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Look the World Straight in the Eye

ophthalmic assistant giving eye exam to client

Don’t think you would like to be a nurse BUT you still would like to work in Health Care??  How about choosing to take a professional road less traveled in the form of working in an Ophthalmic doctor’s office?


Perhaps becoming an Ophthalmic Assistant (OA), or if one takes the certification exam a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA), may be for you?

Ophthalmic assistants work with ophthalmologists - eye doctors, helping them conduct diagnostic eye tests, measuring visual acuity, checking eye health and eye muscle functions. Ophthalmic assistants also help patients with their contact lenses and apply eye medications or dressings and take care of the equipment in the office.  Take a look at a day in the life of an Ophthalmic Assistant.


To become a certified ophthalmic assistant, a candidate can complete a training program offered by a vocational or technical school (like AB Tech). Most training programs take six months to a year to complete.   Training program course work covers subjects in physiology, anatomy, medical terminology, lab techniques, diagnostic and clinical procedures, pharmacology in ophthalmology and first aid. Ophthalmic assistants must be well versed in diseases of the eye, providing eye tests, and assisting with surgical eye treatments. As with all Health Care fields being able to easily work with a variety of personality types and keeping a level head is very important!  After, successful completion of the class a certification exam is offered by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology or JCAHPO.  Certification can lead to more job opportunities, better chances for advancement and higher salaries, (average salary range $23,000-$29,000) according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Being an ophthalmic assistant is a demanding job that requires commitment and a strong sense of determination. Do you see yourself in this role? If I have sparked your imagination, AB Tech’s next class will be starting up in Spring of 2014 


Call our Health Occupations office (828) 398-7878


"You treat a disease: You win, you lose.

You treat a person, I guarantee you win. No matter the outcome."


Christina Lang, RN

Coordinator, Health Occupations