Ophthalmic Medical Technicians
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 Medical Technician (Certified Ophthalmic Medical Tech), Certified Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant, Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT), Certified Ophthalmic Technician-Surgical Assistant (COT-SA), Health Technician (Health Tech), Ophthalmic Assistant, Ophthalmic Diagnostic Sonographer, Ophthalmic Medical Assistant, Ophthalmic Medical Technician (Ophthalmic Medical Tech), Ophthalmic Technician
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Take and document patients’ medical histories.
- Conduct tonometry or tonography tests to measure intraocular pressure.
- Operate ophthalmic equipment, such as autorefractors, phoropters, tomographs, or retinoscopes.
- Take anatomical or functional ocular measurements of the eye or surrounding tissue, such as axial length measurements.
- Measure visual acuity, including near, distance, pinhole, or dynamic visual acuity, using appropriate tests.
- Measure and record lens power, using lensometers.
- Administer topical ophthalmic or oral medications.
- Conduct visual field tests to measure field of vision.
- Assist physicians in performing ophthalmic procedures, including surgery.
- Measure corneal curvature with keratometers or ophthalmometers to aid in the diagnosis of conditions, such as astigmatism.
- Conduct ocular motility tests to measure function of eye muscles.
- Clean or sterilize ophthalmic or surgical instruments.
- Maintain ophthalmic instruments or equipment.
- Instruct patients in the care and use of contact lenses.
- Assess refractive conditions of eyes, using retinoscopes.
- Call patients to inquire about their post-operative status or recovery.
- Assist patients to insert or remove contact lenses.
- Conduct binocular disparity tests to assess depth perception.
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- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Medical software — AcuityPro; EyeMD EMR Healthcare Systems 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
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- 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.
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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- 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.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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- 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.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- 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 that there is a problem.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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.
- 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.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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).
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- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Record patient medical histories.
- Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
- Test patient vision.
- Measure the physical or physiological attributes of patients.
- Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
- Administer non-intravenous medications.
- Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery.
- Clean medical equipment or facilities.
- Sterilize medical equipment or instruments.
- Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
- Instruct patients in the use of assistive equipment.
- Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.
- Fit eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other vision aids.
- Recommend types of assistive devices.
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- Contact With Others — 91% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 82% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 77% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 68% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Deal With External Customers — 77% responded “Extremely important.”
- Electronic Mail — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Very important results.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 59% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 36% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 32% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 32% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 29% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 45% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 64% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 41% responded “About half the time.”
- Consequence of Error — 41% responded “Fairly serious.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 45% responded “About half the time.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 77% responded “40 hours.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||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.|
|Job Training||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.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|59||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: CSR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
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- 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.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- 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.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$18.24 hourly, $37,940 annual|
|Employment (2020)||60,900 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Faster than average (10% to 15%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||5,500|
|Top industries (2020)||
Health Care and Social Assistance
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology
- Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology
- Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society
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This page includes information from O*NET OnLine 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.