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Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
 
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Optometric Technician

   

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 judgment.

 
Work Environment:

 

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.


College Requirements:

 

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 cpc@aoa.org or through the American Optometric Association website www.aoa.org.

 

Students interested in optometric technology should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

 

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.
 

 

Salary:

 

Average Annual Salary

$27,200

 

Salary Range

$19,400-$33,900

 

Professional Organizations:

 

Opticians Association of America

411 Carlisle Dr.

Herdon, Virginia 20170
Phone: (703) 437-8780

Fax: (703) 437-0727   

www.oaa.org

 

American Optometric Association

243 N. Lindberg Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63141

Phone: (314) 991-4100

Fax: (314) 991-4101

www.aoa.org

 

Mississippi

Association of Dispensing Opticians
16383 South

Swan Road

Gulfport, MS 39503
Phone: (228) 860-1825

www.mado.org

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