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Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salary

Certified Ophthalmic Assistants in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $16.32 per hour. Total cash compensation for Certified Ophthalmic Assistants runs from $26K to $45K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $1K and profit sharing that can reach almost $6K. Geographic location is the main element affecting pay for this group — the company and tenure are driving factors as well. While some workers in this profession — slightly less than a fourth — do not have any health coverage, more than half do receive medical benefits and more than two-fifths have dental insurance. Job satisfaction for Certified Ophthalmic Assistants is high. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$25,267 - $48,757
(Median)
$25K
$37K
$49K
MEDIAN: $37,406
10%
50%
90%

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$12.39 - $21.01
(Median)
$12
$16
$21
MEDIAN: $16.00
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$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$25,267 - $48,757  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,250  
Profit Sharing
$198.43 - $6,082  
Commission
$550 - $650  
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).
)
$26,121 - $45,328  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 165
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$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$12.39 - $21.01  
   
Overtime
$17.40 - $31.59  
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$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,250  
   
Commission
$550 - $650  
Profit Sharing
$198.43 - $6,082  
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).
)
$26,121 - $45,328  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,179

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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 do not often transition into Registered Nurse roles. The role averages $55K per year. A common career progression for a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant is to become a Certified Ophthalmic Technician or an Ophthalmic Photographer. Compared to Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, the first group earns $4K more on average, and the second group earns $6K more.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


For Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, comfortable salaries can be found at Eye Associates; in fact, average earnings are around $37K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($24K versus $53K) is great.

Popular Skills for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


Certified Ophthalmic Assistants seem to exploit a large range 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 6 percent and 14 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Refractometry and scribe. A tool kit that includes Patient Education also typically contains Procedures and Medical Photography. Those proficient in Electronic Medical Records are, more often than not, also skilled in 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.


Certified Ophthalmic Assistants do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $31K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $35K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Certified Ophthalmic Assistants make a median salary of $37K. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $39K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, Boston provides a pay rate that is 31 percent greater than the national average. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+25 percent), Austin (+12 percent), Fort Worth (+11 percent), and Houston (+11 percent). Virginia Beach ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 13 percent below the national average.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salaries




National Average
$35,000


Skills That Affect Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salaries

Refractions
up arrow 14%

up arrow 6%



Refraction
up arrow 5%

Procedures
up arrow 3%

Medical Coding
up arrow 3%

Medical Photography
up arrow 2%

Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
up arrow 1%

Patient Education
up arrow 1%

National Average
$35,000

Optometry
up arrow 1%

scribe
up arrow 5%

Refractometry
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 425 votes.

Gender

Female
94 %
Male
6 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 70% dental benefits Dental: 42%
vision benefits Vision: 33% employee benefits None: 22%
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