How to Get Certified as an Ophthalmic Technician?


Ophthalmology technicians are qualified personnel who assist ophthalmologists, and they have several duties including; retrieving laboratory results, conducting diagnostic tests, and helping patients with eye exams. Ophthalmologists are the leading specialists in all forms of eye surgeries including LASIK operations.

However, they work together with ophthalmic technicians since eye surgeries are delicate and they need all hands on deck. A small mistake could quickly lead to permanent blindness, and that is why precision is required.

There are several ways of becoming a certified ophthalmic technician

  • Attending an accredited School and training program
  • Starting as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)
  • Receiving On-the-job Training

A high school diploma is a fundamental requirement; however, it has to be coupled with experience to become a certified ophthalmic technician.

Attending an accredited School and training program

Going to an accredited training facility is the best option since you will not have to work your way through different levels of certification. There is also a set timeline for how long it will take to attain your bachelor’s degree. After the training, you can choose between applying for the certification test or applying for a technician position.

The disadvantages with the accredited school program are that they are expensive, the programs may not be within your state, and you will not be as experienced as someone who opted for the ophthalmic assistant route and was part of procedures such as Lasik or laser eye surgery.

Receiving an On-the-Job Training

The advantage of on the job training is that there are no certifications required to work as an ophthalmic assistant and, therefore, you can learn all the skills you need as you work. You will be exposed to numerous operations done by a specialist like Lasik surgery. However, you will have to persevere working your way up through different certification levels.

You will also be required to work for at least 2,000 hours as an assistant under an ophthalmologist for two years before applying for certification. The primary advantage of this route is that you can earn a salary as you learn.

Starting as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)

Applying for an ophthalmic assistant position will allow you to gain relevant experience because you will be part of significant operations including LASIK surgery, which will boost your credentials. You need to attain the required number of hours before you qualify to apply for the intermediate level certification and eventually the position of a certified ophthalmic technician.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of the different routes of becoming a certified ophthalmic technician, the one thing that stands out is the fact that you will need to have the necessary skills and passion required to work with other specialists and the desire to treat patients.

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