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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salary

Median pay for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in the United States is around $25.10 per hour. The bottom of the pay range sits near $18.39 per hour, and the top verges on $33.72. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geography, followed by the company and tenure. Health benefits are not claimed by all — just under a third lack any form of coverage — but the greater part have medical insurance, and more than half have dental, too. For the most part, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Women account for the majority of Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who took the survey — 88 percent to be exact. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
$29,309 - $59,876
(Median)
29K
35K
42K
51K
60K
MEDIAN: $42,201
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$18.39 - $33.72
(Median)
18
21
25
29
34
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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Show Annual Salary Show Hourly Rate

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
$29,309 - $59,876  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,018  
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).
)
$36,372 - $69,694  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 781
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
$18.39 - $33.72  
   
Overtime
$22.59 - $46.89  
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 - $1,018  
   
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).
)
$36,372 - $69,694  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 4,085
United States (change)

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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At the upper end, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who move into a Rehabilitation Director role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Rehabilitation Directors is $87K per year. Going from Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant to Occupational Therapist Assistant is the transition that occurs most often in this field, and the average paycheck for Occupational Therapist Assistants is $44K. Many others choose to work as Senior Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, where pay is typically $56K.

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants flock to RehabCare, HCR ManorCare, Genesis Rehabilitation Services Inc., Life Care Centers of America, and Aegis Therapies, Inc., highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Reliant Rehabilitation pays the most with a median salary of $64K, though with a large amount of variation, going from a low of $47K to a high of $86K. Infinity Rehab, Sava Senior Care, and Select Rehabilitation, Inc. are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants earning around $60K, $59K, or $58K at each firm, respectively.

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Encore Rehabilitation, LLC at $48K, HCR ManorCare at $50K, and Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital, where $51K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants report using a large range of skills on the job. 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 in pay of 6 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate 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.


Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $49K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $53K on average — a distinctly larger sum. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $57K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make about the same as folks in the 10-to-20 year range.

Pay Difference by Location


Dallas is home to an above-average pay rate for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, 21 percent higher than the national average. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants will also find cushy salaries in San Antonio (+17 percent), Chicago (+15 percent), Houston (+10 percent), and Atlanta (+8 percent). Compared to the national average, Buffalo Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants have considerably lower salaries, 32 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Pittsburgh (11 percent less) and St. Louis (4 percent less).

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Reviews

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.

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

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.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salaries




National Average
$51,000


Skills That Affect Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salaries





Rehabilitation
up arrow 3%

Orthopedics
up arrow 2%

hand therapy
up arrow 1%

Acute Care
0%

National Average
$51,000

Occupational Health
up arrow 2%


mental health
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 537 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
25%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

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