The List Of Occupational Therapy Side Hustles

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The List Of Side Hustles For Occupational Therapists

Are you an occupational therapist looking to increase your income by picking up a side hustle?

You came to the right place.

These days, it seems like everyone has some sort of side hustle going on. 

Side hustles can range from just making a few extra bucks on the side by turning a hobby into a casual income stream while other side hustles can become so lucrative that you bring in more income than you do from your full-time job!

I started off in the former group and then ended up in the latter. By working side hustles, I was able to pay off over $350,000 in student loans, financially prepare for the arrival of our first baby, save up to purchase our first house, fund our retirement accounts, and leave my full-time job to work as much as I want, when I want. 

In other words, the decision to create new income streams by working side hustles allowed me to get control of my finances and, therefore, my life as well – and you can too. 

That’s why I created this list of side hustles ideas for occupational therapists like you. 

For your convenience, the list is broken down into 3 separate categories so you can more easily find a side hustle that best suits you:

  1. Side hustles that utilize your occupational therapy degree for direct patient treatment
  2. Side hustles that utilize your occupational therapy degree outside of providing patient direct treatment
  3. Side Hustles that don’t utilize your occupational therapy degree at all

At the end of the list, you will also find a bonus section providing ideas on how to better maximize your income potential at your current full-time job.

This list is quite thorough. However, it is not exhaustive, as new side hustle ideas pop up every day. If you can think of any additional side hustles that would be worth including on this list, be let me know in the comments section below!

Let’s get started.

SIDE HUSTLES THAT UTILIZE YOUR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE FOR DIRECT PATIENT CARE

Choosing a side hustle requires direct patient care can be an obvious side hustle option. But what might be less obvious is the massive income potential this category can provide and the ease with which you can carry over your already developed occupational therapy skillset. 

In other words, if you prefer to choose a side hustle that does not require development of an entirely new skillset, this category can suit you well. 

On the other hand, performing patient treatment in a less familiar setting can also be an opportunity for you develop new skills and can open up the door to a new full-time job opportunity should that be your goal.

1. PRN Home Health Independent Contractor

Out of all of the side hustle options on this list, this is my favorite. How could it not be after working prn home health as a side hustle helped me pay off over $350,000 in student loans?!

Interested but not sure how to get started? If working in home health would be a new setting for you, don’t worry. I had no experience in home health when I first started this side hustle. That’s why I created a tutorial for you – Home Health PRN Physical Therapy: How and Why to Get Started – Part 1.

2. Per Diem Inpatient Acute Care/Outpatient/SNF

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Interested in a direct patient-care side hustle without having to drive around from patient to patient?

Picking up a per diem job in a hospital, clinic or skilled nursing facility can provide that opportunity. 

However, compared to prn home health, the number of hours you can work is limited to the shift you pick up and therefore your income potential may not be as great.

3. Per Diem Telehealth Occupational Therapy

COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of many industries and healthcare is no exception. As occupational therapists, the risks of treating patients in person is well-known to you and that is why telehealth opportunities have become more abundant. 

If this is of interest to you, check out the telehealth companies that are listed below.

Just make sure that if you choose to explore this side hustle that you are not practicing geographically outside of the bound of your license. You can stay up to date by checking out the American Occupational Therapy Association’s occupational therapy licensure page according to state by clicking here.

4. Cash Paying Private Clients

You’ve probably heard some of your occupational therapy friends and colleagues tell you that they have a couple of private, cash-paying clients that they treat on the side. 

You can count me as part of that group of therapists. Treating cash-paying clients in their homes has been a natural addition to combine with my prn home health and Luna caseloads. 

The following podcasts provide some good information if you’re looking to learn more: 

SIDE HUSTLES THAT UTILIZE YOUR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE WITHOUT PROVIDING DIRECT PATIENT CARE:

Sometimes leveraging your degree with a side hustle that still utilizes your occupational therapy skillset without requiring you perform direct patient care can be the best choice. The following side hustles are some examples of ways you can do this: 

1. Start a Blog

Would you like to work from home? All you need is a laptop and your creativity! 

