Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salary

Most Certified Ophthalmic Assistants in the United States are women. The median pay for people in this role is approximately $17.08 per hour. With some bonuses approaching $3K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $3K, overall incomes of Certified Ophthalmic Assistants spread between $28K and $47K depending on individual performance. This group's pay is mainly influenced by residence, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Job satisfaction for Certified Ophthalmic Assistants is high. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and approximately half earn dental coverage. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$26,880 - $51,510
$27K
$38K
$52K
MEDIAN: $37,664
10%
50%
90%

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$13.67 - $22.66
$14
$17
$23
MEDIAN: $17.27
10%
50%
90%

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$0$51K
Salary $26,880 - $51,510
Bonus $200 - $2,891
Profit Sharing $0.05 - $4,872
Commission $900
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).
)
$28,603 - $48,638
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 19 Nov 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 159
Hourly Data $0$34
Hourly Rate $13.67 - $22.66
Hourly Tips $1.50
Overtime $19.31 - $34.22
Annual Data $0$48K
Bonus $200 - $2,891
Commission $900
Profit Sharing $0.05 - $4,872
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).
)
$28,603 - $48,638
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 19 Nov 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 1,742

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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Though it's uncommon, some Certified Ophthalmic Assistants move into roles as Registered Nurses, where pay is an average $56K per year. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants typically move into roles as Certified Ophthalmic Technicians or Ophthalmic Photographers, and those positions pay $3K more and $5K more, respectively.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Job Listings

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. Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $42K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates, The Lasik Vision Institute, and Eye Associates, top-paying firms where Certified Ophthalmic Assistants rake in a $41K, $40K, or $37K, respectively.

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Marietta Eye Clinic at $33K, Ophthalmology Associates at $34K, and Cincinnati Eye Institute, where $35K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)


Survey takers working as Certified Ophthalmic Assistants report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Refractions, Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, Medicine / Surgery, and Surgery are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Refractometry, Scribing, and refracting. It is often found that people who know Electronic Medical Records are also skilled in Medical Photography and Procedures. People who know Patient Education usually also know Procedures and Medical Photography.

Pay by Experience Level for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)

Pay by Experience for a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) has a positive trend. An entry-level Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $32,000 based on 728 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $36,000 based on 622 salaries. An experienced Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 565 salaries. A Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $41,000 based on 224 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $36,544

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

For Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, Boston provides a pay rate that is 36 percent greater than the national average. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Dallas (+20 percent), Seattle (+20 percent), Denver (+17 percent), and Houston (+11 percent). El Paso ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 17 percent below the national average. Employers in Virginia Beach and Grand Rapids also lean toward paying below-median salaries (16 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively).

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.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) in Berlin:
"Determined."
Pros: The doctor I work for is the kindest person.
Cons: I feel like I do everything from booking to assisting.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) in Springfield:
"COAs."
Pros: Helping the patients. Having weekends off.
Cons: The stress.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) in Middletown:
Pros: Help people get better vision.
Cons: To see people suffer of losing their sight.

Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) in Los Angeles:
"Wonderful."
Pros: Wonderful boss.
Cons: Below average pay.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 347 votes.
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
13%

Experience Affects Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salaries

▲11%

▲6%

▼0%

National Average
$37,000

▼12%

Skills That Affect Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) Salaries

Refractions
▲9%



▲1%


▼0%

National Average
$37,000


▼1%

Patient Education
▼2%

Medical Coding
▼2%

▼4%

▼5%

refracting
▼5%

Refractometry
▼7%

Scribing
▼7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 347 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 75%
dental benefits
Dental: 50%
vision benefits
Vision: 34%
no benefits
None: 19%