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What Does An Ophthalmic Technician Do?

An ophthalmic technician specializes in providing eye care services to patients under the supervision of an ophthalmologist. Among their responsibilities include conducting interviews, taking notes of the patients' symptoms, conducting eye examinations and tests, administering medication, and performing support tasks for ophthalmologists during procedures. They may also set-up and operate equipment, perform maintenance checks, and maintain the cleanliness of work areas. Moreover, an ophthalmic technician may perform clerical tasks such as preparing and processing documents, answering calls and correspondence, arranging appointments, and assisting patients in filling out forms.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real ophthalmic technician resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Perform vision examination; administer eye drops; obtain eye pressure using tonopen applanation.
  • Sterilize and set-up instruments for ophthalmic surgical procedures, assist with minor office surgery and laser treatments.
  • Perform preoperative and postoperative ocular testing, including vision testing, glaucoma evaluation, corneal topography and refraction.
  • Evaluate patients for LASIK and PRK procedures.
  • Assist doctors in LASIK procedures, cataract and minor surgeries with precision and expertise.
  • Schedule and counsele patients for refractive surgery procedures, cataract surgery, and corneal transplant surgery.
  • Perform eye exams; obtain accurate patient history, visual fields, topography and OCT scans.
  • Reduce patient wait time and obtain medical histories, vision acuity and intraocular measurements (tonopen).
  • Prepare HIPPA and JCAHPO reviews, ensuring require brochures and pamphlets are available to patients in all clinics.
  • Conduct several tests on patients including visual field tests, OCT, HRT, corneal pachymetry, dilation, etc.
Ophthalmic Technician Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Technical skills refer to specific ability or knowledge that is needed to carry out every day responsibilities, such as physical or digital tasks.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.

Ophthalmic Technician Overview

Between the years 2018 and 2028, ophthalmic technician jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 23%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become an ophthalmic technician?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of ophthalmic technician opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 154,900.

Ophthalmic technicians average about $18.44 an hour, which makes the ophthalmic technician annual salary $38,349. Additionally, ophthalmic technicians are known to earn anywhere from $29,000 to $49,000 a year. This means that the top-earning ophthalmic technicians make $21,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

Once you've become an ophthalmic technician, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a certified retinal angiographer, paraoptometric, certified ophthalmic surgical assistant, and certified ophthalmic assistant.

Ophthalmic Technician Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 23% of Ophthalmic Technicians are proficient in Patient Care, Visual Acuity, and Ophthalmology. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Technical skills, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Ophthalmic Technicians that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patient Care, 23%

    Provided direct and indirect patient care associated with ophthalmologist care, assisted provider in the examination and treatment of ophthalmology patients.

  • Visual Acuity, 11%

    Examined all patients by observing visual acuity and measuring optical power.

  • Ophthalmology, 6%

    Reinforced patient/family teaching as delegated by the Ophthalmology Lead/Practice Manager and clearly documented patient response in patient record.

  • Surgery, 4%

    Sterilized and set-up instruments for ophthalmic surgical procedures, assisted with minor office surgery and laser treatments.

  • Color Vision, 4%

    Conduct preliminary screening examinations including external examinations, central and peripheral visual fields, and color vision tests.

  • Diagnostic Tests, 3%

    Prepare patients for ophthalmic examination including assessment, preoperative and postoperative education, diagnostic testing, scheduling, and documentation.

Some of the skills we found on ophthalmic technician resumes included "patient care," "visual acuity," and "ophthalmology." We have detailed the most important ophthalmic technician responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for an ophthalmic technician to have in this position are analytical skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a ophthalmic technician resume, you'll understand why: "medical assistants must be able to understand and follow medical charts and diagnoses" According to resumes we found, analytical skills can be used by a ophthalmic technician in order to "greet patients, answering multiple phone lines, data entry, scheduling appointments. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling ophthalmic technician duties is technical skills. According to a ophthalmic technician resume, "medical assistants should be able to use basic clinical instruments so they can take a patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure." Here's an example of how ophthalmic technicians are able to utilize technical skills: "perform diagnostic tests using technical equipments and collect data, aiding ophthalmologists to accurately diagnose patients. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among ophthalmic technicians is detail oriented. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a ophthalmic technician resume: "medical assistants need to be precise when taking vital signs or recording patient information" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "perform patient workups including detailed medical history and diagnostic testing per physician order. "
  • An ophthalmic technician responsibilities sometimes require "interpersonal skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "medical assistants need to be able to discuss patient information with other medical personnel, such as physicians" This resume example shows how this skill is used by ophthalmic technicians: "leveraged consultative selling and interpersonal skills to increase sales of laser vision corrective surgery. "
  • See the full list of ophthalmic technician skills.

