An ophthalmic technician, most commonly known as an ophthalmology technologist, is a professional who works closely with eye doctors (ophthalmologists) and other professionals from the eye care industry, in order to diagnose different illnesses and conditions of the eyes and to address them properly.
These health care professionals can assist during the eye procedure and they also perform different diagnostic tests as well. In addition to this, it is also the duty of the ophthalmic technician to measure the vision of the patient, to use the medical equipment for diagnosis and to clean and maintain the equipment. The median yearly wage of an ophthalmic technician varies between $21,000 and as much as $40,000 per year, in the United States of America.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America
The eye care industry is considered one of the fastest growing medical industries at the moment, and it is currently in great need for skilled and trained ophthalmic technicians. The median yearly wage of these professionals varies across the United States of America. In California for instance, these professionals should expect to get paid around $52,000 a year, while the median salary in the state of New York is around $50,000 at the moment. The state of Illinois pays its ophthalmic technicians an average salary of around $45,000 per year, while Pennsylvania and Florida pays them with around $42,000 per year.
Ophthalmic Technician Job Description
Given the fact that the ophthalmic technician works closely with the ophthalmologist and other professionals from the eye care industry, these specialists are responsible for a variety of different tasks and duties and they also require less training. It often happens that ophthalmic technicians deal with administrative tasks and record keeping, and they are usually the first people that clients get into contact with whenever they call the office.
That being said, it must be mentioned that the duties and responsibilities of these professionals are many, as they often need to take the eye measurements very accurately and they also need to take the medical histories of the patients. They also perform a variety of other vision tests on the patients to analyze their eye muscle movement, their color vision, their pupil reaction as well as to test their eye pressure. Moreover, ophthalmic technicians also assist ophthalmologists in the operating room, they explain the surgical procedures to patients, they apply treatments and they also teach the patients how to take care of their eye disease and how to prevent the onset and the development of other eye-related conditions. They often prepare the surgical room for the procedure and they also observe the patient and his reaction to treatment.
In addition to this, the ophthalmic technician will also need to perform additional tasks such as fluorescence angiographies and different microbiological procedures, along with supervising the entire ophthalmic staff before the surgery, during the surgery and after the surgery.
How To Become An Ophthalmic Technician
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You will need to have at least a high school diploma or a GED in order to enroll in a specialized ophthalmic technician training program provided by one of the numerous universities or colleges across the United States of America. These education programs typically run for one to two years, and those who choose to enroll in a two-year ophthalmology technician Associate’s Degree training program have better job opportunities. Throughout the training, they will learn more about how to run diagnostic tests, how to perform eye evaluations and how to take eye measurements, as well as how to complete the medical histories of the patients. The coursework covers subjects like pharmacology, optics, refractometry, physiology as well as ocular anatomy.
In spite of the fact that the certificate program is not essential, most of the employers these days prefer to hire ophthalmic technicians who are certified and who have enough hands-on, practical experience.
The certification process for ophthalmic technicians who want to take their careers a mile further can opt for the JCAHPO certification, which involves a skill evaluation test coupled with a multiple-choice examination. The certification exam will consist of tests regarding retinoscopy, keratometry and virtually any other important field related to eye care. You can opt for three different types of certifications for ophthalmic technicians, ranging from entry-level certification to advanced-level credential.
Ophthalmic Technician Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
In Canada, the median yearly wage of an ophthalmic technician is of Cad$35,000, in the UK it ranges between 19,000 and 22,000 pounds while in Australia it is of around Au$21/hour.
Verdict On Ophthalmic Technician
Ophthalmic technicians are an essential part of the ophthalmic staff, and their salary is very rewarding given their basic education requirements.