What Ophthalmic Assistants Do

Ophthalmic assistants provide vision care under the supervision of a licensed ophthalmologist. They assist with taking patient histories, performing diagnostic tests and procedures, patient scheduling, and exam room preparation.

Types of Work Environments

  • Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing laboratories
  • Health and personal care stores
  • Ophthalmologists' and optometrists' offices

Education Requirements

Students can choose to pursue their training at the diploma, certificate, or associate degree level. Training can be obtained through academic training in an accredited program, distance learning programs, and on-the-job training. With additional training and experience, assistants may progress to the level of ophthalmic technician or technologist. Certification is offered through the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) and is available at three different levels: assistant (COA), technician (COT), and technologist (COMT). Certification is recommended, but not mandatory in Ohio.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for ophthalmic assistants is approximately $44,290 per year. 

Professional Organizations and Resources

The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology

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