Ophthalmic Medical Technologists
29-2099.05

Assist ophthalmologists by performing ophthalmic clinical functions and ophthalmic photography. Provide instruction and supervision to other ophthalmic personnel. Assist with minor surgical procedures, applying aseptic techniques and preparing instruments. May perform eye exams, administer eye medications, and instruct patients in care and use of corrective lenses.

Sample of reported job titles: Certified Diagnostic Ophthalmic Sonographer (CDOS), Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT), Ophthalmic Echographer, Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (Ophthalmic Medical Tech), Ophthalmic Photographer, Ophthalmic Sonographer, Ophthalmic Technologist (Ophthalmic Tech), Ophthalmic Ultrasonographer, Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist (ROUB), Surgical Coordinator

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Conduct tonometry or tonography tests to measure intraocular pressure.
  • Take and document patients' medical histories.
  • Take anatomical or functional ocular measurements, such as axial length measurements, of the eye or surrounding tissue.
  • Measure visual acuity, including near, distance, pinhole, or dynamic visual acuity, using appropriate tests.
  • Administer topical ophthalmic or oral medications.
  • Measure and record lens power, using lensometers.
  • Calculate corrections for refractive errors.
  • Collect ophthalmic measurements or other diagnostic information, using ultrasound equipment, such as A-scan ultrasound biometry or B-scan ultrasonography equipment.
  • Perform ophthalmic triage, in the office or by phone, to assess severity of patients' conditions.
  • Clean or sterilize ophthalmic or surgical instruments.
  • Educate patients on ophthalmic medical procedures, conditions of the eye, and appropriate use of medications.
  • Conduct ocular motility tests to measure function of eye muscles.
  • Assess refractive condition of eyes, using retinoscope.
  • Conduct visual field tests to measure field of vision.
  • Measure corneal thickness, using pachymeter or contact ultrasound methods.
  • Measure corneal curvature with keratometers or ophthalmometers to aid in the diagnosis of conditions, such as astigmatism.
  • Supervise or instruct ophthalmic staff.
  • Measure the thickness of the retinal nerve, using scanning laser polarimetry techniques to aid in diagnosis of glaucoma.
  • Assist physicians in performing ophthalmic procedures, including surgery.
  • Perform fluorescein angiography of the eye.
  • Photograph patients' eye areas, using clinical photography techniques, to document retinal or corneal defects.
  • Maintain ophthalmic instruments or equipment.
  • Conduct tests, such as the Amsler Grid test, to measure central visual field used in the early diagnosis of macular degeneration, glaucoma, or diseases of the eye.
  • Conduct binocular disparity tests to assess depth perception.
  • Assess abnormalities of color vision, such as amblyopia.
  • Call patients to inquire about their post-operative status or recovery.
  • Instruct patients in the care and use of contact lenses.
  • Conduct low vision blindness tests.
  • Perform advanced ophthalmic procedures, including electrophysiological, electrophysical, or microbial procedures.
  • Perform slit lamp biomicroscopy procedures to diagnose disorders of the eye, such as retinitis, presbyopia, cataracts, or retinal detachment.
  • Create three-dimensional images of the eye, using computed tomography (CT).

back to top

Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.

back to top

Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 95% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 75% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Electronic Mail — 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity — 55% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Telephone — 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 45% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 35% responded “Very important results.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 35% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 45% responded “Important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 35% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Letters and Memos — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 80% responded “40 hours.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 30% responded “Limited responsibility.”
  • Consequence of Error — 35% responded “Fairly serious.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 35% responded “Very important.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 40% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 65% responded “About half the time.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 45% responded “About half the time.”

back to top

Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, desktop publishers, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters and simultaneous captioners, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

back to top

Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

back to top

Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

back to top

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

back to top

Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 30%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 25%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 15%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required

back to top

Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.

back to top

Interests

Interest code: CRI
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

back to top

Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

back to top

Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other.
Employment data for Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other.
Industry data for Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other.
Median wages (2021)
$21.98 hourly, $45,720 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
148,000 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Average (4% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
11,800
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

back to top

More Information

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top