When scheduling an eye exam, retrieving results, and managing follow up visits and next steps, one may think the optometrist has a busier than usual schedule. While they're certainly an incredibly capable and busy individual, they're not the only ones running the show. The real wizard behind the curtain of the optometrist's office is the optometric assistant.
In order for the optometrist to focus their time on working with patients, optometric assistants are working the behind-the-scenes responsibilities. While bookkeeping and scheduling appointments are important tasks, you may be surprised to know that they have to handle, sanitize, and occasionally operate the equipment. Optometric assistants should also be able to be able to provide quick and easy-to-understand answers to almost any question one forgot to pass by the optometrist.
Most optometric assistants are trained on the job and certifications can vary per state. A high school diploma/GED are the minimum requirements. Extra consideration can be given for vocational training and experience in a doctor's office or even secretarial work. This can be either a part-time or full-time position, depending on the office, and optometric assistants make about $24 an hour, on average.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an optometric assistant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $14.8 an hour? That's $30,783 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 23% and produce 154,900 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many optometric assistants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, detail oriented and interpersonal skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be an optometric assistant, we found that a lot of resumes listed 16.1% of optometric assistants included patient care, while 10.2% of resumes included medical records, and 8.7% of resumes included insurance companies. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the optometric assistant job title. But what industry to start with? Most optometric assistants actually find jobs in the health care and retail industries.
If you're interested in becoming an optometric assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 34.1% of optometric assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.9% of optometric assistants have master's degrees. Even though some optometric assistants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an optometric assistant. When we researched the most common majors for an optometric assistant, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on optometric assistant resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an optometric assistant. In fact, many optometric assistant jobs require experience in a role such as sales associate. Meanwhile, many optometric assistants also have previous career experience in roles such as cashier or receptionist.