Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salary

Women comprise the majority of Certified Ophthalmic Assistants in the United States. Individuals in this line of work make around $16.38 per hour on average. Cash earnings for Certified Ophthalmic Assistants — which occasionally include more than $1K from bonuses and more than $5K from profit sharing — stretch from around $26K to approximately $45K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by location, followed by the company and tenure. Most Certified Ophthalmic Assistants report high levels of job satisfaction. Although a fair number have medical coverage and more than two-fifths have dental coverage, close to a fifth claim no health benefits at all. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$25,272 - $47,976
(Median)
$25K
$36K
$48K
MEDIAN: $35,879
10%
50%
90%

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$12.48 - $21.20
(Median)
$12
$16
$21
MEDIAN: $16.00
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$16K$32K$48K
Salary
$25,272 - $47,976  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,437  
Profit Sharing
$198.66 - $4,932  
Commission
$600  
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).
)
$26,291 - $45,411  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 175
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$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$12.48 - $21.20  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.12  
Overtime
$17.58 - $31.98  
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$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,437  
   
Commission
$600  
Profit Sharing
$198.66 - $4,932  
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).
)
$26,291 - $45,411  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,503
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Job Description for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)

A certified ophthalmologist assistant (COA) provides professional medical and administrative help for eye physicians in a clinical setting. They perform tasks such as muscle testing, refractometry, vision exams, and recording eyeglass prescriptions for patients. Interacting with patients is essential for this position, as an ophthalmologist assistant places patients in the appropriate room and prepares him or her for the appointment. A COA is also expected to clean equipment, surgical instruments, and exam areas regularly to prepare the environment for each patient. Ophthalmologist assistants are called to execute diagnostic testing to examine clients that suffer from eye and vision abnormalities and injuries. In addition, the COA may also administer medicine to a patient and assist with the surgical process if needed.

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Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Tasks

  • Coordinate patient care and influx of patients.
  • Provide technical ophthalmic and administrative assistance.
  • Take patient history and perform preliminary examination of patient.
  • Assist ophthalmologist with office patient procedures.

Common Career Paths for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


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Certified Ophthalmic Assistants who transition into a Registered Nurse role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $55K per year. Typical career progression for a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant involves becoming a Certified Ophthalmic Technician or an Ophthalmic Photographer, roles that pay $4K more and $6K more on average.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


Many Certified Ophthalmic Assistants can be found at Eye Associates, Spokane Eye Clinic, Cincinnati Eye Institute, Beach Eye Care, and Marietta Eye Clinic, firms that are at the top of the field. For Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, comfortable salaries can be found at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates; in fact, median earnings sit around $41K, the highest in the area. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks at Eye Associates ($37K), Cincinnati Eye Institute ($36K), and Eye Care Specialists PC ($35K).

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Marietta Eye Clinic at $31K, Spokane Eye Clinic at $35K, and Eye Care Specialists PC, where $35K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


Survey results imply that Certified Ophthalmic Assistants deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Refractions, Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, Surgery, and Medicine / Surgery 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 Refractometry and scribe. Most people familiar with Patient Education also know Procedures and Medical Photography. Most people who know Electronic Medical Records also know Medical Photography and Procedures.

Pay by Experience Level for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $31K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $35K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $37K. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $40K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $34,727

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

For Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, working in the bustling city of Boston has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+28 percent), Atlanta (+13 percent), Austin (+12 percent), and Houston (+11 percent). In Virginia Beach, salaries are 12 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market.

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Experience Affects Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salaries




National Average
$35,000


Skills That Affect Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salaries

Refractions
up arrow 15%



up arrow 5%

Refraction
up arrow 5%

Medical Photography
up arrow 2%

Procedures
up arrow 2%

Medical Coding
up arrow 2%

Scheduling
up arrow 2%

Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
up arrow 1%

refracting
up arrow 1%

Patient Education
0%

National Average
$35,000

Optometry
up arrow 1%

scribe
up arrow 4%

Refractometry
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 454 votes.

Gender

Female
94 %
Male
6 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 72%
dental benefits
Dental: 44%
medical benefits
Vision: 34%
dental benefits
None: 21%
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