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Ophthalmic Technician

Envision your future with an Ophthalmic Technician Associate of Applied Science degree from ACC.

Ophthalmic Technician with patient in office setting.

Do you see yourself in healthcare, using technology to provide better care? Prepare for a career as an ophthalmic technician in an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree from ACC. Ophthalmic technicians are skilled medical professionals who work alongside ophthalmologists to perform eye exams, diagnose diseases, and administer treatments in caring for patients' eyes and eyesight. Once you graduate, you'll be ready for the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO) certification exam at the Ophthalmic Technician Level.

You can get your Ophthalmic Technician AAS degree in 2 years (full-time) and start your career or explore your transfer options.

This program is undergoing some changes. Please contact pamela [dot] thompson [at] arapahoe [dot] edu (Pamela Thompson) or your academic advisor prior to applying to this program.

ACC Admissions
Admissions
admissions [at] arapahoe.edu
Pamela Thompson
Interim Dean Health & Public Services | Director Allied Health
Health and Public Services
pamela.thompson [at] arapahoe.edu

What You'll Learn

While in the Ophthalmic Technician program, you'll learn core medical and eye care principles and gain industry knowledge through courses such anatomy and physiology, clinical optics, vision care, pathology, and pharmacology. You'll get experience in clinical settings and practicums. Courses are in-person / face-to-face with hands-on labs and experience with industry equipment. 

In the program, you will:

  • Get an understanding of anatomy of the eye and diseases affecting the eye and build the skills to assist and work under the supervision of an ophthalmologists
  • Apply technical skills to perform eye care pre-screening and specialty testing procedures on patients accurately and efficiently 
  • Apply technical skills to educate and assist patients with their eye health and visual needs
  • Demonstrate professional ethics, honesty and respect when dealing with doctors, patients, and co-workers

CIP 511803 (OPT2)

This degree is designed to prepare students for an entry-level position as an ophthalmic technician including preparation for the national Certified Ophthalmic Technician exam. Ophthalmic technicians work with eye care professionals in hospitals, clinics, and eye surgery centers.

Ophthalmic technicians work with ophthalmologists to provide patient care including patient exams, measuring, and recording information, and using specialized technology. Students learn core medical and eye care principles and gain industry knowledge through courses such anatomy and physiology, optics, vision care, pathology, and pharmacology. Students gain experience in clinical settings and practicums. This program offers courses in a traditional face-to-face format that includes hands-on labs and experience with industry equipment.

Graduates beginning employment in this field find careers as ophthalmic technicians within hospitals, clinics, multispecialty offices, private practices, and refractive surgery centers.

A full-time student can complete this Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in two years. After graduation, students typically seek employment, however, they do have opportunities to seek additional education to enhance their skills.

To be successful in this program, students should be comfortable with technology, have an interest in healthcare, and enjoy working with people.

The ACC Ophthalmic Technician program is housed in the School of Health and Public Services Division, office phone number is 303-797-5798. The OPT Program Chair's phone number is 303-797-5781.

The Arapahoe Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science Ophthalmic Technician Degree (OPT). The OPT program is pursuing accreditation by the International Council of Accreditation. ICA can be reached at ICA 2025 Woodlane Drive, St. Paul, MN 55125, or Phone: 651.731.7243/ Fax: 651.731.0410/International: +1.651.731.7243

Program Requirements

Total: 63 Credit Hours

Graduation Requirements

  • Achieve a "C" or better in all required courses
  • Apply for graduation online at www.arapahoe.edu/graduation.
  • As a graduate of a Career and Technical Education program you will be contacted by an ACC employee in approximately six months to verify your employment information. This information gathering is a federal requirement to ensure that ACC receives certain federal funding.
  • Students enrolling or continuing at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) have a right to certain information that the college is required by law to provide. As a student applying for or attending the Ophthalmic Technician Program you have the right to know it meets the criteria for Colorado. It is possible that the degree may count toward licensing or certification in states other than Colorado. If you are planning to seek professional certification or licensure, it is strongly recommended that you contact the State Board of Licensure in the state in which you are located or plan to locate in order to seek information and guidance regarding licensure or certification requirements before you begin this program.
  • ACC has not determined if the Ophthalmic Technician Program meets applicable state prerequisites for licensure or certification in states other than Colorado. Other states include (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and U.S. Territories: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

Complete a Criminal Background Check through ACC. View disqualifying events information.

Note: Criminal background checks require a fee and the applicant's social security number. Should the background check reveal any disqualifying factors or a positive drug screen, the student will be required to drop the program.

The Arapahoe Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science Ophthalmic Technician Degree (OPT). The OPT program is pursuing accreditation by the International Council of Accreditation. ICA can be reached at ICA 2025 Woodlane Drive, St. Paul, MN 55125, or Phone: 651.731.7243/ Fax: 651.731.0410/International: +1.651.731.7243

Email: http://www.icaccreditation.org/

Job Potential in Ophthalmic Technology

Technicians complete the initial portion of the patient's eye examination, which involves taking the patient history, reviewing a patient's systemic medical health and medications, checking visual acuity, testing confrontational visual fields, assessing pupils and the ocular muscles, measuring intraocular pressure and performing refractometry. Technicians in the eye care field build the technical, business and patient care skills necessary to assist ophthalmologists in providing high quality vision care to their patients. 

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows the annual mean wages for ophthalmic technicians between $37,850 and $41,830 in Colorado in 2019. Within that average salary, 19% earn $56,370 or more. According to BLS, the projected growth nationally for OT is 16% between 2016 and 2029. Ophthalmic technicians work with eye care professionals in hospitals, clinics, and eye surgery centers. Learn more about Ophthalmic Technician career opportunities.