Certified Ophthalmic Assistants in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $16.85 per hour. In the world of Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, total cash compensation can vary between $28K and $47K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $3K and $5K, respectively. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is residence, though the company and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. Most Certified Ophthalmic Assistants like their work and job satisfaction is high. A fair number enjoy medical while about one-half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to roughly one in three. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$25,653 - $50,105
(Median)
$26K
$36K
$50K
MEDIAN: $35,831
10%
50%
90%

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$13.16 - $21.82
(Median)
$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
$25,653 - $50,105  
   
Bonus
$196.63 - $2,517  
Profit Sharing
$153.96 - $4,932  
Commission
$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).
)
$27,509 - $46,834  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 143
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
$13.16 - $21.82  
   
Overtime
$18.14 - $33.21  
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
$196.63 - $2,517  
   
Commission
$700  
Profit Sharing
$153.96 - $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).
)
$27,509 - $46,834  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,739
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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 $56K annually. When Certified Ophthalmic Assistants are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Certified Ophthalmic Technicians or Ophthalmic Photographers. Those roles pay an additional $4K and $6K, respectively.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Certified Ophthalmic Assistants include Eye Associates, Beach Eye Care, Marietta Eye Clinic, Cincinnati Eye Institute, and Spokane Eye Clinic. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants flock to Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $42K lead the pack in compensation. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates ($41K), Eye Institute ($38K), and Eye Associates ($37K).

Marietta Eye Clinic, Eye Care Specialists PC, and Cincinnati Eye Institute are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($33K, $35K, and $36K respectively).

Popular Skills for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Refractions, Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, Surgery, and Refraction are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 12 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include scribe, Refractometry, and Scribing. The majority of those who know Patient Education also know Procedures and Medical Photography. Most people skilled in Electronic Medical Records are similarly competent 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.


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. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants see a median salary of $38K after reaching one to two decades on the job. 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

39%

22%

21%

20%

17%

12%

10%

6%

-5%

National Average: $35,572

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 (+22 percent), Dallas (+21 percent), Denver (+20 percent), and Austin (+17 percent). The lowest-paying market is El Paso, which sits 15 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Virginia Beach and Richmond (14 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Reviews

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.

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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 5%


Refraction
up arrow 4%

Medicine / Surgery
up arrow 3%

Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
up arrow 2%

Medical Photography
up arrow 2%

Procedures
up arrow 2%

Patient Education
up arrow 1%

Medical Coding
0%

National Average
$36,000

refracting
up arrow 1%

Optometry
up arrow 2%

Refractometry
up arrow 4%

Scribing
up arrow 4%

scribe
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 265 votes.

Gender

Female
92 %
Male
8 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 75%
dental benefits
Dental: 48%
medical benefits
Vision: 34%
dental benefits
None: 19%
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