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British Association of Play Therapists

Pay Scales

After Play Therapists complete their training and register with the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT), the career prospects are good.

Qualified Play Therapists should have a choice in the way they are paid. Many BAPT play therapists also work in other professional roles and their salaries may reflect their dual qualifications. Social Workers who become Play Therapists are often paid as social workers on local authority national or local payscales as this benefits both employee and employer. Similarly, Teachers who become Play Therapists should be able to be paid as teachers using the national teachers’ pay scales (
Within the NHS, as of November 2007 employees are banded into Salary grades using the Agenda For Change scales. Currently these scales state:

l. Any Play/Arts Therapist who is at entry level should begin at band 7, NOT band 6

2. If the Play/Arts Therapist is the only one of his/her kind at the facility, this should be recognised (financially) within the Agenda for Change banding

If the job situation does not utilise the social work, teachers’, or Agenda for Change pay scales, our recommendation is a starting salary for a newly qualified Play Therapist should be around £31/32,000.
Experienced Play Therapists should earn £38,000 – £45,500 depending on length of experience and level of responsibility. Therapists who have further training and expertise in specialist areas could earn upwards of these amounts.
Sessional work rates for those in private practice vary greatly according to geographical area, but start at £40/£50 per session for newly qualified Play Therapists and range from £45-£90+ for experienced Play Therapists. Most charge extra for travelling time, travel expenses, mileage, report writing, court attendance, etc.

This information refers to qualified Play Therapists registered with BAPT.


Since the abolition of the London Pay Board, no organisation has been responsible for setting London Weighting. Currently the amounts paid by employers as London Weighting, or London Allowance, or in some cases both, vary greatly.
At present the London Weighting guidance is as follows: Inner London 20%, Outer London 15%, and fringe 5% of your salary

(page last updated September 2014)