Optometric Technician

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):

2 years or less

Hourly Wage:

$14.59-$26.39 (Mean $19.45)
*based on 2014 Alaska DOL data for Ophthalmic Medical Technicians

One-page Description (PDF):

Optometric Technician

Professional Activities

The optometric technician’s primary responsibilities are to help the optometric physician in eye and vision care. They ready exam rooms and patients to be seen by the doctor. An optometric technician’s activities include measuring the curvature of the cornea, color testing, stereo-testing, taking acuities, retinal and corneal photography, measuring the pressure of the eye, determining the power of old and new eye glass prescriptions, helping clients select frames, and measuring facial contours. The optometric technician educates the patient on the tests being done and on choices in eye glasses. Other duties may include answering phones, arranging for patients’ surgical procedures, scheduling appointments, dispensing contact lenses, determining the power and dimensions of old and new contact lenses, and explaining the care and handling of lenses. It is also often necessary to explain the use and application of pharmaceutical agents to the eye. Laboratory work and general management of a vision clinic is occasionally necessary.

Optometric technicians are employed by optometric physicians in vision clinics. In rural Alaska, these clinics are located in regional hospitals. Major employers include the Alaska Native Health system and regional health corporations.

Educational Requirements

  • Graduation from high school with coursework in math, science, and English.
  • Many optometric technicians are trained on the job, but some may complete a two-year associate’s degree from a community college.
  • There are no licensing requirements in Alaska.

Academic Programs

There are no optometric technician schools in Alaska. The American Optometric Association lists available Technician programs on their website. Two programs are listed here.

Indiana University School of Optometry offers both a 2-semester certificate optometric technology program or a two-year program in optometric technology leading to the Associate of Science degree. Students completing the program are qualified to begin careers as optometric technicians. For more information, contact:

Indiana University School of Optometry
Optician/Technician Program
800 E. Atwater Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: (812) 855-1917                                
Email: iubopt@indiana.edu
Website: http://www.optometry.iu.edu/admissions/apply/as.shtml

Madison Area Technical College offers a 1-year program both in-person and online.

Madison Area Technical College Optometic Technician Program
Phone: (608) 246-6065
Toll free: (800) 322-6282 ext. 6065
Email: healtheducation@madisoncollege.edu
Website: http://madisoncollege.edu/program-info/optometric-technician

Contacts

State Contact:

Alaska Optometric Association
3705 Arctic Blvd., #675
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: (907) 770-3777
Email: alaskaoptometrics@gmail.com
Website: http://www.akoa.org

National Contact:

American Optometric Association
243 North Lindbergh Blvd., Floor 1
St. Louis, MO 63141-7881
Toll free: (800) 365-2219
Website: http://www.aoa.org/

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