Most Certified Ophthalmic Assistants in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $16.97 per hour. Total cash compensation to Certified Ophthalmic Assistants bottoms out near $27K and approaches $47K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $3K from bonuses and almost $5K from profit sharing. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by geography, followed by the specific employer and tenure. For the most part, Certified Ophthalmic Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. A strong majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and approximately one-half collect dental insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$25,144 - $50,483
$25K
$36K
$50K
MEDIAN: $36,380
10%
50%
90%

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$13.17 - $21.99
$13
$17
$22
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$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$25,144 - $50,483  
   
Bonus
$193.55 - $3,052  
Profit Sharing
$194.89 - $4,949  
Commission
$950  
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).
)
$27,459 - $47,177  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 147
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$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$13.17 - $21.99  
   
Overtime
$18.21 - $33.52  
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$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$193.55 - $3,052  
   
Commission
$950  
Profit Sharing
$194.89 - $4,949  
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).
)
$27,459 - $47,177  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,751

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


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There are some Certified Ophthalmic Assistants — though it's uncommon — that transition into Registered Nurses, where earnings are an average $56K annually. 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 $3K more on average, and the second group earns $5K more.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


Certified Ophthalmic Assistants flock to Eye Associates, Eye Institute, Beach Eye Care, Marietta Eye Clinic, and Spokane Eye Clinic, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. For Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, comfortable salaries can be found at Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center; in fact, median earnings sit around $42K, the highest in the area. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates ($41K), The Lasik Vision Institute ($40K), and Eye Associates ($37K).

Marietta Eye Clinic, Ophthalmology Associates, and Cincinnati Eye Institute are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($33K, $34K, and $35K respectively).

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, Medicine / Surgery, and Surgery are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 12 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Refractometry, Scribing, and refracting. Most people familiar with Electronic Medical Records also know Medical Photography and Procedures. The majority of those who know Patient Education also know Procedures and Medical Photography.

Pay by Experience Level for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)

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


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $32K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $36K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Certified Ophthalmic Assistants make a median salary of $39K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $41K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $35,837

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 can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Dallas (+21 percent), Seattle (+20 percent), Denver (+18 percent), and Houston (+14 percent). The lowest-paying market is El Paso, which sits 16 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 15 percent less in Virginia Beach and 7 percent less in Grand Rapids, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)?

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) in Moorestown:
"Being a COA at SJE."
Pros: I enjoy that my job actually requires intellect and critical thinking. I learn new things on a daily basis and learn how to implement new knowledge in each patient's case.
Cons: My job is extremely stressful. There are an average for 4 doctors on at once with only 9 exam rooms and 5 minute appointment slots. We don't have the staff for the space to accommodate patient's effectively. Aside from carrying out my job duties, the problems that the doctors create with their massive patient volume falls on me to solve as well. I feel overworked and underpaid.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)

Gender

Female
92 %
Male
8 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 270 votes.
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
13%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salaries




National Average
$36,000


Skills That Affect Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salaries

Refractions
up arrow 12%



up arrow 3%

Refraction
up arrow 3%




Patient Education
0%

Medical Coding
0%

National Average
$36,000


scribe
up arrow 4%

refracting
up arrow 5%

Refractometry
up arrow 5%

Scribing
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 270 votes.

Gender

Female
92 %
Male
8 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 76%
dental benefits
Dental: 50%
vision benefits
Vision: 34%
dental benefits
None: 18%
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