You can use your background as an occupational therapist to blog on a variety of different topics.

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For example, if you’re like my wife who specializes with the pediatric population, you can niche down and focus on that. 

Or maybe you can combine two different passions into one blog. Money Mobilizer is an example of that where I combined my background as a physical therapist with my passion for personal finance.

Blogging isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like to write, perhaps consider another option. Also, blogging is not the get-rich-quick scheme that many others make it out to be. 

But if you are creative and have a passion for a specific topic, that hard work you put in likely won’t really feel like work at all. The amount of time you put in, though, may rival that of your full-time job.

Figuring out how to get your blog started can be tough – trust me, I’ve been there. That’s why I took courses offered by Create and Go. These courses gave not only provided me with information I needed to learn but also gave me a direction to better avoid “analysis paralysis.”

Below are the links to the courses offered by Create and Go. Of note, you can either purchase these courses one at a time or you can purchase all of them as a bundle by clicking on the Blog Biz Bundle listed last. If you are just starting out, I recommend beginning with the Launch Your Blog Business Course or you can purchase the Blog Business Bundle if you are planning on taking all of the courses.

2. Create an Online Course

While blogging can seem overwhelming, starting a course can be more finite. You simply create the course, advertise it, and watch the money come in!

Okay, so developing a course worthy of other people’s money isn’t as easy as that. But if you are willing to put the work in up front, you can continue to make income more passively later on. 

Teachable is a great company commonly used to create courses:

3. Create a Study Guide to Help Others Pass Occupational Therapy Exams

Are you an expert in a certain area? Think about creating a study guide for an exam in that area. Once written, that study guide can continue to be purchased and used without requiring more work later on, kind of a written version of the creating a course option discussed above. 

4. Start a Podcast

Listen to any great podcasts? I do while I’m on the road in between seeing patients in their homes. And I’m not the only one – podcasts have really taken off! 

In fact, Podcast Insights states that Nielsen Rating Company estimated that 50% of American households listen to podcasts – that’s over 60 million households! 

The article also notes that there are currently over 2,000,000 podcasts in circulation. Now, this make lead to you believe that podcasting is a saturated market. However, the number of people listening to podcasts has continued to grow, most recently from 51% in 2019 to 55% in 2020. 

So, if you’ve got a great podcast idea, go for it! There’s room for you too. 

5. Expert Witness

If you’re an expert in your field and don’t mind being put on the spot, consider being an expert witness! 

Not sure where to start? Check out the companies listed below to learn more:

6. Utilization Reviewer

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Interested in reviewing medical records from the comfort of your home? Physical therapist Phillip Magee can teach you how.

Check out his Nonclinical Utilization Review Course!

7. Teaching Assistant at an Occupational Therapy Program

Enjoy passing your occupational therapy knowledge on to students? Consider working as a teaching assistant at an occupational therapy program!

8. Tutoring OT Students

What if you like teaching but prefer a more one to one setting? Consider tutoring! 

If you recently graduated from an occupational therapy program and know students in the program that could benefit from your help, that could potentially be a good tutoring opportunity. Just make sure to remain ethical and not give away any previous exam questions. 

You can also consider tutoring occupational therapy students to help them pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.

9. Online Occupational Therapy Surveys

Okay, so filling out surveys may not sound like the most exhilarating option nor the option that makes a ton of extra money. However, it may be the most convenient side hustle option on this list.

By that, I mean you can fill out as many or a few surveys as you like and stop any time. 

The difficulty, though, is finding a company that provides surveys specifically to occupational therapists. That said, I was able to find the two companies listed below that appear to do so:

SIDE HUSTLE OPTIONS NOT RELATED TO OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY:

If you need an outlet from the occupational therapy job you already have, you may prefer to take on a side hustle that has absolutely nothing to do with occupational therapy. 

And that is okay! 

Here are a few options that you might like: 

1. Start a Blog

I know, we’ve already covered the option of starting a blog. But we when discussed it earlier, it was under the premise that the blog would be somehow related to your occupational therapy skillset – and it doesn’t have to be!

