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2020 Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services Degree Guide

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 Degrees Decreasing

#246 Most Popular Major
1.1k Degrees Awarded
-6.6% Increase in Graduates

In 2017-2018, ophthalmic and optometric support services was the 246th most popular major nationwide with 1,089 degrees awarded. This 72 less than the prior year, a decrease of 6.6%.

There are 19 schools offering degrees in ophthalmic and optometric support services in the United States. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of optometric support programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services

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.

Optometric Support Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. 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.

Types of Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services Degree

There are many different optometric support degrees levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in ophthalmic and optometric support services to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. 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

A high school diploma or equivalent is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to optometric support, with approximately 33.3% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for optometric support workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma 32.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 28.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate 28.2%
Some College Courses 6.0%
Less than a High School Diploma 2.0%

About 64.8% of workers in careers related to optometric support obtain at least award taking 1 to 2 years. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in ophthalmic and optometric support services have received.

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The education level required is different depending on the optometric support career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Optometric Support Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$30.6k Average Starting Salary
17% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

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.

High Growth Projected for Optometric Support Careers

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
Dispensing Opticians 89,300 15.1%
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians 53,200 19.6%

How Much Money Do People With a Optometric Support Degree Make?

Recently graduated ophthalmic and optometric support services students earned an average of $30,617 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $23,100 to as high as $41,800. As you might expect, salaries for optometric support graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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High Paying Careers for Optometric Support Majors

Salaries for ophthalmic and optometric support services graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers optometric support grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Dispensing Opticians $39,930
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians $38,220

Getting Your Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services Degree

With over 120 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.

One of 34 majors within the Health Professions area of study, Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 293,633
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 104,465
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 90,916
Health & Medical Administrative Services 87,058
Allied Health Professions 86,125

View All Optometric Support Related Majors >

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