How to Become an Ophthalmic Technician?

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How to Become an Ophthalmic Technician?

An Ophthalmic technician is a medical professional who assists ophthalmologists in eye care. The ophthalmic technician can carry out more duties than an Ophthalmic assistant. However, they still work under the supervision of a licensed eye doctor. They perform eye exams, diagnose diseases and administer treatments alongside the ophthalmologists. Typically ophthalmic technicians are hired in clinics and offices. Keep reading to know more about the ophthalmic technician course, ophthalmic technician eligibility, salaries, jobs, top colleges in India and abroad, future scope, and more.

Position Ophthalmic Technician
Educational QualificationDiploma in Ophthalmic Technology
Job prospectsOphthalmic technician, ophthalmic nurse, ophthalmic assistant
Employment sectors Eye clinics, optical shops, and hospital administration
U.S Median salary$37,189 (INR 30.11 lakh)

Must Read: BSc in Ophthalmic Technology

Ophthalmic Technician: Job Description

An ophthalmic technician performs all the duties of an optician and technician. However, they have additional responsibilities as well. It includes 

  • Helping the ophthalmologist minimize the time in carrying out daily tasks. As a result, an ophthalmic medical technician gathers patient information, administers diagnostic tests, maintains ophthalmic and surgical instruments, and administers eye medications, as requested by the doctor.
  • Conduct eye tests such as measuring a patient’s visual function, testing colour perception, eyes, and cornea examination, testing visual acuity, eye pressure measurement, muscle movement, and pupil reactions after ensuring that the patient has taken the eye drops.
  • Be trained in ophthalmic instrumentation such as phoropters, tonometers, sonographers, and ultrasounds. Other than this, they need skills in Lensometry, intermediate tonometry, A-scan biometry, and pachymetry
  • They also have to supervise other ophthalmic staff in the clinic.

Steps to Become an Ophthalmic Technician

To become an ophthalmic technician you can follow these steps:

Educational Qualification

Getting a high school diploma or GED is the first step to becoming an ophthalmic technician. To become an ophthalmic technician schooling is necessary. The majority of employers require all technicians to have at least a secondary school degree. Some even prefer a bachelor’s degree.

Obtain the essential training 

After getting the education qualification students can get specialized training. Mainly there are two primary options. The first one is to get a certificate in ophthalmic practice. Typically it takes 1-2 years to get the ophthalmic technician diploma. The subjects in the diploma include courses like anatomy, medical terminology, ethics, and other topics. The certifications involve practical experience as well.

Another option is to work as a trainee in an ophthalmology clinic. Employers also provide on-the-job training programs for certain job applicants. Such training includes observational and supervised practice. When the skill of the applicant is proven they will get the qualification to pursue the certification,

Get certification

Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel (JCAHPO) offers certifications for aspiring ophthalmic technicians. There are mainly 3 types of certifications. They are certified ophthalmic assistants, certified as an ophthalmic technician, and certified as an ophthalmic medical technologist. The highest level of certification is that of an ophthalmic technologist. Below that comes the ophthalmic technologist. The lowest form of certification is that of the ophthalmic assistant.

To get the certification you would have to clear an exam. The exam includes topics such as eye care, eye health, ocular diseases, ophthalmic procedures,  and examination methods. Individuals need to clear the COA exam and work as an ophthalmic assistant to become eligible for the certification.

Get practical exposure 

Before being able to work as an ophthalmic technician individuals require experience as an ophthalmic assistant. At this stage, you can become familiar with employees, tools, and daily requirements that are common in every eye care centre. Assisting the doctors will also help to gain experience in caring for the patient.

Apply for Jobs

After earning a degree, certification, experience, and training an individual can apply for the position of an ophthalmic technician. Often trainees are hired and in other cases, a direct job application is required.

Must Read: Paramedical Courses List


Some subjects might differ depending on the university and your type of degree. Below is the ophthalmic technician common course syllabus.

