Optometric technicians perform a
variety of tasks to assist the optometrist in eye examinations and
corrective procedures. They record patient medical histories and help
prepare the patient for the vision examination. They also assist with
tests that help ensure the accurate diagnosis and treatment of a diseased
eye. This may include
patient pre-testing such as visual acuity, color
vision, depth perception, pupil reflexes, visual field testing, pressure
inside the eye, and blood pressure.
They are usually
in charge of making sure that the patient understands the proper care and
use of glasses and contact lenses that the doctor has prescribed.
Optometric technicians are sometimes called upon to assist with eye
exercises and vision therapy. Other work activities include maintaining
records and schedules, assisting the patient with frame selection,
maintaining inventory of supplies, helping make and repair eyeglasses, and
cleaning sophisticated ocular equipment. These eye health care technicians
are usually supervised by an optometrist and face few hazards on the job.
Individuals interested in becoming an optometric technician should have
excellent communication skills, be able to handle hectic schedules, be
highly organized and self-motivated, and be able to rely on their own
The majority of optometric technicians
work in optometrists’ offices with other optometric professionals. The
typical workweek is 40 hours long and may include evenings or weekend
depending on the patients’ needs. Part-time positions may also be
available in this profession.
High School Preparation:
Students interested in becoming an
optometric technician should take high school courses in biology,
dental/medical assisting, health occupations/medical professions
education, computer skills, general clerical work, algebra, office
practices, English, literature, history, and social studies.
Individuals interested in optometric
technology should have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Optometric
technicians may be trained on the job, but many complete a two-year
associate’s degree. Upon completion of a formal training program,
individuals may become a Certified Optometric Technician through the
Commission on Paraoptometric Certification.
They may contacted
by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or through the American Optometric Association
Students interested in optometric
technology should contact schools for information on admission and course
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study click here.
Employment opportunities for optometric
technicians should be excellent over the next decade. There is an expected
increase of over 20% in the number of new jobs that will become available
through the year 2012. The demand will continue to increase because of the
growing elderly population in this country. As the baby boom generation
grows older, more vision care specialists will be needed to keep up with
the demand. Employment opportunities will also become available as people
within the profession retire or leave the workplace for other reasons.
Average Annual Salary
Opticians Association of America
411 Carlisle Dr.
Herdon, Virginia 20170
Phone: (703) 437-8780
Fax: (703) 437-0727
American Optometric Association
243 N. Lindberg Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone: (314) 991-4100
Fax: (314) 991-4101
Association of Dispensing Opticians
Gulfport, MS 39503
Phone: (228) 860-1825