How To Become An Ophthalmic Technician
Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine that deals with illnesses of the eyes. There are many reasons that people may seek out an ophthalmologist. As we get older, we tend to lose our eyesight. We also tend to become more vulnerable to diseases such as glaucoma and other eye conditions.
As an ophthalmic technician, you will assist an ophthalmologist in their everyday tasks. You will perform diagnostic tests and work in a laboratory environment. This position requires a high school diploma.
Why Become An Ophthalmic Technician
Many career guides have listed ophthalmic technicians as one of the best health careers in recent years. It is a field that is growing rapidly, with many positions available, but also does not require a lot of complex training. If you love the health care field, and want a career that you can start soon, without needing years of college education, this is a great choice.
Ophthalmic technicians work alongside an ophthalmologist to provide patient care. They have a wide range of duties, including taking medical histories, performing diagnostic tests, assisting with patient procedures, and performing office administration duties.
Often they are inside of the laboratory, working with specialized equipment and carrying out necessary tasks. They work on a team of people in order to accomplish activities.
They perform many different tasks and help assist the ophthalmologist so that they can see as many patients as possible during the day. This is a good career for somebody who enjoys health care, wants to work as an assistant, and enjoys working in a laboratory setting.
Ophthalmic Technicians should have the following qualities and skills:
- Detail oriented
- Enjoys medical field
- Working with hands
- Communication skills
- Time management
Ophthalmic Technician Work Environment
Ophthalmic technicians work in a laboratory environment. They use many different kinds of specialized equipment, necessary for carrying out the tasks in their field. These labs are usually small and employ a few workers. Technicians work on teams, carrying out their daily tasks. Occasionally an ophthalmic technician may choose to work in a large healthcare facility with hundreds of employees.
When working with equipment, it is important to use proper precautions. There is always some risk involved when working in a laboratory environment but ophthalmic technicians are taught how to be professionals in their field.
Ophthalmic Technician Salary
The median annual salary for ophthalmic technicians was $34,630 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Salaries can vary depending on which industry a person wants to pursue. People in the medical equipment manufacturing industry tend to make the highest salaries, with median rates of more than $35,000. Those who work for health care stores tend to earn less, approximately $29,000 annually.
As a technician, this position has a great opportunity for growth. A person can use this as a beginning step towards furthering their career in eye care, where they would be able to earn a higher salary.
Ophthalmic Technician Career Outlook
Employment for ophthalmic technicians is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster compared to other occupations in the United States. This is great news for people looking to explore this as a career.
Recent changes in health care laws have made it easier for people to seek out doctors. People are more interested than ever in taking care of themselves and getting healthy. Many people will seek out eye care professionals. There continues to be a growing elderly population living within the country.
As people age, often there are more medical issues, such as poor eye sight and other illnesses of the eye. Ophthalmic technicians will be needed to help carry out basic tasks within eye care centers and keep patients healthy.
Ophthalmic Technician Degree
Ophthalmic technicians are a career path that is growing rapidly, and luckily it is easy to earn a position inside this field. To learn more about becoming an ophthalmic technician, read more below.
Step 1: Receive on the job training. You only need a high school diploma to earn a position in this field. From there, many people get hired into positions and receive their training formally from their employer. They get trained by people who have years of experience in their field. This is a great way to work and learn at the same time.
Step 2: Earn a certification. While you can get a position with simply a high school diploma, it is encouraged that you receive certification in this field. Certification will make you more competitive as a candidate and let employers know you have gone above and beyond to gain knowledge.
Start becoming certified as an Ophthalmic Assistant. This is an entry level position in this field. You can find many programs that offer this certification. After earning certification and working for 2,000 hours in your field, you will be qualified to earn certification as an Ophthalmic Technician.