Vision Care
Optometric Assistant/Technician

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Salary: $17,143 - $32,842
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Hourly: $11.85 - $20.07
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Outlook: 2 Stars
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Length of Training: up to 2 years
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Optometric Assistants (OAs) and Optometric Technicians (OTs) work directly for an optometrist (a person who holds a Doctor of Optometry degree). They perform a wide variety of tasks, which allows the optometrist more time for patient care. Assistants perform office and routine patient duties. They keep records, act as a receptionist, assist patients with frame selection, and order prescribed lenses. Assistants and technicians may put drops in the patient’s eyes and seat the patient at the eyetesting machines. Technicians are sometimes responsible for office tasks, however, they are specially trained to assist the optometrist in procedures that require more skill such as vision training and testing. Optometric technicians may also fit and dispense contact lenses.

Work Environment

The extent of the optometric assistants and technicians’ duties depends greatly on the size of the practice. Most optometric assistants and technicians work in offices of opticians and laboratories. Some work in optical stores, health clinics or for government agencies, while optical instrument companies may employ others. Work hours vary but are usually about 40 hours a week, including some evening and weekend work.