Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salary

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in the United States can expect wages of $25.35 per hour on average. Compensation ranges from $18.88 per hour on the lower end to $34.01 on the higher end. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and tenure. While some workers in this profession — just under a third — do not have any health coverage, a majority do receive medical benefits and more than half have dental insurance. The vast majority of Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (88 percent) who responded to the survey are women. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,759 - $61,237

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$18.88 - $34.01

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$29,759 - $61,237  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $985  
Profit Sharing
$198.32 - $1,965  
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).
)
$37,513 - $70,333  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 860
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$18.88 - $34.01  
   
Overtime
$20.79 - $48.13  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $985  
   
Profit Sharing
$198.32 - $1,965  
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).
)
$37,513 - $70,333  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,644
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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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For Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, progressing to a Rehabilitation Director role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Rehabilitation Director can earn $87K annually. The most common promotion for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants is an Occupational Therapist Assistant position, which usually brings in $45K a year. Another standard transition for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants seeking advancement is to assume a Senior Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant role, where pay is often $58K.

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


Dominating the field, RehabCare, HCR ManorCare, Aegis Therapies, Inc., Genesis Rehabilitation Services Inc., and Life Care Centers of America are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in search of the best pay head to Reliant Rehabilitation, where the median salary rolls in at $63K. Although pay is top-notch overall, it does seem to be curbed at $79K, which isn't dramatically higher than the lower-end figure of $51K. Other leaders in compensation levels are Genesis HealthCare at $60K, Sava Senior Care at $60K, and Infinity Rehab, where Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants annually earn $59K.

Employees at Encore Rehabilitation, LLC take home the smallest paychecks, and $47K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $38K and quickly nearing the top at only $57K. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include HCR ManorCare at $50K, Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital at $51K, and Genesis Rehab Services, where $52K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Outpatient, Home Health/Home Care, Geriatrics, and Long Term Care are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 15 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like mental health and Pediatrics. Most people who know 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.


Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $50K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $54K. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants see a median salary of $58K after reaching one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $59K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in San Diego enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 27 percent above the national average. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Dallas (+21 percent), San Antonio (+17 percent), Chicago (+12 percent), and Houston (+8 percent). Falling short of the national average by 11 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Pittsburgh. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Denver (7 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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Experience Affects Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salaries




National Average
$52,000


Skills That Affect Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salaries

Outpatient
up arrow 15%




Patient Education
up arrow 4%

Rehabilitation
up arrow 2%

Orthopedics
up arrow 2%

hand therapy
0%

School Based
0%

National Average
$52,000

Acute Care
up arrow 1%

Occupational Health
up arrow 2%


mental health
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 589 votes.

Gender

Female
88 %
Male
12 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
13%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 67% dental benefits Dental: 56%
vision benefits Vision: 44% employee benefits None: 30%
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