Eye health is never to be neglected, and many people visit the optometrist each year, either for check-ups or eye disorders and illnesses. Consistent eye examinations prevent or give an early, treatable diagnosis to various eye disorders, such as glaucoma, astigmatism, cataracts, and vision problems. An optometric technician is an assistant to an optometrist who helps the patient throughout the eye appointment while communicating and educating the patient on whatever the patient needs to know about his condition.
Why Become An Optometric Technician
If you are interested in the human eye and helping patients when they visit the eye doctor, perhaps this field may be something you enjoy. The optometric technician works alongside the optometrist during a variety of tasks. These tasks include performing pre-assessments on patients for color vision, vision acuity, depth perception, eye pressure, and more. During eye exams, the optometric technician assists the optometrist with anything he may need, and helps patients with eye exercises, vision therapy, proper use of contact lenses and eye glasses, and any testing needed to help diagnose eye disorders.
In addition to these responsibilities, the optometric technician must keep up to date records and schedules, help with inventory in the office, repair eye glasses as needed, and keep the equipment used by the optometrist sanitary. This employee must be able to multitask, be very organized, and be an effective communicator with patients and other employees.
Optometric Technician Work Environment
There are several different settings in which this technician can be employed. Medical clinics and facilities, offices of optometry, laboratories, optical companies and businesses, and pharmaceutical corporations can employ optometric technicians. Also, this professional can also work in research facilities to help in improving the future of eye health.
The optometric technician usually works a set schedule and is very busy with many responsibilities, some that can be demanding. This occupation also requires the technician to wear professional uniform, and be on her feet for much of the time period spent at work.
Optometric Technician Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that an optometric technician makes approximately $28.00 per hour, or over $55,000 annually. This salary can vary, depending on work setting and experience. Those who go on to continue their training and become certified may make more, and those who work in more urban areas with larger facilities may earn more as well.
Employment is expected to rise over 30% in the next decade. Oftentimes, the optometrist looks to the optometric technician to do procedures that are common, and with more insurance companies covering eye health costs, a greater number of individuals are visiting the eye doctor for routine check-ups each year.
Optometric Technician Degree
A high school diploma is required to become an optometric technician. On the job training is usually the main source of education in this field. There are certification programs for this position, and many offices will require the technician to be certified. An individual can become certified through the American Optometric Association. Some people do go to college and get a two year associate’s degree, or a four year degree in one of the sciences before pursuing their certification; however it is not required in many instances.
If you have an interest in vision and eye health, you may be interested in a career in the optometry field. If you enjoy working with people, can handle many tasks at once, are professional, and are thorough at any task given, then this career may be the one career you are looking for!