How to Become an Optometrist Assistant

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How to Become an Optometrist Assistant

An optometrist assistant’s job involves assisting the optometrist in his tasks in the office. This article will help you in your endeavor to become one.

The medical field is an ever expanding field, and there is never a dearth of jobs haunting this industry. In fact, new job profiles are added daily in the list of jobs here. An optometrist assistant is one such exciting job in the medical field, for those who are looking for some other work aspect in their job work along with the medical one. He helps the optometrist in his daily routine tasks, so that the doctor can focus more on the patient. Read the coming paragraph for details on how to become one.

Becoming an Optometrist Assistant

Let’s proceed in a step-wise manner. We will first discuss the educational qualifications required for this job, as this is the most important thing to consider before getting into the responsibilities. A high school diploma or a passing the GED exam, makes you eligible for this job. What is more important is your attitude as far as job search and finding the right place for training is concerned.

For a job search, you can use job portals or contact the local employment providers. It is better to start your job at a local and small level, and then as you gain experience, proceed to the bigger hospitals. In your search for the right job, don’t forget to contact optometrists near your house or locality, there might be a vacancy there.

It would be an advantage if you join some classes that teach technical aspects like taking care of medical instruments, etc. There are many certification exams conducted by the American Optometric Association, and passing these exams would make you certified and thus open up a plethora of opportunities.

Many hospitals also provide on-the-job training, which would definitely benefit you in the long run. The key to become an optometrist assistant is in being constantly on the lookout for new work opportunities, as this would give you new experience, and thus widen your job possibilities. If you want to make a successful career in this field, be ready for some hard work in the initial days.

Responsibilities

An optometrist assistant generally works in private clinic of an optometrist or a government organization. Though the responsibilities differ from one office to another, the general responsibilities are the same, which are listed below.

  • Teach patients the eye exercises that were given by the doctor, and watch that they are doing it the right way.
  • Administer eye drops to the patients as per the instructions of the doctor.
  • Demonstrate to the patients the use of contact lenses, glasses and other eye wear. He is also responsible for selecting the right kind of frame for the patient.
  • Some assistants would have to do bookkeeping and accounts work. This generally differs from one work location to another.
  • The assistant is also expected to schedule appointments as per the availability of the doctor.

Salary and Career Growth

Though the salary varies as per the experience of the person and location of work, one can definitely expect to pocket a minimum of $20,000 to a maximum of $50,000 annually. If you have completed the certification program, the job prospects and salary naturally go up. Once you know the nature of job, you can specialize and become an expert in your field of choice.

For example, you can expertise in contact lenses fitting, and this will definitely give you can edge. Also, it is recommended to go in for certification programs, if you are looking for a long term career in this field. Find a job with an optometrist who has specialized in a certain eye care field, as this would increase the chances of salary too.

Remember, the patients would include individuals from all age groups, including children. So go for this job if you have the proper patience to deal with people, and have a caring attitude too. All the best.

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