Although a great job involves more than just how much you get paid, you may be surprised to discover your state’s average wages and how they compare to other locations around the country. The biggest surprise, though, is the way that your state’s cost of living is affecting your earnings. Most salary comparison tools create a report that tell you the average yearly wage for your location. However, average salary statistics can be misleading unless they are adjusted for cost of living. It’s worth your time to research the cost of living, as well as average wages, when you consider where to live and work.
Top 5 for Average Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the top five states for Occupational Therapy salary averages are:
- Nevada ($94,190)
- California ($89,520)
- New Jersey ($88,040)
- Maryland ($84,490)
- Texas ($84,100)
But, the salary in these states is just the beginning. Factoring in the average costs for housing, taxes, groceries, gas, and entertainment etc., in each state, changes the earnings rankings.
- Texas drops from #5 to #6
- California goes from #2 all the way down to #21
- New Jersey drops even further; from #3 to #27
- and Maryland drops from #4 to #30th
Only Nevada maintains its #1 spot in both categories. Occupational Therapists who live and work in Nevada earn more than Occupational Therapists in any other state, even when their wages are adjusted for cost of living. The adjusted top 5 are as follows:
- Nevada ($95,916)
- Mississippi ($93,067)
- Arkansas ($92,169)
- Kentucky ($89,245)
- Ohio ($88,879)
Surprised? According to these statistics, it looks like if you want to move south, that is a good thing! Want to find out how your state’s Occupational Therapist earnings rank?
Figuring Out Your Own Purchasing Power
Many of you may be wondering where your state ranks or how a state ranks that may interest you as a future work location.
Here is a calculator that adjusts each state’s average salary with cost of living to help you figure this out. It uses the median data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, along with cost-of-living to show what states have the highest actual salary.
Another resource that is helpful in finding out where actual salaries rank in your state is the Bureau of Economic Analysis, that shows Real Personal Income (RPI) for all 50 states. Not only is RPI average salary adjusted for cost-of-living, but it also figures in how much inflation has affected each state over time. However, you cannot specifically look at Occupational Therapist salaries, just overall average salary for the state. It’s still a good starting point for your general purchasing power in an area.
Finding a Great Job
Remember, salary is just one part of finding a job that is right for you. We encourage our therapists to consider many other factors as well, such as: proximity to family and friends, commute, setting, company culture, schedule, and work/life balance.
If you are looking for a new job, why not ask myPTsolutions for help? We specialize in connecting therapists with jobs they love. Contact one of our employment specialists for more information about our free travel and direct hire placement services.