    We've found that 32.5% of ophthalmic technicians have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 6.8% earned their master's degrees before becoming an ophthalmic technician. While it's true that some ophthalmic technicians have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every four ophthalmic technicians did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those ophthalmic technicians who do attend college, typically earn either a medical assisting services degree or a nursing degree. Less commonly earned degrees for ophthalmic technicians include a business degree or a biology degree.

    Once you're ready to become an ophthalmic technician, you should explore the companies that typically hire ophthalmic technicians. According to ophthalmic technician resumes that we searched through, ophthalmic technicians are hired the most by Baylor Scott & White Health, Allen Public Library, and Johns Hopkins University. Currently, Baylor Scott & White Health has 8 ophthalmic technician job openings, while there are 6 at Allen Public Library and 6 at Johns Hopkins University.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, ophthalmic technicians tend to earn the biggest salaries at American Vision Partners, Maine Eye Center, and Allen Public Library. Take American Vision Partners for example. The median ophthalmic technician salary is $49,306. At Maine Eye Center, ophthalmic technicians earn an average of $48,405, while the average at Allen Public Library is $47,243. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on ophthalmic technician salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious ophthalmic technicians are:

      What Certified Retinal Angiographers Do

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take certified retinal angiographer for example. On average, the certified retinal angiographers annual salary is $27,423 higher than what ophthalmic technicians make on average every year.

      Even though ophthalmic technicians and certified retinal angiographers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require patient care, visual acuity, and laser hair removal in the day-to-day roles.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, an ophthalmic technician responsibilities require skills like "ophthalmology," "surgery," "color vision," and "diagnostic tests." Meanwhile a typical certified retinal angiographer has skills in areas such as "iv," "fa," "blood pressure," and "hippa." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      The education levels that certified retinal angiographers earn is a bit different than that of ophthalmic technicians. In particular, certified retinal angiographers are 16.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than an ophthalmic technician. Additionally, they're 3.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Paraoptometric?

      Now we're going to look at the paraoptometric profession. On average, paraoptometrics earn a $14,366 higher salary than ophthalmic technicians a year.

      A similarity between the two careers of ophthalmic technicians and paraoptometrics are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "patient care," "visual acuity," and "color vision. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, ophthalmic technician responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "ophthalmology," "surgery," "diagnostic tests," and "surgical procedures." Meanwhile, a paraoptometric might be skilled in areas such as "blood pressure," "oct," "dr," and "preliminary examination." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On the topic of education, paraoptometrics earn lower levels of education than ophthalmic technicians. In general, they're 9.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 3.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Certified Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant Compares

      The third profession we take a look at is certified ophthalmic surgical assistant. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than ophthalmic technicians. In fact, they make a $194 lower salary per year.

      By looking over several ophthalmic technicians and certified ophthalmic surgical assistants resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "patient care," "visual acuity," and "surgery." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, an ophthalmic technician is likely to be skilled in "ophthalmology," "diagnostic tests," "exam rooms," and "customer service," while a typical certified ophthalmic surgical assistant is skilled in "office procedures," "oct," "bat," and "epic."

      Certified ophthalmic surgical assistants are known to earn lower educational levels when compared to ophthalmic technicians. Additionally, they're 9.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 3.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant

      Certified ophthalmic assistants tend to earn a lower pay than ophthalmic technicians by about $1,816 per year.

      While both ophthalmic technicians and certified ophthalmic assistants complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like patient care, visual acuity, and ophthalmology, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "surgery," "customer service," "slit lamp," and "phone calls" are skills that have shown up on ophthalmic technicians resumes. Additionally, certified ophthalmic assistant uses skills like coa, jcahpo, ocular history, and lensometry on their resumes.

      Certified ophthalmic assistants reach similar levels of education when compared to ophthalmic technicians. The difference is that they're 0.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 1.8% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.