Ophthalmic Technology

Ophthalmic technology is a rapidly expanding field with a growing demand for qualified assistants and technicians.  Ophthalmic assistants and technicians work under the direct supervision of an ophthalmologist who treats disorders and diseases of the eye.

Ophthalmic assistants take medical histories, perform basic procedures and testing, and prepare patients to see the physician.

Ophthalmic technicians provide intermediate level services such as patient histories, visual acuity measurement, visual field testing, refractometry, contact lenses, instrument maintenance, and assisting the doctor with minor eye surgery.

Your pathway to a degree

You can start with an ophthalmic assistant certificate, taking classes that directly apply to the associate degree in ophthalmic technology. After completing the certificate, students are eligible to take the national credentialing exam to become a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA).:

  • Introduction to Ophthalmology Profession
  • Ophthalmic Procedures I
  • Ocular Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Ophthalmic Procedure II
  • Ophthalmic Practicum I
  • Ocular Diseases
  • Ocular Pharmacology
  • Math for Allied Health
  • Ophthalmology Practicum II
  • General Psychology
  • Interpersonal Communications

Certificate Credits 36

Take these additional courses to earn an associate degree in ophthalmic technology. Students who complete the associate degree are eligible to sit for the Certified Ophthalmic Technician credentialing exam (COT).:

  • Student Success Seminar
  • Ophthalmic Procedures III
  • Ophthalmology Practicum III
  • College Composition
  • Principles of Human Structure and Function (lab)
  • Ophthalmic Procedures IV
  • Ophthalmology Practicum IV
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Computer Applications for Professionals

Additional Credits 28

TOTAL CREDITS FOR DEGREE 64

Two career enhancement certificates are available to students already working in the field, but who are not credentialed.  The career enhancement certificates provide the information that will aid in passing the credentialing exams for either COA or COT credentialing.  These students do not need clinical experience. Students must be currently working in the field of ophthalmology or have 6 months previous experience to apply.

  • Ophthalmologists’ offices and clinics

After completing a one-year certificate, students are eligible to take the national credentialing exam to become a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA).

Students who complete the associate degree in ophthalmic technology are eligible to sit for the Certified Ophthalmic Technician credentialing exam (COT).

For more information regarding credentialing, see www.jchapo.org.