If you’re ready to pursue a career as an ophthalmic assistant, take a look at what certification is all about. Here are some of its advantages and what you’ll have to do to get certified.
Many ophthalmic assistants find that they are better able to market themselves to potential employers when they are certified. Certification affirms that you are competent in your knowledge and that you have passed an examination of your skills. It gives you confidence that you’re prepared to face real life situations and ready to assist patients and doctors. But it also lets employers know you come with a certain set of skills, ready to work. In fact, some employers will only hire ophthalmic assistants who are certified. Even those employers who don’t specify certification might list it under “preferred skills” so it will still distinguish you from the crowd and give you a competitive edge.
Certification may also lead to better wages and benefits. A recent survey found that certified assistants earned higher salaries. Even after only a year, people with certification earned more than those without. The same survey showed that many assistants who are certified were also eligible for paid holidays, vacations, and health insurance benefits.
How to get your Certification?
There are a few different ways you can become eligible to take a certification exam for ophthalmic assistants. First, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or GED. There are different types of certifications, each with its own requirements.
Graduate from an accredited clinical training program and apply for certification within 12 months. If you graduated more than a year ago, you’ll need to submit a recertification credit for each year following your graduation.
Graduate from an accredited non-clinical training program but also have 500 hours work experience under the supervision of an ophthalmologist. Again, you’ll need to apply for certification within 12 months before submitting your application.
Complete an approved independent study course such as the JCAT course or AAO Ophthalmic Medical Assisting course and have 1,000 hours experience under the supervision of an ophthalmologist. You will need to apply within 12 months and if you completed the course more than 36 months ago, you’ll need to repeat it or submit 18 Group A credits for each year following the 36-month period.
You’ll also need to renew your certification every three years. This demonstrates a dedication and professionalism that ophthalmologists and medical employers look for in new and veteran workers.
What do you think? Are you ready to pursue a rewarding career as an Ophthalmic Assistant? At Career Quest Learning Centers, we’ll help you prepare. Career Quest's Ophthalmic Assistant Diploma program is an 8-month training program that can help you get on the path to a new career. The program is available at both our Lansing (877-481-4930) and Jackson (877-365-8144) campuses. Give us a call or fill out the form to learn more now.