Career Development

What Does an Optometric Technician Do?

Find out what an optometric technician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an optometric technician.

Optometric technicians are the behind-the-scenes professionals who help eye doctors provide quality care to their patients. They perform a variety of tasks, from taking detailed patient histories and performing basic vision tests to fitting patients for glasses or contact lenses.

Optometric technicians must have strong interpersonal skills in order to effectively communicate with patients about their medical history and any concerns they may have about their eyesight. They also need to be detail-oriented individuals who can follow instructions carefully and work independently on most days.

Optometric Technician Job Duties

Optometric technicians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Administering vision tests to patients based on their medical history or other factors that may affect vision
  • Performing basic tasks such as cleaning equipment, preparing examination rooms, and sterilizing equipment
  • Preparing patients for exams by fitting them with contact lenses or other assistive devices such as glasses or goggles
  • Performing examinations to test patients’ vision acuity, depth perception, color vision, peripheral vision, and other visual abilities
  • Maintaining patient records with information about their eye health history and current status
  • Conducting diagnostic tests such as visual field tests or retinal photography to assess eye health or detect disease in patients with symptoms of vision problems
  • Providing patients with information on eyeglass frames and lenses, as well as helping them choose frames that fit their face shape and style preferences
  • Explaining treatment options to patients who need vision correction surgery or examinations for conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts
  • Helping patients select frames, lenses, contact lenses, and other products for their vision needs

Optometric Technician Salary & Outlook

Optometric technicians’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $36,500 ($17.55/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $67,500 ($32.45/hour)

The employment of optometric technicians is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

The aging population is expected to drive demand for vision care services, as older people are more likely to experience age-related eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. In addition, technological advances in eye care will continue to allow optometrists to diagnose and treat eye diseases more quickly and efficiently.

Related: Optometric Technician Interview Questions and Answers

Optometric Technician Job Requirements

There are a number of qualifications required to obtain a position as an optometric technician. They include:

Education: Optometric technicians are typically required to have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some optometric technicians choose to pursue a two-year associate degree in optometry technology. This degree program includes courses in biology, chemistry, physics and anatomy.

Training & Experience: Most optometric technicians will receive on-the-job training from their new employers. This training will familiarize the technician with the clinic’s computer systems, patient records and appointment scheduling. The training may also cover the clinic’s policies and procedures.

Some optometric technicians may receive additional training before entering the workforce. For example, a technician who has experience in the military may receive additional training in the form of a technical certification.

Certifications & Licenses: While optometric technicians do not need certifications to earn their position, many optometric technicians opt to earn certifications to improve their job prospects and increase their knowledge of eye care.

Optometric Technician Skills

Optometric technicians need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Technical skills are the practical skills you use to complete tasks. These skills can include knowledge of tools, equipment and machinery. For example, an optometric technician might need to know how to use a specific tool to test a patient’s vision.

Communication skills: As an optometric technician, you may be required to communicate with patients, doctors and other technicians. Effective communication skills can help you to convey information clearly and to understand what others are saying. This can help you to work with others to solve problems and to provide patients with the care they need.

Attention to detail: Optometrists rely on technicians to perform their duties accurately. Having attention to detail means you can perform your job duties with precision. This can help you complete tasks correctly the first time, which can save time and resources. It can also help you avoid errors that could affect the health of patients.

Teamwork skills: Optometrists often work with other technicians and other medical professionals to provide patients with the best care possible. Having strong teamwork skills can help you work with others to solve problems and complete tasks.

Adaptability: Working as an optometric technician requires adaptability, as you may be working in a variety of environments and with many different types of people. Being adaptable can help you adjust to new situations and challenges, which can help you be more successful in your career.

Optometric Technician Work Environment

Optometric technicians work in optometrists’ offices, hospitals, and clinics. They usually work a regular 40-hour week, but may work evenings or weekends to accommodate patients’ schedules. They spend most of their time on their feet, working with patients and handling optical instruments and other equipment. Because they work closely with the public, optometric technicians must have good people skills and be able to deal tactfully with a wide variety of people. They must also be able to handle the stress of working in a fast-paced environment and be able to take direction from the optometrist.

Optometric Technician Trends

Here are three trends influencing how optometric technicians work. Optometric technicians will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technicians

The optometric industry is growing rapidly, which means that there is a need for more technicians to help with the increasing number of eye exams.

As optometrists are unable to handle the increased demand on their own, they will be looking for technicians who can help them provide high-quality care to their patients. This trend presents an opportunity for those who are interested in becoming optometric technicians, as it will allow them to work with some of the best professionals in the field.

More Focus on Preventative Care

Preventative care is becoming increasingly important in the medical community, as it can help to reduce the cost of healthcare by preventing or delaying the onset of diseases and conditions.

Optometric technicians can play a key role in this trend by providing eye exams that focus on preventative care. This includes screenings for common eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as tests for vision problems that may not yet have caused any noticeable symptoms.

Greater Use of Technology

The use of technology in the optometry profession is increasing at a rapid pace. This is due to the fact that technology can be used to improve the quality of eye care services provided to patients.

As technology becomes more prevalent in the optometry profession, optometric technicians will need to learn how to use these tools in order to provide the best possible care for their patients. This includes learning how to use software that helps to diagnose eye diseases, as well as devices that help to measure the health of the eye.

How to Become an Optometric Technician

An optometric technician career can be a great way to get started in the field of eye care. It’s a rewarding and challenging profession that offers many opportunities for growth. As an optometric technician, you’ll have the chance to work with patients of all ages and help them achieve better vision. You’ll also learn about the latest technologies and treatments available in eye care.

To become an optometric technician, you’ll need to complete a training program that’s accredited by the National Commission on Optic

Advancement Prospects

Optometric technicians may advance to supervisory or managerial positions in larger offices. With experience, they may become certified as contact lens specialists or ophthalmic medical technicians. Some optometric technicians open their own businesses.

Optometric technicians with good people skills may be interested in becoming opticians. Opticians dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses prescribed by optometrists and ophthalmologists. They also adjust and repair glasses. Most opticians are trained on the job, although some complete formal training programs.

Optometric Technician Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide comprehensive eye care services to patients of all ages. We are looking for an optometric technician to join our team and provide support to our optometrists in delivering high-quality patient care. The ideal candidate will have prior experience working in an optometry office or ophthalmology office, and will be comfortable performing a variety of tasks such as measuring visual acuity, administering eye exams, and assisting with contact lens fittings. He or she will be a team player with a positive attitude, and will be passionate about providing excellent patient care.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Perform preliminary testing on patients prior to the doctor’s examination, including visual acuity, intraocular pressure, and basic eye health checks
  • Educate patients on proper contact lens care, frame selection, and lens options
  • Schedule appointments, process payments, and maintain accurate patient records
  • Assist the optometrist in performing examinations and other treatments
  • Fit and dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses, making any necessary adjustments
  • Perform administrative duties as needed, such as ordering supplies and maintaining inventory
  • Keep the work area clean and organized, sterilizing equipment as needed
  • Adhere to all safety protocols and OSHA regulations
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of new products and services
  • Cross-train in other areas of the optical department as needed
  • Provide excellent customer service at all times
  • Handle customer complaints in a professional and courteous manner

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of an accredited optometric technician program
  • 1-2 years experience as an optometric technician
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure and multitask
  • Detail oriented with excellent organizational skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in a related field
  • Certification from the American Board of Optometry
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Experience working with Electronic Health Records (EHR)


What Does a Manufacturing Manager Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does an Early Childhood Specialist Do?