Ophthalmic Medical Assistant

Help Ophthalmologists care for patients' eyes.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$26,000 – $65,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Ophthalmic Medical Assistants do?

Eye care is important for long-term eye health. As with all fields of medicine, technology and inventive procedures allow for better eye treatments. Implementing that kind of care requires a team of specialized professionals that includes an Ophthalmologist, who does the exams and procedures, and an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant, who acts as the Doctor ’s right hand.

As an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant, you’re a lot like other Medical Assistants in that your main job is to work as a liaison between the Ophthalmologist and the patient. You’re commonly the first point of contact when you’re an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant—for every patient who enters the office. You perform basic office functions, such as answering the phone and filing.

Beyond the front office, your skills are put to use in your firsthand encounters with your patients’ eyes. You start by asking medical history questions and recording the data in the patient’s file. Then you begin preliminary eye exams before the Ophthalmologist steps into view.

Outside of the basic eye exam, you also assist in surgeries (think LASIK) by supplying sterilized tools and monitoring the patient.

Other responsibilities include ordering supplies and submitting eye prescriptions. Once the eyewear arrives, you contact the customer and answer any questions they may have. You show them how to clean glasses, how to make adjustments to ensure a proper fit, and how to insert contact lenses.

If you love what you do, you could even invest a little more time in school and become an Ophthalmologist.

Should I be an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Certified Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant, Surgical First Assistant

    How to Become an
    Ophthalmic Medical Assistant

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Ophthalmic Medical Assistant-related education!
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