OT in NYC

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Karamococa in San Diego, California

17 months ago

I'm currently an OTR in San Diego, looking to make a big cross country move to New York City. Does anyone have any insights into how difficult it is to get a job there, and what to expect hourly? My preferred setting is SNF, and I'm currently working in a SNF in San Diego making just under $50/hr... I would expect to make more than this simply because of cost of living, as NYC is much more expensive than San Diego. If anyone has any insight or experiences to share, please let me know!

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OT in Austin, Texas

10 months ago

Hi,
Don't know if this is too late...But I'm an OT, working in SNFs, and have moved from CA to NY. I practiced in Austin for 5 yrs, then in CA for 8 yrs, then moved to NY for 5 years and am just now back in Austin. I'd always wanted to live in NY and spent a lot of time there and everybody knows it's expensive. But ultimately, after ridding myself of my car and those expenses before getting to NY, my budget wasn't all that different living in Manhattan than in L.A. The apt cost more and was much much smaller, but w/o car insur, gas, etc. the budget was similar. But there were 2 problems. One is that you don't get paid more in NY, but less. (I was making $48-$52/hr in CA 2008) The rates are lower in NY -some very low because some therapy depts are unionized and have salary caps. I worked at a facility through an agency and they wanted to hire me but the most they could offer was $68,00/yr (their salary cap), which boils down to $32-$33/hr, which I made in 2001. Another facility wanted to hire me and could only offer $76,000 ($37/hr) and I have 18 years experience. My first year there, I was a DOR and made only $48/hr after much haggling. The rest of the time I worked for an agency so to get a better rate, where I haggled to get $50/hr because of my experience. My OT friends were making $43-$47 at the same agency. If you decide to go, agency is the way to go and I'd recommend Therapeutic Resources (I tried most). The other problem is taxes - NY has high state and city taxes so every paycheck was smaller than expected. So, $50/hr was really more like $33/hr and the taxes are more the more you work and you don't have to make a lot to pay a lot. I'm glad I did it, but it is more expensive with less money. Also, there's not as much work there so the employers really have the upper hand. I'm glad I did it, but was surprised at the financial crunch. Am back in Austin where I make less but keep more (no taxes) but still missing the money and ease of being an OT in CA.

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