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Ophthalmologist Technology Degree Programs

Learn about degree programs available in the field of ophthalmologist technology. Discover program requirements and courses, as well as career and certification information for graduates.

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Essential Information

Training programs in ophthalmology technology prepare graduates to provide comprehensive assistance to ophthalmologists - physicians who provide medical care for the human eye. Most students at the technologist level complete 2-year associate's programs to prepare for this career. These graduates are trained in specific optical office tasks, such as taking patient histories, conducting tests, assessing vision and preparing medical instruments. They also are prepared to sit for the national Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) examination administered by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO).

Education Prerequisites

Applicants to associate's degree programs must meet the criteria established by the educational institution, such as a high school diploma or its equivalent. Programs are often limited-entry, and the best candidates are those who have some prior work experience in the field and a solid background in science.

Program Coursework

General requirements for completion of the degree include general education topics like English, biology and mathematics, as well as professional courses, such as:

  • Ocular medical terminology
  • Optic anatomy and physiology
  • Ophthalmic laboratory
  • Ophthalmic dispensing
  • Ocular disease
  • Office procedures

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), substantial growth was expected for all types of medical assistant positions between 2010 and 2020, at an expected rate of 31%. Ophthalmic medical technicians made a median salary of $34,240 as of May 2012, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Options

Many graduates of ophthalmologist technology degree programs obtain certification through the JCAHPO. There are three levels of certification available - ophthalmic assistant, technician and technologist. At least 36 continuing education credits must be earned each year in order to be eligible for recertification.

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