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The great thing about blogging is it can be about whatever you want it to be. 

If you have a passion that has nothing to do with occupational therapy at all but writing about it would make you happy, then make your blog about that topic! Blogs that succeed are the ones that have that type of passion behind it, so you may end up creating a very lucrative side hustle while having fun at the same time! 

The courses I mentioned earlier that are offered by Create and Go are a great way to get started:

2. Crowdfunding

Interested in investing in real estate but don’t feel like being a landlord? Crowdfunding may be right for you.

In fact, it has been the right choice for a lot of people. Check out Crowd Wise to see the statistics on just how popular crowdfunding has become.

Below are a few of the more popular options for crowdfunding: 

3. Renting Out Your Home

Already own property? If you have the room, why not create another income stream and rent part of it out? 

Here are a few of the more popular options for renting out your property: 

4. Filling Out Non-OT Related Surveys 

So we already discussed how difficult it is to find surveys geared specifically towards occupational therapists. But why not consider filling out surveys that are generalized to the entire public? 

Here are a few of the more popular options you can explore: 

5. Delivering Items for Money

Food delivery companies have become a very common side hustle option. There are actually so many companies to choose from that deciding which one to work for is not very straightforward. 

That’s why I recommend reading Side Hustle Nation’s Postmates Drive Review: Up to $20 an Hour Making Deliveries in Your Spare Time. This article is a good place to start learning about working for Postmates and it also has links to some of the other food delivery side hustle options listed here:

6. Place Ads on Your Car

Are you already putting a lot of miles on your car? Why not make a little extra money by placing an ad on your car?

This can be a great option for occupational therapists working prn home health. 

Here are some of the commonly used companies:

7. Rent Out Your Car

What if you own a car that you don’t use very often? Consider renting it out for extra income:

8. Donate Your Plasma

Have you ever donated plasma? Interested but don’t know where to start?

Check out this article from Millennial Money Man to get some insight on what donating plasma is like. 

9. Tutoring Students in Non-Occupational Therapy Subjects

10. Dog Walks/Pet Sitting

11. Freelance Online

Have a skill you’d like to sell as a service? Here are a couple of popular companies to look into when getting started:

12. Sell Your Items on Etsy 

Are you making items others may want to buy? Why not open up your own online shop like the 4 million people that have already done so.

Click here to start learning about selling items on Etsy.

13. Transcription Services

14. Gym Class Instructor

Do you enjoy working out in group gym classes? Why not teach them and earn a little extra money? Checking with your local gym could be a good starting point.

15. Teach English Online

16. Rent Out Your Driveway or Parking Spot

17. Test Apps and Websites

18. Be an Audiobook Narrator

19. Sell Things Online

Selling items you don’t need can be a great way to make some extra money! It might even be a good way to dispose of some of your used occupational therapy text books from graduate school. 

IDEAS ON HOW TO INCREASE INCOME AT YOUR FULL-TIME OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY JOB:

If you’re hoping to increase your income but not interested in picking up a side hustle, why not find ways to bring in extra money from your full-time job? 

1. Pick Up Extra Shifts

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If things get busy, ask your boss if you can pick up some extra shifts. Employers often prefer that a full-time employee work a few extra shifts rather than having to hire another new occupational therapist and train them to work those days. 

2. Pick Up Holiday Shifts

Some employers pay occupational therapists more to work on certain holidays. Ask your boss if you can pick some of these shifts up. I’ve made thousands of dollars extra doing this.

3. Work Overtime

Some employers who pay hourly may pay more if you work longer than the time you are scheduled for. If you are salaried, then overtime might not be an option. 

FINAL THOUGHTS. . .

I hope you found this list helpful. Please share this list with other occupational therapists looking for the right side hustle.

Do you have a favorite side hustle? Share below! Before moving on, please help make the Money Mobilizer a supportive and welcoming community for our current and future colleagues by leaving a question or sharing your knowledge below!  

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