Ophthalmic Technician


Ophthalmology is a rapidly expanding field with a growing demand for qualified and responsible technicians.

Ophthalmic technicians assist ophthalmologists in caring for patients' eyes and eyesight. They often perform a patient's initial exam, including evaluating eye muscle movements and gathering information about their health history. Some also administer eye medications and assist ophthalmologists in surgical settings.

Ophthalmic Technicians work in varied workplace settings and organizations of all sizes, including private practices, medical centers, hospitals, and university clinics alongside ophthalmologists who provide medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions. They work with patients of all ages, from babies and children to adults and the elderly.

How long does it take to become an ophthalmic technician?

This is a two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program for Ophthalmic Technician students. ECC will prepare you for this exciting career through shadowing an ophthalmologist and three clinical experiences. Plus, students in the program receive career development help with resume writing and preparation for the certified ophthalmic technician exam. Afterward, you'll be ready for a job as an ophthalmic technician for a healthcare practitioner in private practice, medical center, hospital, or university clinic. Once you have more work experience, you can pursue the Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) credential.

What sets ECC's program apart?

New, state-of-the-art lab space is being built for the Ophthalmic Technician program. The space will include a classroom and lab space for two examination lanes, two diagnostic exam rooms, and leading-edge equipment.

At ECC, all diagnostic components of the Ophthalmic Technician program are overseen by a credentialed ophthalmologist. Graduates of ECC's Ophthalmic Technician program will be prepared to sit for the Certified Ophthalmic Technician exam (COT) offered through the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO).

What do ophthalmic technicians do?

  • Perform a patient's initial exam, including evaluating eye muscle movements, determining a patient's glasses prescription, and gathering information about a patient's health history.
  • Administer eye medications.
  • Perform diagnostic tests to assist an ophthalmologist in determining a diagnosis or path of treatment.
  • Assist ophthalmologists in surgical settings.

Ophthalmic Technician Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the ophthalmic technician plan of study and course descriptions.

Associate of Applied Science

Getting a Job as an Ophthalmic Technician

Ophthalmic technicians are needed throughout the Northern Illinois region. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that Ophthalmic Technician jobs will grow by 14 percent by 2030. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Projections, and Worker Characteristics, Ophthalmic Medical Technicians, (accessed March 3, 2022).

You can find the median wage and earning potential for ophthalmic technicians on Elgin's Career Coach site.

Jobs that may be available to students who complete an ophthalmic technician degree include the following:

  • Ophthalmic Technician
  • Ophthalmic Assistant

Learn more about Ophthalmic Technician Training at ECC!

Earning a degree at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

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