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Occupational Therapists

At a glance

• 1,400 employees
• 900 FTEs
• 40.6 years = average age
• $91,700 per year = average compensation including benefits of a full-time occupational therapist

There are 1,400 occupational therapists in BC’s public health sector who help patients develop, recover or maintain the skills needed to perform the daily tasks required to live as independently as possible. Occupational therapy is often included as part of a treatment plan to help remedy mental and physical impairments, developmental disabilities and stroke rehabilitation.

The combined total straight-time (not including overtime) hours of work is equivalent to 900 full-time employees. The majority of occupational therapists work in acute care facilities (53.2 per cent) and community mental health services (24.2 per cent).

Grade I occupational therapists account for 47 per cent of total occupational therapist full-time equivalents (FTEs).

FTE and employee trend 2008-2013

FTE and employee trend2013

The average age of an occupational therapist is 40.6 years, which is slightly more than it was in 2009 (40 years). Approximately 12.8 per cent of occupational therapists are now 55 years or older, an increase from 2009 when 10.9 per cent of occupational therapists were 55 years or older.

Employees by Age Group (2009 vs. 2013)


Wages and benefits
The average annual compensation for one full-time occupational therapist is $91,700 or $48.80 per hour, including wages and benefits. Since 2005, occupational therapists wages have increased by 16.5 per cent while the rate of inflation (BC Consumer Price Index) during this period was 10.0 per cent.

Wage Settlements vs. Inflation (BC CPI 2005-2013)


Compensation breakdown for a full-time occupational therapist (2013)

Overtime and sick leave
Since 2008, occupational therapists have received between 1.5 hours and four hours of overtime per year. Paid sick leave for occupational therapists has decreased by one day over the past five years.


Last updated: 10/11/2014