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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salary

Earnings for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in the United States come in at around $25.26 per hour on average. Pay generally varies between $18.66 per hour and $33.89. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is geography, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who responded to the questionnaire are largely women, dominating at 88 percent. Most Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants like their work and job satisfaction is high. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — just under one in three lack coverage. On the flip side, the larger part have medical insurance and the greater part receive dental plans. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,342 - $60,037
(Median)
$29K
$43K
$60K
MEDIAN: $43,157
10%
50%
90%

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$18.66 - $33.89
(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
$29,342 - $60,037  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,001  
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).
)
$36,961 - $70,036  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 797
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
$18.66 - $33.89  
   
Overtime
$20.33 - $47.05  
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 - $1,001  
   
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).
)
$36,961 - $70,036  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,294

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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. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants go on to become Occupational Therapist Assistants more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $44K. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who move into a Senior Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $56K.

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


RehabCare, HCR ManorCare, Genesis Rehabilitation Services Inc., Aegis Therapies, Inc., and Life Care Centers of America are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants. Employees at Reliant Rehabilitation enjoy the biggest paychecks, and $63K is the median salary. Range in pay, on the other hand, is narrow, with lower figures hovering around $49K and higher ones not far away at only $83K. Infinity Rehab, Sava Senior Care, and Select Rehabilitation, Inc. also offer top salaries for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $59K, $59K, and $58K, respectively.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants will find the worst pay at Encore Rehabilitation, LLC, where the median salary crawls in at $47K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $57K, leaving little room for growth. A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital ($50K), HCR ManorCare ($50K), and Genesis Rehabilitation Services Inc. ($52K).

Popular Skills for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


Survey results imply that Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants deploy a deep pool 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 between 5 percent and 7 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include mental health and Pediatrics. 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.


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $50K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $54K. For Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $58K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn any more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts.

Pay Difference by Location


Dallas offers some of the highest pay in the country for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, 22 percent above the national average. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Antonio (+18 percent), Chicago (+11 percent), Houston (+8 percent), and Orlando (+1 percent). With compensation 14 percent below the national average, Milwaukee is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Workers in Pittsburgh and Denver earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (10 percent less and 5 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 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.

Related Job Salaries

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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




Patient Education
up arrow 4%

Rehabilitation
up arrow 3%

Orthopedics
up arrow 1%

Acute Care
0%

hand therapy
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 571 votes.

Gender

Female
88 %
Male
12 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
14%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

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