and find the area they want to specalsie in. If you know you want to work in paediatrics you may decide to apply for a peadiatric role, in any area, straight away!! You may decide to try a roational position to develop skills more broadly. After 18 months - 2 years as a band 5 people often progress to a band 6. This can sitll be a rotational post too but a band 6 is when people tend to choose to become more specalised. Obviously you dont have to go into working with the NHS and you may instead choose a different route such as social care.

I hope that infomation helps you to understand how you may specalise. With each placement I do I find I become less sure of the area I want to work in because I've enjoyed all my placements for different reasons which is why rotational posts can be really helpful!

Please let me know if you have any questions or queries and I would be happy to try and help

Katie
Official University of Southampton student rep
https://www.southampton.ac.uk/
Last edited by Uni of Southampton Students; 4 weeks ago
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ZA753
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi there,

I'm currently in my second year of the MSc Occupational Therapy course at Southampton It's great to hear you're interested in OT!!

I picked the masters course as I only discovered OT and picked it as a career during my third year of my undergraduate course - the masters is great if you have a relevant undergraduate degree already and want to transfer those skills and train to become an OT.

Once you graduate, if you work in the NHS you can go in to a band 5 role - this can be either static (staying in the same department/ward/area) or it can be rotational (changing between wards/departments/teams often every 6-8 months). People often choose rotational to try out different areas and find the area they want to specalsie in. If you know you want to work in paediatrics you may decide to apply for a peadiatric role, in any area, straight away!! You may decide to try a roational position to develop skills more broadly. After 18 months - 2 years as a band 5 people often progress to a band 6. This can sitll be a rotational post too but a band 6 is when people tend to choose to become more specalised. Obviously you dont have to go into working with the NHS and you may instead choose a different route such as social care.

I hope that infomation helps you to understand how you may specalise. With each placement I do I find I become less sure of the area I want to work in because I've enjoyed all my placements for different reasons which is why rotational posts can be really helpful!

Please let me know if you have any questions or queries and I would be happy to try and help

Katie
Official University of Southampton student rep
https://www.southampton.ac.uk/
Thanks so much for your reply!

if you don’t mind me asking, which undergraduate course did you do? And why did you decide to change?

Also, I’ve been looking at current OT jobs online, and some of them mention around £25 an hour. Is that classed as a band 5? And is it hard to get OT jobs after graduating?
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Uni of Southampton Students
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#12
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#12
Hi there,

No worries - I did my undergraduate in Education and Psychology and I was unsure what I wanted to do after graduating. I happened to go to a talk from the Occupational therapy department which got me really interested in at a career. When I spoke to family about it it turned out some of them had recieved OT input for various reasons and the work they did with my family made me really interested!! I did my undergraduate at University of Southampton too and when I researched degrees I saw the MSc option at Southampton - as I enjoyed my time there so much I decided staying at the University of Southampton was a good fit for me!!

I'm unsure of the hourly rate for band 5 but the annual salary begings around £25, 655. I can't personally speak on how hard it is to get a job after graduating as I haven't yet gone through that process but Occupational Therapists are very in demand

I hope that infomation helps you a bit - please let me know if you have any more questiosn!!

Katie - official University of Southampton student rep
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ZA753
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#13
Report 4 weeks ago
#13
(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi there,

No worries - I did my undergraduate in Education and Psychology and I was unsure what I wanted to do after graduating. I happened to go to a talk from the Occupational therapy department which got me really interested in at a career. When I spoke to family about it it turned out some of them had recieved OT input for various reasons and the work they did with my family made me really interested!! I did my undergraduate at University of Southampton too and when I researched degrees I saw the MSc option at Southampton - as I enjoyed my time there so much I decided staying at the University of Southampton was a good fit for me!!

I'm unsure of the hourly rate for band 5 but the annual salary begings around £25, 655. I can't personally speak on how hard it is to get a job after graduating as I haven't yet gone through that process but Occupational Therapists are very in demand

I hope that infomation helps you a bit - please let me know if you have any more questiosn!!

Katie - official University of Southampton student rep
Ah right! Can I ask why you decided to do MSc rather than BSc? And what are your plans after graduating? Sorry about the random questions I just want to get as much information as possible.
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Uni of Southampton Students
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#14
Report 4 weeks ago
#14
(Original post by ZA753)
Ah right! Can I ask why you decided to do MSc rather than BSc? And what are your plans after graduating? Sorry about the random questions I just want to get as much information as possible.
No worries, ask as many questions as you want to!! I chose the MSc as I alredy had a BSc so it meant I would be able to get a higher qualification rather than another undergraduate degree and it's 2 years rather than 3 years so it would be a quicker route for me Have you already got a BSc degree?

I'm unsure on my plans once I graduate as I won't graduate until December so I still have some time before I start applying but I'm looking in to a rotational post to increase my depth of understanding in different areas

I hope that helps - please let me know if you have any more questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them!!

Katie
Official University of Southampton student rep
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