A major in Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services provides you with the education to assist Optometrists in providing clear vision for their patients.
Students in this field learn everything about the eyes so they can improve patients' vision or diagnose and treat and eye diseases. You will take classes in chemistry, biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and optics and visual science to learn how to perform eye exams, eye surgeries, and teach patients how to perform vision rehabilitation.
Some of the concentrations available in this major are Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician, Optometric Technician, Ophthalmic Technology, and Orthoptics.
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services was the 278th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 960 degrees in this year alone. This is approximately the same as the 959 graduates the prior year.
Our 2023 Best Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services Schools ranking analyzes 34 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for ophthalmic and optometric support services students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of optometric support programs later in this article.
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services professionals work closely with patients, making strong communication and interpersonal skills a must. You should be able to make your patients feel comfortable in your office and trust your skills. Decision-making and critical thinking skills are also important because they will help you diagnose vision issues and decide on the best form of treatment.
Graduates with a degree in Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services often go into full time jobs in the field. They usually work in optometrists' offices and hold normal work hours, although some people decide to work evenings or weekends to accommodate their patients' schedule.
Depending on the type of job you would like to pursue in this field, you may need an advanced degree. In order to work as an optometrist you must earn a Doctor of Optometry degree, while other professions only require an associate's. Internships and summer jobs within Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services will allow you to learn more about the different career options and the necessary requirements for each.
ophthalmic and optometric support services degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic ophthalmic and optometric support services program qualifications, to serve in some optometric support careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.
There are various different levels of optometric support degrees. Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest optometric support degree you can get. How long it takes to complete some common optometric support degree levels is shown below.
|Degree||Credit Requirements||Typical Program Length|
|Associate Degree||60-70 credits||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation||At least 4 years|
An associate degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to optometric support, with approximately 27.7% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to optometric support tend obtained the following education levels.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma||32.2%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||28.2%|
|Some College Courses||6.0%|
|Less than a High School Diploma||2.0%|
The education level required is different depending on the optometric support career you are seeking.
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services graduates typically perform various tasks within an optometrist's office depending on the area of specialization you decide to major in. Other people pursue positions in physicians' offices, other medical centers, or decide to open their own practice.
Want a job when you graduate with your optometric support degree? Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services careers are expected to grow 16.7% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to ophthalmic and optometric support services.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||53,200||19.6%|
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $34,172 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $21,432 to as high as $47,441. As you might expect, salaries for optometric support graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
Salaries for ophthalmic and optometric support services graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers optometric support grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||$38,220|
With over 115 different optometric support degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased optometric support school rankings to help you with this.
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services is one of 30 different types of Health Professions programs to choose from.
|Opticianry/Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician||511|
|Other Ophthalmic and Optometric Support Services and Allied Professions||44|
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Health & Medical Administrative Services||89,359|
|Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services||84,492|
|Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants||84,274|
|Allied Health Professions||82,308|
More about our data sources and methodologies.