Career Profile: Optometric Technician

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Job Description

Optometric Technicians function as the vital support team in an optometrist’s office. In order to maintain an efficient and orderly clinical environment, these paraprofessionals perform a wide range of duties: explaining treatment procedures to patients, keeping track of inventories, providing styling and fitting guidance in the frames department, ordering lenses and other products, as well as office management work such as patient reception. And due to their comprehensive formal training, Optometric Technicians are able to test vision acuity, depth perception, color vision, and internal pressure. Plus, they may administer certain vision therapy treatments under the supervision of the optometrist. So if you want to help people see better while working in a clean, comfortable optometrist’s office, a career as an Optometric Technician is right for you. Check out these schools who offer training programs—requesting more information is free!

Work Environment

The vast majority of Optometric Technicians work standard 40-hour weeks in private optometrist practices. As these are clinical environments, the surroundings are well-lit, comfortable, and spotlessly clean. The work is not physically demanding, although attention to detail and sufficient manual dexterity are required.

Education and Training Requirements

In order to become an Optometric Technician, you need to complete a 1 to 2-year training program that awards either a Diploma or Associate of Science Degree in the field. Curriculums typically include everything from eye anatomy and basic optics to lens finishing, ophthalmic procedures, and optical first aide. There may also be required courses in general business or science areas. The majority of optometrists require their OTs to be certified, and there are a number of governing bodies that offer certification: the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the American Optometric Association, Paraoptometric Division, are two of the best-known. Once certified, an Optometric Technician earns the title of Opt.T.R.

Salary Range

According to information cited by the Indiana School of Optometry, the average annual salary in 2002 was $31,000.

Job Outlook

The employment outlook for Optometric Technicians is favorable due to the need for vision-care services by the increased proportion of older individuals in the national population.

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