4 FAQs about the Career of an Ophthalmic Assistant

Ophthalmic Assistant Assessing a Patient's Eye Health


Do you want to become an ophthalmic assistant but aren’t sure what the job is all about? You’re not alone! Here are 4 frequently asked questions about the Career of an Ophthalmic Assistant.

1) What will my day look like?

If you’re interested in the career of an ophthalmic assistant, one of your first questions is probably, “what would I do every day?” Your main task is to work with the ophthalmologist to provide patient care by performing eye-related tasks. You might take down medical histories, instruct patients about medications, tests, and procedures, and perform vision and diagnostic tests. And you may need to coordinate schedules and perform some office management tasks. Unlike opticians who fit contacts and glasses, as an ophthalmic assistant, you’ll be working directly with an ophthalmologist to assistant during patient eye exams. Think of yourself as a “physician extender” who helps the ophthalmologist to see more patients in a day.

2) How are the working conditions?

Most assistants work 40 hours a week in either an office or clinic-like setting. Generally, you won’t have to work evening or weekends, but like any job there are exceptions. You will need to be able to operate equipment and perform tests. Most of the day, you will be on your feet, working with doctors, assistants and patients from all walks of life.

3) What kind of education is needed?

If you want more job prospects and a competitive edge in the field, consider an that will prepare you for entry-level work in this field. You’ll need to know how eye care clinics and offices run and some basics about the profession. A good program will teach you about eye exams and eye anatomy and much more, including:

  • Ocular measurements and pressures
  • Eye pathology
  • Ocular imaging
  • Ocular pharmacology
  • Gathering of medical, family, and ocular histories
  • Medical ethics
  • Medical and legal terminology related to the field
  • Office administration and billing & coding


4) What skills do I need?

You will learn so much from a training program in terms of eye related terminology and medical terms. But if you want to work with patients, number one on your skill list should be a good bedside manner. That means you need a positive attitude and a calming, professional manner. Communication skills are important, and so is the ability to work as a member of a team. Do you think you have what it takes?

Whether you want to start a healthcare career, or you’re just super interested in eyes and the eye care field, we can help. Career Quest Learning Centers has several healthcare programs, including an Ophthalmic Assistant training program that you could complete in as little as eight months. Find out more about it by filling out the form and we’ll get back to you to answer all your questions.


“This program is good because it’s daily, it doesn’t give you time for slack. There is also lots of hands-on help, you’re not just left to do it all on your own. I was in college before and it just didn’t work out. Career Quest worked for me.”


“If anyone’s looking to get into an office setting, this is a great start because you can get all those basic computer skills that employers are looking for."