Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salary

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in the United States pull down an average of $25.51 per hour. Lower pay rates hover around $19.16 per hour, and the higher rates verge on $34.24. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geography, but the specific employer and experience level are influential factors as well. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, just under a third are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a majority and dental insurance is reported by the larger part. There are far more female Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 89 percent. For the most part, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,131 - $61,325
(Median)
$30K
$44K
$61K
MEDIAN: $44,449
10%
50%
90%

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$19.16 - $34.24
(Median)
$19
$26
$34
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
50%
90%

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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
$30,131 - $61,325  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $971  
Profit Sharing
$275.00  
Commission
$0.00  
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).
)
$37,950 - $70,800  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 966
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
$19.16 - $34.24  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.45  
Overtime
$19.42 - $48.43  
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 - $971  
   
Commission
$0.00  
Profit Sharing
$275.00  
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).
)
$37,950 - $70,800  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 5,311
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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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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 a much higher $87K per year. 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 $45K 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)


RehabCare, HCR ManorCare, Aegis Therapies, Inc., Genesis HealthCare, and Life Care Centers of America are top-notch employers for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in this area. Salary cannot be beat at Reliant Rehabilitation, where median pay comes to $62K. The range seems somewhat confined, however; the lower end sits at $51K, and the higher end is not far away at $74K. Also paying near the top of the field are Genesis HealthCare at $59K, Sava Senior Care at $59K, and Infinity Rehab, where Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants annually earn $58K.

Pay for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants is the lowest at Encore Rehabilitation, LLC, which has a median salary of $47K. In addition, there's little room to grow there, with salaries maxing out at $54K. Also approaching the lower end are Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital at $50K, HCR ManorCare at $51K, and Genesis Rehab Services at $52K.

Popular Skills for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Skilled Nursing Facility, Outpatient, Home Health/Home Care, and Geriatrics are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 19 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include mental health, Pediatrics, and hand therapy. Those educated in Geriatrics tend to be well versed in 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, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $50K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $55K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants make a median salary of $59K. 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 $60K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $52,345

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants will find that San Diego offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 28 percent. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Dallas (+22 percent), San Antonio (+17 percent), Houston (+15 percent), and Chicago (+11 percent). Pittsburgh is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 10 percent. Workers in Denver and St. Louis earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (9 percent less and 3 percent less, respectively).

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

Skilled Nursing Facility
up arrow 19%

Outpatient
up arrow 14%




Patient Education
up arrow 3%

Rehabilitation
up arrow 2%

Orthopedics
up arrow 2%

Occupational therapy
up arrow 2%

Acute Care
0%

National Average
$52,000

Occupational Health
up arrow 1%

School Based
up arrow 1%

hand therapy
up arrow 4%


mental health
up arrow 18%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 651 votes.

Gender

Female
89 %
Male
11 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
14%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 67%
dental benefits
Dental: 56%
medical benefits
Vision: 45%
dental benefits
None: 30%
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