Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salary
Job Description for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
The position of Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) entails the oversight, administration and assistance of occupational therapy activities. This position reports to and aids Registered Occupational Therapists in applying therapies and occupational therapy techniques for the purpose of rehabilitation of people with injuries and/or disabilities. Rehabilitative services may be physical, emotional, psychological or mental in nature, depending upon the need of the patients being served. Assistance and instruction directly to a patient and/or a patient's family may be required, so strong, professional and interpersonal skills are preferred. COTAs must be able to document, organize, sort and store information related to patient health, status and progress, as well as billing, schedules and other administrative documents and resources.Read More...
This job may involve physical assessment of patients and administration of therapies in various healthcare settings, including clinical, outpatient, or home environments (this may involve driving to and from a patient's home in order to meet his or her needs). In-home and off-site work will often require direct supervision by a Registered Occupational Therapist, but will sometimes include independent activity.
Background in physical therapy or applied kinesiology will be strongly beneficial. Certification must be assured for the completion of at least one of over 135 accredited occupational therapy assistant programs in the United States. Education requirements for this position will also involve at least an Associate’s degree in a field directly related to occupational therapy. Compensation will be determined based on both the individual and the requirements of the occupational therapy firm. Individual compensation will be evaluated based on their certification, level of training, experience and location.
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Tasks
- Observe and document patients' progress, attitudes and behavior and report to supervisor.
- Monitor and evaluate patients' performance in therapy activities and provide encouragement.
- Select therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities, alter treatment programs as necessary.
- Instruct patients and families in home programs, basic living skills and the care and use of adaptive equipment.
- Assist occupational therapists with implementing treatment plans designed to help patients function independently.
Common Career Paths for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
While Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants do not often become Rehabilitation Directors, the job pays $88K per year on average. An Occupational Therapist Assistant role is the most common promotion for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants moving up the ladder. Pay for this role tends to be $46K per year. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants is a Senior Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant position, where earnings are usually $58K.
Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants include Aegis Therapies, Inc., RehabCare, Genesis HealthCare, Kindred Healthcare, and Life Care Centers of America. Functional Pathways Corporation pays the most with a median salary of $62K, though there is little variation overall ($46K to $72K). Other leaders in compensation levels are Reliant Rehabilitation at $62K, Sava Senior Care at $59K, and Genesis Group, where Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants annually earn $59K.
The consistently lowest paying firm is Encore Rehabilitation, LLC, where the median salary is just $52K. There isn't much variation there, either; the pay scale ranges only from $38K to $68K. A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Genesis Rehab Services ($52K), HCR ManorCare ($52K), and Aegis Therapies, Inc. ($55K).
Popular Skills for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, facility with School Based, Skilled Nursing Facility, and snf are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 26 percent, 24 percent, and 8 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Pediatrics and hand therapy. Most people experienced in Geriatrics also know Long Term Care.
Pay by Experience Level for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $51K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $56K. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants bring in $60K after working for 10 to 20 years. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $61K.
Pay Difference by Location
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants will find that San Diego offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 25 percent. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Dallas (+15 percent), Chicago (+15 percent), Houston (+12 percent), and Charlotte (+10 percent). Trailing the national average by 14 percent, Pittsburgh is the market with the smallest paychecks. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Indianapolis and Canton (4 percent less).
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