Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salary

Women account for the majority of Certified Ophthalmic Assistants in the United States. The entire group has an average salary of $16.32 per hour. Overall cash earnings for Certified Ophthalmic Assistants stretch from $26K on the lower end to $45K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $1K from bonuses and $5K from profit sharing. While the company and experience level impact pay for this group, geography is the most influential factor. For the most part, Certified Ophthalmic Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, just under one in four are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a fair number and dental insurance is reported by more than two-fifths. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$25,089 - $48,633
(Median)
$25K
$37K
$49K
MEDIAN: $36,987
10%
50%
90%

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$12.41 - $20.98
(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
$25,089 - $48,633  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,277  
Profit Sharing
$198.43 - $4,949  
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).
)
$26,175 - $45,175  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 173
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
$12.41 - $20.98  
   
Overtime
$17.45 - $31.52  
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 - $1,277  
   
Commission
$550 - $650  
Profit Sharing
$198.43 - $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).
)
$26,175 - $45,175  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,249
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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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There are some Certified Ophthalmic Assistants — though it's uncommon — that transition into Registered Nurses, where earnings are an average $55K annually. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants most often move into positions as Certified Ophthalmic Technicians or Ophthalmic Photographers; those groups report median salaries that are $4K higher and $6K higher, respectively.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


Although Eye Associates leads the field in pay with a median salary of $37K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $24K on the low end all the way up to $53K at the top.

Popular Skills for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


Certified Ophthalmic Assistants report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in refracting, Refractions, Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, and Surgery are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 12 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Refractometry and scribe. Those who learned Patient Education also tend to know Procedures and Medical Photography. Most people familiar with 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 Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $31K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $35K. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $38K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $39K.

Pay Difference by Location


Boston is home to an above-average pay rate for Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, 31 percent higher than the national average. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+24 percent), Austin (+15 percent), Fort Worth (+11 percent), and New York (+10 percent). Virginia Beach is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 11 percent.

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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 12%

refracting
up arrow 12%

up arrow 6%



Refraction
up arrow 5%

Procedures
up arrow 3%

Medical Photography
up arrow 2%

Medical Coding
up arrow 2%

Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
up arrow 1%

Patient Education
up arrow 1%

National Average
$35,000

Optometry
up arrow 1%

Scribing
up arrow 2%

scribe
up arrow 4%

Refractometry
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 422 votes.

Gender

Female
94 %
Male
6 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 71% dental benefits Dental: 43%
vision benefits Vision: 33% employee benefits None: 22%
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