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Field of Study: Ophthalmic Technology


Ophthalmic technology programs prepare people to help eye doctors examine and treat vision problems.



Ophthalmic technology programs include topics such as:

  • Interviewing patients
  • Patient care
  • Medications
  • Vision testing
  • Recordkeeping

Community colleges and other 2-year schools offer certificates and associate degree programs in ophthalmic technology. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete.

Very few colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs in ophthalmic technology. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.


College preparation

Proprietary schools, colleges, and universities all offer this program. If you want to study at a proprietary school, you can prepare for this program of study by completing your high school degree or getting a GED. If you want to study at a college or university, you can prepare for this program by taking the following courses: four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Psychology
  • Introduction to Business
  • General Computer Applications
  • Health Education
  • Community Health
  • Vision Care Assisting
  • Healthcare Sciences Work Experience
  • Anatomy and Physiology


Undergraduate special

Applicants to some programs need to take between one to two years of college-level general education courses first. Specific prerequisite courses vary among these programs but typically include some combination of the following:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • College Math
  • Computer Science
  • English Composition
  • Humanities electives
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Physics
  • Public Speaking
  • Social Science electives

In addition, admission requirements for some programs may include the following:

  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal interview


Typical course work

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye
  • Basic Visual Examination
  • Clinical Optics
  • Corneal Topography
  • Diagnostic Procedures
  • Eye Disease
  • Fundamentals and Principles of Contact Lenses
  • Grand Rounds and Seminar
  • Introduction to Clinical Skills
  • Introduction to Ophthalmic Surgery
  • Maintenance of Ophthalmic Instruments
  • Medical Ethics
  • Medical History-Taking
  • Ocular Motility and Binocular Vision
  • Ocular Pharmacology
  • Ophthalmic Dispensing
  • Ophthalmic Photography
  • Ophthalmic Therapeutic Procedures
  • Perception and Low Vision
  • Pupil Evaluation
  • Retinoscopy and Refractometry
  • Surgical Assisting Procedures


Things to know

Some schools offer a program in ophthalmic medical technology. These programs prepare people to work in hospitals.

After graduating from this program, you may be eligible to sit for a national certification exam.

Certification is not necessary to get a job in ophthalmic technology, but it can help.


Similar fields of study

Careers you may qualify for

Medical Assistants
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians



Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology

Schools that offer program

Click on the school name to see a list of their programs related to this field of study.

School of Ophthalmic Medical Technology - St. Paul, Located in Metro
St. Catherine University - St. Paul , Located in Metro