1Basic Physics of Light
2Basic Human Sciences
3Communication Skills
4Computer Science
5Basic Pharmacology
6Optometry Instruments
7Dispensing Optics
8Contact Lenses
9Community Optometry
10Basic Orthoptics
11Optometry Practices
12Visual Optics
13Ocular Diseases and Conditions
14Hospital Training

Must Read: RRB Paramedical Syllabus

Top Universities

Here is a list of the best colleges in the USA that are offering degrees in ophthalmic technology 

Universities/ College Highest Degree Type 
Portland Community CollegeAssociate Degree
University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesBachelor’s Degree
Triton CollegeAssociate Degree
University of Puerto Rico – Medical SciencesAssociate Degree
Palm Beach State CollegeBachelor’s Degree
Florida State College at JacksonvilleAssociate Degree
Henry Ford CollegeAssociate Degree

Must Read: Best Nursing Colleges In India

Job Prospects 

Below is the list of ophthalmic technician job descriptions and positions that you can take up after completing a diploma in Ophthalmic technology. Individuals can find these jobs by searching for ophthalmic technician jobs near me.  Their salary in India ranges from  INR 1,50,000 to INR 2,50,000 per annum.

Employment SectorsJob profiles
Optical shops Ophthalmic Technician
Eye clinicsOphthalmic nurse
Hospital administrationOphthalmic Assistant 
Eye care hospitals Ophthalmic assistant and lab assistant 
Community health care centre

Ophthalmic Technician: Salary 

The median ophthalmic technician salary in the U.S. is $37,189 (INR 30.11 Lakh). The diploma in ophthalmic technology salary in the U.S. differs from state to state. 

StateMedian SalaryMedian Salary (Indian currency)
Alabama$30,08024.42 lakh
Alaska$59,39048.22 lakh
Arizona$36,59029.70 lakh
Arkansas$34,72028.18 lakh
California$46,05037.37 lakh
Colorado$38,42031.18 lakh
Connecticut$46,28037.56 lakh
Delaware$37,39030.35 lakh
Florida$37,51030.44 lakh
Georgia$36,88029.93 lakh
Hawaii$37,15030.15 lakh
Idaho$36,01029.22 lakh
Illinois$46,21037.50 lakh
Indiana$37,18030.17 lakh
Iowa$38,46031.21 lakh
Kansas$36,69029.78 lakh
Kentucky$29,34023.81 lakh
Louisiana$31,36025.45 lakh
Maine$37,18030.17 lakh
Maryland$40,09032.54 lakh
Massachusetts$46,47037.71 lakh
Michigan$38,17030.98 lakh
Minnesota$58,16047.21 lakh
Mississippi$29,65024.06 lakh
Missouri$29,46023.91 lakh
Montana$36,63029.73 lakh
Nebraska$37,64030.55 lakh
Nevada$37,54030.47 lakh
New Hampshire$37,92030.78 lakh
New Jersey$58,18047.23 lakh
New Mexico$34,74028.20  lakh
New York$46,22037.53 lakh
North Carolina$36,74029.83 lakh
North Dakota$37,22030.22 lakh
Ohio$36,64029.75 lakh
Oklahoma$36,36029.52 lakh
Oregon$46,30037.60 lakh
Pennsylvania$36,75029.84 lakh
Rhode Island$46,37037.65 lakh
South Carolina$36,64029.75 lakh
South Dakota$36,64029.75 lakh
Tennessee$37,07030.11 lakh
Texas$33,70027.37 lakh
Utah$36,59029.72 lakh
Vermont$45,72037.12 lakh
Virginia$36,24029.42 lakh
Washington$46,19037.51 lakh
West Virginia$35,00029.52 lakh
Wisconsin$46,17037.49 lakh
Wyoming$29,19023.70 lakh


Is an eye technician a doctor?

The ophthalmic technicians can administer medicines. However, they are not authorized to prescribe drugs for the patients. They cannot provide a medical diagnosis or treatment without supervision. Hence, they are not an eye doctor.

What is the work of an optometry technician?

Ophthalmic Technicians’ job is to assist the eye doctor in providing eye care services.

What do ophthalmic technicians wear?

They do not have any uniforms. They can wear a white laboratory coat and scrubs spending upon the employer. 

Is an ophthalmic technician a good career?

The ophthalmic technician is a job with less stress and a good work-life balance. The position also provides solid prospects to improve. It includes getting a higher salary and promotion. As a result, being an ophthalmic technician is a good career choice.

Ophthalmic Technician is a great career option for those who want to work in the healthcare sector. By becoming an ophthalmic technician students can work with technology, assist the eye doctor, and help others. Need help with study abroad admissions? Call us at 1800 572 000 and book our free 30-minute counselling session today.


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