There are three levels of employees who work under the supervision of the Ophthalmologist, ranging from entry level to advanced; they are Ophthalmic Assistants, Ophthalmic Technicians, and Ophthalmic Technologists. They may be responsible for and trained to take a patient’s medical history, administer eye medication, provide patients with corrective lenses care and instruction, perform specific eye exams, and maintain medical and office equipment. The most advanced personnel, Ophthalmic Technologists, may have additional responsibilities involving specialized photography equipment and ultrasounds. They may also provide supervision to other ophthalmic personnel.
Training generally takes from six months to one year for ophthalmic assistants, one year for ophthalmic technicians and two years for technologists. Graduates of accredited programs are eligible to take the national certifying examination at the approved levels. High school diploma or equivalent are required for technicians and 2 years of undergraduate study for technologists.