How Do I Become an Optical Technician? - Video

Optical Technicians, or ophthalmic technicians as they are sometimes known, help ophthalmologists and other medical physicians provide eye care to patients. Learn more about the necessary education, training and certification to become an Optical Technician.

Education and Training

Optical Technicians, also known as Ophthalmic Technicians, typically complete some type of formal education program. Academic programs in Optical Technology can be found at vocational schools, community colleges and medical centers. Most programs last between six months and two years and result in certificates or diplomas.

Licensing and Certification

Optical Technicians do not need a license to practice, but voluntary certification is recommended. Certification can be obtained from the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel on Ophthalmology. The most common certification for Optical Technicians is the Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) designation.

To become certified, you need to complete an accredited education program for Ophthalmic Technicians within 12 months of your application for certification. You must also pass an examination and a skill evaluation.

Once you've earned the Certified Ophthalmic Technician designation, you can become certified in a specialty area, such as surgical assisting or sonography. Certification requirements for sub-specialties can vary, but typically include at least 18 months' work experience and graduating from an accredited ophthalmology program.

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