Travel occupational therapist salary

Midge Lee
September 2, 2023
Reading time:
5 min
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Being a travel occupational therapist, or a travel OT, is a promising path for clinicians wanting to definitively increase their pay while taking on new career challenges. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for occupational therapists is projected to grow an impressive 14% by 2031. This bodes well for the profession—as the demand for skilled occupational therapists continues to grow, so will the opportunities for travelers to take their valuable skills to facilities across the country while earning more. 

At Nomad, we understand earning more pay is an important factor for many of our travel occupational therapists. To empower our clinicians to make informed decisions, we’ve provided a salary guide to help navigate the basics of travel occupational therapist pay. With this resource, you’ll get an overview of the factors that can influence your pay as a travel OT, along with the most current salary data for both staff and travel occupational therapists. Whether you’re trying to negotiate higher pay for an assignment, or are simply wanting to understand industry-wide salary benchmarks, refer to our guide below.

Average travel occupational therapist salary

The average weekly salary or total compensation for travel occupational therapists at Nomad Health is $2,008 including stipend. Compared to staff occupational therapists who earn an average pay of around $1,782 per week, becoming a traveler is an excellent way to increase an occupational therapist’s salary.

Occupational therapist travel salary range

Salary ranges for travel occupational therapists can change frequently based on compensable factors like location, certifications, and specializations, and more. At Nomad Health, the average weekly salary range or compensation ranges for a travel occupational therapist is $1,440 to $3,080 including stipend.

Average travel occupational therapist pay rate

Travel occupational therapists at Nomad Health earn an average hourly pay rate of $51 per hour. On the high end, travelers can earn as much as $77 per hour.

What is the highest salary for a travel OT?

The highest weekly salary or total compensation reported for travel occupational therapists at Nomad Health is $3,080 including stipend. Keep in mind that travel occupational therapists salaries can always increase or decrease depending on factors like the ones mentioned above.

Factors that influence OT travel pay

Travel occupational therapist pay is influenced by a number of compensable factors, which include but are not limited to:

Travel occupational therapist experience

Facilities are always looking for highly skilled occupational therapists with strong experience who can start their assignments quickly and confidently. The more relevant experience you have as a travel occupational therapist, the more willing a facility is to pay you a higher salary for your skills.

Travel occupational therapist education

Travel occupational therapists are required to pass the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) to practice independently. 

OT specialization

Travel occupational therapists who specialize in different clinical settings such as rehab may be able to negotiate a higher pay rate compared to travel OTs without specialization experience.


As a travel occupational therapist, earning professional certifications from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) can demonstrate advanced clinical proficiency and increased knowledge. Having more credentials can help you stand out amongst your peers and give you more bargaining power with the facility. 

Facility demand

When facilities experience occupational therapist shortages, they often rely on travel occupational therapists to fill those gaps. Depending on the severity of the shortage, travel OTs may be able to negotiate a higher pay with the facility.


The cost of living in each city and state will directly influence how much pay facilities can offer travel occupational therapists. For example, a travel OT assignment in a rural area is likely to pay less than a travel assignment in a big city where the cost of living is higher.

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Author profile

Midge Lee
Midge is a registered nurse with eight years of clinical experience in ER, ICU, and home health. After travel nursing for a couple of years, she transitioned from the bedside to writing full-time. She’s passionate about diversity and trauma-informed care and will write hospital haikus if you ask nicely. Currently, she’s an SEO content writer at Nomad Health.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023
Modified: Sep. 2, 2023