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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salary

Pay for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in the United States sits in the ballpark of $25.29 per hour. The bottom of the pay range sits near $18.73 per hour, and the top verges on $33.99. Residence is the main element affecting pay for this group — the company and years of experience are driving factors as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. While just under a third report receiving no health benefits, the larger part do receive medical coverage, and the greater part have dental, as well. The vast majority of Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (88 percent) who responded to the survey are women. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$29,417 - $60,321
(Median)
$29K
$43K
$60K
MEDIAN: $43,338
10%
50%
90%

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$18.73 - $33.99
(Median)
$19
$25
$34
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$29,417 - $60,321  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $994  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $1,700  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$37,129 - $70,323  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 816
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$16$32$48
Hourly Rate
$18.73 - $33.99  
   
Overtime
$21.17 - $47.53  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Bonus
$0.00 - $994  
   
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $1,700  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$37,129 - $70,323  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,385

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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.

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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Tasks

  • 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.
  • Select therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities, alter treatment programs as necessary.
  • Observe and document patients' progress, attitudes and behavior and report to supervisor.
  • Monitor and evaluate patients' performance in therapy activities and provide encouragement.

Common Career Paths for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who go on to become Rehabilitation Directors may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Rehabilitation Directors is $87K annually. Given that the median pay is $44K, it may be surprising to find that an Occupational Therapist Assistant is the most common role for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Senior Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant role — which pays $57K — is also typical for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, though less common by comparison.

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


RehabCare, HCR ManorCare, Aegis Therapies, Inc., Genesis Rehabilitation Services Inc., and Life Care Centers of America are top-notch employers for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in this area. Reliant Rehabilitation pays the most with a median salary of $63K, though there is little variation overall ($51K to $81K). Other big spenders include Infinity Rehab, Genesis HealthCare, and Sava Senior Care, top-paying firms where Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants see paychecks nearing $59K, $59K, or $58K.

Encore Rehabilitation, LLC offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $47K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $41K to $57K. Also approaching the lower end are Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital at $50K, HCR ManorCare at $50K, and Aegis Therapies, Inc. at $52K.

Popular Skills for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Home Health/Home Care, Geriatrics, Long Term Care, and Patient Education are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 7 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include mental health and Pediatrics. Those familiar with Geriatrics also tend to 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 Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. The average beginner in this position makes around $50K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $54K. For Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $58K. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are no higher than those with 10 to 20 years on the job.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, Dallas offers exceptional salaries, 23 percent above the national average. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants will also find cushy salaries in San Antonio (+18 percent), Chicago (+13 percent), Houston (+6 percent), and Atlanta (+6 percent). The lowest-paying market is Pittsburgh, which sits 10 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Denver (6 percent less) and Louisville (3 percent less).

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Reviews

What is it like working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)?

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Bellport:
"Rewarding."
Pros: I enjoy working with patients and seeing their progress from dependent to independent. The staff that I work with all have a great sense of humor which is important to have when working long hours as well as making therapy fun for the patients.
Cons: There are large gaps in pay scales with COTAs depending on the year you were hired. Some COTAs make over $30-35 and I make $24.48 an hour. I don't like how only one therapist from each discipline can take off even if it's a holiday. My job also is $100% productive so paperwork is on your own time.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Brookhaven:
"Educational and rewarding experience."
Pros: I enjoy working within a positive and supportive environment where I can learn and grow as a health care provider. I have flexible hours, have a great boss, have great health benefits, computerized paperwork, great patients, and work in a beautiful gym in a beautiful facility.
Cons: I feel that I am underpaid by at least 8-10 dollars, unrealistic expectations of paperwork in the time allotted, have to be 100% productive which includes paperwork. You are only paid by the minutes you treat so if the census is low you will receive less pay.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Louisville:
"Love It!"
Pros: I love working with people and making a difference in people's lives.
Cons: Fiscally demanding and mentally draining. The drive is getting old fast.

What is it like working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) at Infinity Rehab?

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Colville:
"Work Flexibility."
Pros: I love the flexible schedule, it's a good working environment and I'm part of a good team, that works well together.

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salaries




National Average
$52,000


Skills That Affect Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salaries




Patient Education
up arrow 4%

Rehabilitation
up arrow 3%

Orthopedics
up arrow 1%

Acute Care
0%

hand therapy
0%

School Based
0%

National Average
$52,000

Occupational Health
up arrow 2%


mental health
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 570 votes.

Gender

Female
88 %
Male
12 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
13%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 66% dental benefits Dental: 56%
vision benefits Vision: 43% employee benefits None: 30%
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