Ophthalmologist Assistant Requirements

An ophthalmologist assistant career does not require any formal education and has excellent opportunities for career progression. Learn about the requirements and duties to find out if this career could be a good fit for you. Schools offering Optician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career at a Glance

Ophthalmologist assistants play an important role in the health care team for providing eye care and treatment. They work closely with ophthalmologists, physicians who specialized in the eye, to improve people's vision. The following table gives a brief description of the requirements and facts of a career as an ophthalmologist assistant.

Required Education High school diploma required; training program optional
Required Training On-the job training
Certification Certification preferred
Key Skills Good communication, empathetic, reliability, good accuracy,
Median Salary (2019) $35,039*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 26%** (for all medical assistants)

Sources: *PayScale.com, ** U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Is an Ophthalmologist Assistant?

An ophthalmologist assistant, otherwise known as ophthalmic assistant, works directly with patients and is involved in the testing, diagnosis and treatment of eye problems. They assist and support an ophthalmologist in providing quality vision care and provide clinical services under their supervision. Ophthalmologist assistants often work in a vision care center or a private ophthalmologist practice.

What Does an Ophthalmologist Do?

An ophthalmologist assistant carries out both administrative and clinical tasks. They may schedule appointments, gather and update a patient's medical history and record personal information. An ophthalmologist assistant could also perform preliminary eye exams and non-invasive specialized tests. They may administer medication under the supervision of an ophthalmologist such as eye drops. Ophthalmologist assistants often educate patients on information regarding an ophthalmologists' diagnosis for example information regarding, an eye examination, contact lenses, eye care and glasses.

How Do I Become an Ophthalmologist Assistant?

Ophthalmologist assistants typically need at least a high school diploma or GED for an entry-level position. They will typically gain skills through on-the-job training or by attending a training program that results in a diploma, certificate, or associate degree. Some choose to be becoming a Certified Ophthalmologist Assistant, which is not a requirement for employment but may be preferred by some employers. To gain certification you will take a course designed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, complete six months of training under the supervision of a certified ophthalmologist and pass an examination.

How Much Do Ophthalmologists Assistant Earn Annually?

According to PayScale.com the median annual salary of an ophthalmologist assistant was $35,039 in 2019. Becoming certified can also improve your salary prospects. PayScale.com reported that certified ophthalmic assistants earned a median annual salary of $37,067 in 2019.

What Is the Job Outlook of an Ophthalmologist Assistant?

The BLS estimates there will be a 26% increase in the number of jobs for all medial assistants between 2016 to 2026, which is far greater than the national average. Those with certification, education, and knowledge of electronic health records could see the best opportunities. Ophthalmologist assistants can also progress to become an ophthalmic technician or an ophthalmic technologist after additional training and experience.

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