Ophthalmic Medical Technologists

Ophthalmic technician.webp
$44,990 Median Wage (2022)
12,600 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
6.60% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Assist ophthalmologists by performing ophthalmic clinical functions and ophthalmic photography. Provide instruction and supervision to other ophthalmic personnel. Assist with minor surgical procedures, applying aseptic techniques and preparing instruments. May perform eye exams, administer eye medications, and instruct patients in care and use of corrective lenses.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)

Related Work Experience: Over 1 year, up to and including 2 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: N.A.

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Test patient vision.
  • Administer non-intravenous medications.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
  • Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery.
  • Calculate numerical data for medical activities.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Create advanced digital images of patients using computer imaging systems.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Measure the physical or physiological attributes of patients.
  • Assist healthcare practitioners during examinations or treatments.
  • Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Supervise medical support personnel.
  • Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.
  • Sterilize medical equipment or instruments.
  • Clean medical equipment or facilities.
  • Instruct patients in the use of assistive equipment.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.

Work Values

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.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Perform fluorescein angiography of the eye.
  • Conduct tonometry or tonography tests to measure intraocular pressure.
  • Take and document patients' medical histories.
  • Take anatomical or functional ocular measurements, such as axial length measurements, of the eye or surrounding tissue.
  • Measure visual acuity, including near, distance, pinhole, or dynamic visual acuity, using appropriate tests.
  • Administer topical ophthalmic or oral medications.
  • Measure and record lens power, using lensometers.
  • Calculate corrections for refractive errors.
  • Collect ophthalmic measurements or other diagnostic information, using ultrasound equipment, such as A-scan ultrasound biometry or B-scan ultrasonography equipment.
  • Perform ophthalmic triage, in the office or by phone, to assess severity of patients' conditions.
  • Clean or sterilize ophthalmic or surgical instruments.
  • Educate patients on ophthalmic medical procedures, conditions of the eye, and appropriate use of medications.
  • Conduct ocular motility tests to measure function of eye muscles.
  • Assess refractive condition of eyes, using retinoscope.
  • Conduct visual field tests to measure field of vision.
  • Measure corneal thickness, using pachymeter or contact ultrasound methods.
  • Measure corneal curvature with keratometers or ophthalmometers to aid in the diagnosis of conditions, such as astigmatism.
  • Supervise or instruct ophthalmic staff.
  • Measure the thickness of the retinal nerve, using scanning laser polarimetry techniques to aid in diagnosis of glaucoma.
  • Assist physicians in performing ophthalmic procedures, including surgery.
  • Photograph patients' eye areas, using clinical photography techniques, to document retinal or corneal defects.
  • Maintain ophthalmic instruments or equipment.
  • Conduct tests, such as the Amsler Grid test, to measure central visual field used in the early diagnosis of macular degeneration, glaucoma, or diseases of the eye.
  • Conduct binocular disparity tests to assess depth perception.
  • Assess abnormalities of color vision, such as amblyopia.
  • Call patients to inquire about their post-operative status or recovery.
  • Instruct patients in the care and use of contact lenses.
  • Conduct low vision blindness tests.
  • Perform advanced ophthalmic procedures, including electrophysiological, electrophysical, or microbial procedures.
  • Perform slit lamp biomicroscopy procedures to diagnose disorders of the eye, such as retinitis, presbyopia, cataracts, or retinal detachment.
  • Create three-dimensional images of the eye, using computed tomography (CT).

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

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.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.