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Ophthalmology Technologist: Job Description, Duties and Salary

Ophthalmology technologists require no formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Ophthalmology technologists or ophthalmology medical technicians assist ophthalmologists in diagnosing eye diseases and in performing eye surgery. Their job duties include performing diagnostic tests, maintaining equipment and explaining concepts to patients.

These professionals usually learn their skills on the job, so formal education beyond a high school diploma is normally not required. For those who do want formal education in the field, some 2-year colleges offer ophthalmic technology programs. Aspiring ophthalmology technologists also need to possess the dexterity and technical skills needed to work with laboratory instruments and complex machinery, as well as be detail-oriented and analytical.

Required Education High school diploma with on-the-job training
Projected Job Growth 30% from 2012-2022*
Average Salary (2013) $36,280 annually*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Ophthalmology Technologist Job Description

Ophthalmology technologists work with ophthalmologists, medical doctors who specialize in the diagnoses and treatment of eye diseases and disorders. Ophthalmology technologists work in a number of capacities, including assisting during eye surgery and setting up and performing maintenance on equipment. In addition, ophthalmology technologists often perform diagnostic testing, including measuring a patient's vision. Technologists in this career field must be familiar with ophthalmic pharmacology and understand the use of corrective lenses.

Ophthalmology Technologist Duties

The duties of a ophthalmology technologist include collecting information requested by the ophthalmologist, such as medical histories and eye measurements. Ophthalmology technologists may test a patient's eye pressure, pupil reactions, scope of vision, color vision and muscle movement. The ophthalmology technologist is also responsible for taking and explaining procedures, treatments and diagnoses to patients. During surgery, the ophthalmology tech may assist the ophthalmologist by preparing the surgical room and equipment and observing the patient. Additional duties include interacting with patients, maintaining sensitive ophthalmologic equipment and keeping exam rooms clean and in order.

Ophthalmology Technologist Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2012 and 2022, the number of ophthalmology medical technician positions were expected to grow by 30%. This reflects the increasing ophthalmological needs of the nation's aging population. Ophthalmic medical technicians made an average salary of $36,280 per year in 2013, according to the BLS.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics