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Ophthalmic Medical Technicians
SOC Code: 29-2057.00

Assist ophthalmologists by performing ophthalmic clinical functions. May administer eye exams, administer eye medications, and instruct the patient in care and use of corrective lenses.

Sample of reported job titles: Certified Ophthalmic Assistant, Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technician, Certified Ophthalmic Technician, Certified Ophthalmic Technician with Surgical Assisting, Certified Ophthalmic Technician-Surgical Assistant (COT-SA), Ophthalmic Assistant, Ophthalmic Medical Assistant, Ophthalmic Medical Technician, Ophthalmic Technician, Surgical Coordinator


  • Conduct tonometry or tonography tests to measure intraocular pressure.
  • Measure visual acuity, including near, distance, pinhole, or dynamic visual acuity, using appropriate tests.
  • Take and document patients' medical histories.
  • Administer topical ophthalmic or oral medications.
  • Conduct visual field tests to measure field of vision.
  • Operate ophthalmic equipment, such as autorefractors, phoropters, tomographs, or retinoscopes.
  • Clean or sterilize ophthalmic or surgical instruments.
  • Take anatomical or functional ocular measurements of the eye or surrounding tissue, such as axial length measurements.
  • Measure corneal curvature with keratometers or ophthalmometers to aid in the diagnosis of conditions, such as astigmatism.
  • Measure and record lens power, using lensometers.
  • Assist physicians in performing ophthalmic procedures, including surgery.
  • Maintain ophthalmic instruments or equipment.
  • Conduct ocular motility tests to measure function of eye muscles.
  • Conduct binocular disparity tests to assess depth perception.
  • Instruct patients in the care and use of contact lenses.
  • Assess refractive conditions of eyes, using retinoscopes.
  • Assist patients to insert or remove contact lenses.
  • Call patients to inquire about their post-operative status or recovery.

Technology Skills

  • Electronic mail software - Email software
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Medical software - AcuityPro; EyeMD EMR; MediPro Medisoft Clinical; NaviNet Open (see all 7 examples)
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Binocular vision test sets or accessories - Color blindness tests
  • Chart projectors or accessories - Eye chart projectors; Potential acuity meters
  • Combination refractor keratometers - Autorefractors
  • Corneal topographers
  • Depth perception apparatus - Stereo vision tests
  • Exophthalmometers - Hertel exophthalmometers; Luedde exophthalmometers; Naugle exophthalmometers
  • Eye charts or vision cards - Amsler grids; Snellen eye charts; Visual acuity cards
  • Eye occluders - Handheld occluders; Maddox rods
  • Interferometers - Optical interferometers
  • Laser fax machine - Laser facsimile machines
  • Lid plates for ophthalmic surgery - Jaeger lid plates
  • Medical computed tomography CT or CAT scanners or tubes - Optical coherence tomography OCT scanners; Retinal tomography machines
  • Medical syringe with needle - Ophthalmic syringes
  • Mercury blood pressure units - Manual blood pressure cuffs
  • Ophthalmic drums or its accessories - Optokinetic drums
  • Ophthalmic lensometers - Automated lensometers; Manual lensometers
  • Ophthalmic perimeters
  • Ophthalmic prisms - Loose prisms
  • Ophthalmic retinoscopes - Retinoscopes
  • Ophthalmic slit lamps
  • Ophthalmic spectrophotometers - Brightness acuity testers
  • Ophthalmic tonometers or accessories - Ophthalmic tonographers; Ophthalmic tonometers
  • Ophthalmic transilluminators - Ocular transilluminators
  • Ophthalmic visual function analyzers - Wavefront aberrometers
  • Ophthalmoscopes or otoscopes or scope sets - Ophthalmoscopes
  • Opticians tools or accessories - Manual pupillometers; Millimeter rules; Snipe nose pliers; Wide jaw angling pliers (see all 7 examples)
  • Personal computers
  • Phoropter units - Phoroptors
  • Photo attachments for microscopes - Fundus cameras
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers - Steam autoclaves
  • Tangent screen test objects kits or accessories - Tangent screens
  • Thickness measuring devices - Corneal pachymeters
  • Ultrasonic examination equipment - A-scan biometers; B-Scan biometers; Bio-microscopes
  • Vision testing stereoscopes - Titmus vision screeners


  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.


  • Interest code: CSR
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Context

  • Contact With Others - 87% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 73% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity - 70% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 57% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 57% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 39% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections - 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 35% responded “Very important results.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 35% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 48% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Consequence of Error - 35% responded “Very serious.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 30% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 30% responded “Important.”
  • Letters and Memos - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 30% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Time Pressure - 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 77% responded “40 hours.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 30% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Level of Competition - 43% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
43%High school diploma or equivalent
30%Post-secondary certificate
13%Associate's degree

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $17.27 hourly, $35,910 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 45,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 4,600

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