How to Become an Optometry Assistant

Overview & Salaries

Median salary:

Expected growth from 2012-2020:

Specialization Options:

Dispensing, management and laboratory technician

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions may want to get a certificate or associate’s degree. Some states may also require a license. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a bachelor’s degree can be useful in helping you stand out during the hiring process. Learn more by clicking our “Education Required” tab up top.

(all information above provided by the Dispensing Optometry page in the 2012 BLS)

Discover the Best Places to Become an Optometry Assistant

The state with the greatest number of employment opportunities for dispensing opticians is California, where 7,370 jobs are currently being occupied at an average yearly salary of $39,050. Ophthalmic laboratory technicians find the largest number of opportunities in Florida, where 3,190 practitioners make an annual mean wage of $31,740.

Nearly 50% of optometrists operate out of a single, solo practice  while the others work in a variety of locations. These include:

  • Offices of optometrists 50%
  • Offices of physicians 13%
  • Health and personal care stores 8%
  • Outpatient care centers 2%

Employment and Salary Information by State for Optometry Assistants

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Optometry Assisting. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Optometry Assistant

Why Optometry Assistant

For professionals with a keen eye on future healthcare trends, the optometry industry is one to watch. Also making this career an interesting one to watch is the relatively limited number of accredited optometry schools in the United States compared to the increasing need for an aging population to have their eyes checked. A large number of practicing optometrists is expected to retire  in the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Recommended Optometry Assistant Courses

  • Gross Anatomy
  • Head and Neck Anatomy
  • The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Medicine
  • Ocular Anatomy
  • Ocular Physiology
  • Optical Science
  • Vision Science
  • Ocular Disease
  • The Eye in Systemic Disease
  • Low Vision Rehabilitation

Degrees for Optometry Assistant Careers

Optometry certificate programs introduce students to basic principles and procedures that prepare them for careers in front office and technical roles within optometry office.

Doctor of Optometry (OD)
The optometry curriculum is a four-year program that culminates in Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. The degree is required to become a licensed practicing optometrist. Students must first receive a bachelor’s degree.