Optometric technicians earn annual wages that range around $22,000 to $30,000 and with the economy showing signs of stabilization, these numbers are expected to rise.
Optometry is a profession dealing with the testing of vision defects and prescribing corrective glasses. Optometric technicians assist qualified optometrists with the process of eye examinations and maintenance of ocular equipment. These paraprofessionals play an important part in the eye care sector. The job is not physically demanding but requires optometric technicians to work 40 hours a week and most of this time is spent on their feet. They mostly work under clinical settings where the work environment is clean and comfortable.
Optometric technicians are hired by optometrists who have their own practice. They are also employed by government agencies and armed services. Some optometrist technicians specialize in marketing of eyeglasses, contact lenses and frames, and perform marketing related tasks. To become an optometric technician you have to undergo a 1-2 year training program. You will require at least a high school diploma to be eligible for this program. Aspirants for the training program also have to undergo a physical examination and should have a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.
According to national statistics, the average salary is around $26,000 per year. These are reported figures and actual salaries can vary depending on a number of factors, like experience and location of the job. If you are working in a city with high cost of living then your wages will be higher than those working under rural settings. Here is a table giving you the estimated salary figures for optometric technicians working in different states.
One of the other factors that affect the salary figures of an optometric technician is experience. As you gain experience in the optometry field the salary figures will inadvertently rise. Like most other professions individuals with experience will get paid more than their inexperienced counterparts.
These numbers are just to give you an insight in the optometric technician earning, these numbers are however, also affected by employer type and the financial size of the organization that you are working for. Educational background will also play a role in deciding the salary of an optometric technician.
They perform a wide range of duties under the supervision of a qualified optometrist and act as a conduit between the optometrist and the clients. Assisting the optometrist in conducting eye examinations is one of their core tasks. They will give clients instructions to prepare them for the examination. Giving after care instruction is also one of their duties which requires client interaction. Taking a patient’s medical history to identify any pre-existing medical condition which might affect the treatment is one of their tasks. They will also contribute in the diagnostic and treatment process.
Pre-testing is one of the mainstays of this job profile, they will administer tests like depth perception, pupil reflexes, and blood pressure. They also explain to the clients the proper usage of eyeglasses, contact lenses and other cleansing materials that might accompany these accessories. An optometric technician’s job description also involves helping clients with eye exercises and vision therapy. They also give detailed information about what things to avoid to protect the vision. Technicians also engage in taking care of the ocular equipment, in many clinic settings they also take inventory and order supplies.
Business analysts predict that the optometric technician requirement is expected to rise in the coming years. Individuals with good interpersonal and communication skills will do well in this profession.