Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Ophthalmic Technologist


Our sense of sight is a gift that many take for granted. Those who are not lucky enough to have healthy eyes need to see eye doctors and surgeons to help care for their eye problems. Ophthalmic technologists perform ophthalmic procedures under the supervision of a licensed ophthalmologist (eye surgeon). They test and measure eye functions, using a slit lamp for abnormalities of the cornea and anterior and posterior chambers, assisting ophthalmologists in diagnosing and treating eye disorders.

Ophthalmic technologists collect data and test measurements to ensure the accurate diagnosis and treatment of patients' diseased eyes. They assist with eye surgery using intricate technical instruments, explain diagnostic and treatment procedures to patients, and interact with other eye care professionals to ensure optimum patient care. They conduct diagnostic tests, apply eye dressings, measure and record vision, and test eye muscle function. They also show patients how to insert, remove, and care for contact lenses. They play the role of educator, teaching proper techniques for care and prevention.

Under the direction of the ophthalmologist, they may administer eye medications and drops. Various other procedures performed by ophthalmic technologists include taking medical histories, refractometry, anatomical and functional ocular measurements and tests, and assisting in minor ophthalmic medical surgery. They perform diagnostic testing procedures on patients, such as ultrasonography, perimetry, visual function, biometry, tonometry and tonography.

Ophthalmic technologists perform all of the same duties performed by technicians, yet they are expected to do so at a higher level of expertise, exercising considerable technical and clinical judgment. Additionally, technologists may be required to take ophthalmic clinical photographs and other technical named tasks such as fluorescence angiography, ocular motility and binocular function tests, and electrophysiological and microbiological procedures.

Many ophthalmic technologists specialize within the ophthalmic field in such areas as: ophthalmic photography, ophthalmic ultrasonography, contact lenses, ophthalmic surgical technology, electrophysiology and low-vision optics. Some may also choose to specialize in pediatric or gerontologic ophthalmology.
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Advanced Care Paramedic
arrow Anesthesiologists
arrow Animal Care Worker
arrow [ view all related careers ]

Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Southern California Health Institute
Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.
Programs Offered:
  • Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program



  Interests and Skills  
Ophthalmic technologists are interested in helping people with eye disorders. They have excellent communication skills and can get along with people well. They have a great deal of patience, are courteous and can instill confidence in patients. They need a natural curiosity and interest in science and a great deal of sympathy and understanding. Since they are dealing with patients who may be in jeopardy of losing their vision, this can be highly stressful and emotional for both the ophthalmologist and patient.

Ophthalmic technologists should possess good depth perception, manual dexterity and color vision. They should enjoy finding solutions to problems, dealing with people, and directing the work of others. Also, ethics is a strong point for these types of people because they have to do what is right for their patients with their best interests in mind.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Test and measure eye functions to assist ophthalmologists in diagnosing and treating eye disorders and disease
  • Examine eyes, using a slit lamp for abnormalities of the cornea and anterior and posterior chambers
  • Operate testing and measuring instruments to assess patient vision, including peripheral, color and depth perception
  • Record test results and case histories
  • Assist ophthalmologists in office surgery
  • Measure intraocular pressure of eyes, also know as the glaucoma test
  • Measure the axial length of eyes using ultrasound equipment
  • Maintain sterile equipment in the office
  • Administer eye drops, ointments and medications as directed by physicians
  • Assist in fitting contact lenses
  • Conduct tests designed to detect eye diseases
  • Educate patients by explaining physicians' instructions, for example, about home care or using contact lenses
  • Ophthalmic technologists work in office and clinical settings. They work the same hours as ophthalmologists, which may include weekdays, evenings and weekends, to accommodate patients' schedules.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Ophthalmic technologists generally work in ophthalmologists' private clinics or group practices, hospitals and community clinics.

  Long Term Career Potential  
What does the future hold for ophthalmic technologists? Advancement generally takes the form of more complex responsibilities. In larger organizations, they may advance to supervisory or management positions. They may also qualify for a number of administrative positions or teach medical assisting. With additional education, they could enter other health occupations such as nursing or medical technology.

  Educational Paths  
Until recently, ophthalmic technologists were trained on-the-job. These days however, ophthalmologists generally prefer to hire applicants who have a diploma as a certified ophthalmic technologist, which takes about two years to complete. Also, those with a background in medical terminology, are computer literate and hold a valid CPR Basic Rescuer certificate will succeed.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Southern California Health Institute
Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.
Programs Offered:
  • Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program

Brightwood College

At Brightwood College, we offer accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience focused on helping you gain skills for your chosen career.

Programs Offered:
  • Massage Therapy

Milan Institute
Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.
Programs Offered:
  • Massage Therapy

Platt College
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
Programs Offered:
  • Respiratory Therapy

Blake Austin College Beauty Academy
Start your career with training from Blake Austin College - Beauty Academy.
Programs Offered:
  • Massage Therapy
  • Esthetician / Massage Therapy

Grand Canyon University
There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
Programs Offered:
  • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Grief and Bereavement
  • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Christian Ministry
  • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Family Dynamics
  • And more...

National Holistic Institute
At National Holistic Institute, our history and network of relationships in the field continue to help our graduates succeed. With campuses across California, we offer a comprehensive massage therapy training program that prepares our graduates for a successful career in massage therapy. Whether you are looking to start your career or take it to the next level, NHI has a program for you.
Programs Offered:
  • Massage Therapy/Therapist

California College San Diego

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Programs Offered:
  • Respiratory Therapy (AS)

Mayfield College
Give your career a boost with an education from Mayfield College.
Programs Offered:
  • Massage Therapy

Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

Programs Offered:
  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Doctor of Philosophy: Counselor Education and Supervision
  • MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
  • And more...

Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
York University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2018 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.