According to the US Department of Labor, OMT or the Ophthalmic Medical Technician profession ranks 3rd when it comes to the fastest growing occupations in the country. Are you considering a career in eye care? Read and find out why you should seriously consider a career as an OMT.
Who are Ophthalmic Technicians?
They are people who work as the assistant to an ophthalmologist. They perform eye procedures under the guidance and direct supervision of a licensed Ophthalmologist. Their typical duties involve carrying out specific diagnostic exams of the patients, dispense medications to patients, maintenance of equipments and communicating with patients.
However, an ophthalmic technician may also assist during eye surgeries, provided he/she has an advanced knowledge and experience. The places employing an ophthalmic technician include hospitals, nursing homes, private clinics, special medical centers and private practice.
Generally, the basic educational program for one to become an ophthalmic technician lasts for 2 years. For you to be qualified for certification, it is a requirement that you finished at least 2 years of college education.
For one to become a professional ophthalmic technician, the candidate is required to take special courses to learn all the necessary skills and techniques in handling the challenges of the profession. There is absolutely no room for error in the profession and even the most basic errors can be destructive to one’s career.
Some courses in becoming an entry level technician or assistant are available in various junior colleges. However, for more advanced certificates, potential technicians have to enroll in special technical schools certified by The Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs (CoA-OMP). The common practices in the occupation usually denote to the fact that the better the education level, the higher is the pay.
For one to be certified as a practicing ophthalmic technician, certification is required from the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Opthalmology (JCAHPO). The entry level certification is the Certified Opthalmic Assistant (COA). With experience and knowledge, candidates can opt for becoming a Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) in the second level and even the Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) in the more advanced level. It’s been observed that salary level is higher for technicians as they progress from COA to COMT.
There is a big difference in the salary of an entry level technician compared to the experienced one. Entry level salaries typically start from $30,000 and may go up to $70,000 with experience. According to the data shared by indeed.com, the average salary of an ophthalmic technician is around $41,000. However, depending upon the location, his salary may even exceed $70,000 annually. Usually, field based trans-national projects pay ophthalmic technicians the highest salaries. Private practice, however, may be less economically beneficial for an ophthalmic technician. Usually city level medical establishments provide good pay too, although, the benefits of high salary are often offset by the high cost of living in the urban areas.
With demands for medical staff, increasing throughout the industry, ophthalmic technician job vacancies are also on the rise. Ophthalmology is a field that offers one of the most flexible growth opportunities in the medical industry. Many ophthalmic technicians have progressed to become physicians, as well as, many other coveted position holders in the healthcare and medical industry. A lot of technicians have also managed to establish themselves as office managers.
The skills gained during the job may even set the path for ophthalmic technicians to gain special certificates in sonography, ultrasound, as well as, surgical assisting. Ophthalmic technicians also have the option to advance forward and get additional training in orthoptics specialties like eye muscle imbalances and deviations, certification in ophthalmic surgical assistance, coding and disbursement, ophthalmic ultrasound, and a lot more. Hence, it is right to conclude that ophthalmic technicians have a promising and dynamic career future depending on your personal preferences and career objectives.
Thus, if you are planning to become an ophthalmic technician, this decision is considered a wise one. Are you ready to pursue a career as an ophthalmic technician today?
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