Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salary

For Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, hourly average wages total $25.91 per hour. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is location, though the specific employer and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — slightly less than a third lack coverage. On the flip side, a majority have medical insurance and the larger part receive dental plans. Female Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants far outnumber their male contemporaries among survey respondents. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$30,574 - $60,949
$31K
$47K
$61K
MEDIAN: $46,576
10%
50%
90%

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$19.72 - $34.19
$20
$26
$34
MEDIAN: $25.91
10%
50%
90%

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$0$70K
Salary $30,574 - $60,949
Bonus $0.00 - $3,091
Profit Sharing $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).
)
$39,456 - $70,731
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 681
Hourly Data $0$49
Hourly Rate $19.72 - $34.19
Hourly Tips $2.50
Overtime $26.57 - $49.39
Annual Data $0$70K
Bonus $0.00 - $3,091
Profit Sharing $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).
)
$39,456 - $70,731
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 4,201

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Job Description for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)

The position of Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) entails the oversight, administration and assistance of occupational therapy activities. This position reports to and aids Registered Occupational Therapists in applying therapies and occupational therapy techniques for the purpose of rehabilitation of people with injuries and/or disabilities. Rehabilitative services may be physical, emotional, psychological or mental in nature, depending upon the need of the patients being served. Assistance and instruction directly to a patient and/or a patient's family may be required, so strong, professional and interpersonal skills are preferred. COTAs must be able to document, organize, sort and store information related to patient health, status and progress, as well as billing, schedules and other administrative documents and resources.

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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Tasks

  • Observe and document patients' progress, attitudes and behavior and report to supervisor.
  • Monitor and evaluate patients' performance in therapy activities and provide encouragement.
  • Select therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities, alter treatment programs as necessary.
  • Instruct patients and families in home programs, basic living skills and the care and use of adaptive equipment.
  • Assist occupational therapists with implementing treatment plans designed to help patients function independently.

Common Career Paths for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


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While Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants do not often become Rehabilitation Directors, the job pays $88K per year on average. The most common career progression for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants leads to becoming an Occupational Therapist Assistant, where pay is typically $46K. However, many Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants also opt to become Senior Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, a position that pays $58K on average.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Job Listings

Popular Employer Salaries for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants flock to Aegis Therapies, Inc., RehabCare, Genesis HealthCare, Kindred Healthcare, and HCR ManorCare, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Affirma Rehabilitation pays the most with a median salary of $73K, though with a large amount of variation, going from a low of $46K to a high of $85K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Reliant Rehabilitation, Sava Senior Care, and Genesis Group, top-paying firms where Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants rake in a $63K, $60K, or $59K, respectively.

Employees at HCR ManorCare take home the smallest paychecks, and $52K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $41K and quickly nearing the top at only $66K. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Genesis Rehab Services at $53K, Aegis Therapies, Inc. at $54K, and Select Rehabilitation, Inc., where $55K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in geriatric, snf, School Based, and Home Health/Home Care are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 16 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Lymphedema, Pediatrics, and hand therapy. The majority of those who know Geriatrics also know Long Term Care.

Pay by Experience Level for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)

Pay by Experience for a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) has a positive trend. An entry-level Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $51,000 based on 3,041 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $56,000 based on 956 salaries. An experienced Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $60,000 based on 950 salaries. A Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $61,000 based on 477 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $53,269

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

San Diego offers some of the highest pay in the country for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, 23 percent above the national average. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+15 percent), Houston (+14 percent), Charlotte (+14 percent), and Dallas (+13 percent). Pittsburgh is the lowest-paying area, 16 percent south of the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Canton and Indianapolis (4 percent less).

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)?

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Akron:
"Rewarding."
Pros: Increasing patient safety and independence, flexible.
Cons: Productivity, time restraints, unwilling patients, pay.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Palm Beach Gardens:
"Rewarding."
Pros: Being able to help people, and encourage them to help themselves.
Cons: Time management.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Utica:
"Rewarding."
Pros: Helping people do their daily routines without the stress being involved. Helping them overcome the toughest thing they would have to encounter in their lives. Being taught all over again.
Cons: The least thing I like is when people struggle and become frustrated. I know it's only a matter of time before they achieve their goal. I can see the finish line but they get discouraged.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Luverne:
Pros: I enjoy the flexibility of the days and hours.
Cons: The stress level, and the inability to receive raises.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Houston:
"My job."
Pros: I love working with children!.
Cons: I'm tired of all the driving !..

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Bellport:
"Rewarding."
Pros: I enjoy working with patients and seeing their progress from dependent to independent. The staff that I work with all have a great sense of humor which is important to have when working long hours as well as making therapy fun for the patients.
Cons: There are large gaps in pay scales with COTAs depending on the year you were hired. Some COTAs make over $30-35 and I make $24.48 an hour. I don't like how only one therapist from each discipline can take off even if it's a holiday. My job also is $100% productive so paperwork is on your own time.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in Brookhaven:
"Educational and rewarding experience."
Pros: I enjoy working within a positive and supportive environment where I can learn and grow as a health care provider. I have flexible hours, have a great boss, have great health benefits, computerized paperwork, great patients, and work in a beautiful gym in a beautiful facility.
Cons: I feel that I am underpaid by at least 8-10 dollars, unrealistic expectations of paperwork in the time allotted, have to be 100% productive which includes paperwork. You are only paid by the minutes you treat so if the census is low you will receive less pay.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)

Gender

Female
88 %
Male
12 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 522 votes.
Less than 1 year
14%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
11%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salaries

▲14%

▲13%

▲5%

National Average
$53,000

▼4%

Skills That Affect Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salaries

geriatric
▲16%

snf
▲7%

▲5%



▲5%

School Based
▲5%



▲1%


National Average
$53,000

Occupational therapy
▼3%

hand therapy
▼5%

▼7%

Lymphedema
▼18%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 522 votes.

Gender

Female
88 %
Male
12 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
14%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 66%
dental benefits
Dental: 56%
vision benefits
Vision: 47%
no benefits
None: 31%
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