Are you considering pursuing a career in the medical field? Are you having difficulty deciding which type of medically related position that you want to work in? Do you enjoy working with the public and you are consistently able to deliver adequate customer service? Perhaps you should think about beginning a career as an optical assistant. As an optical assistant you will be helping an optometrist by performing administrative and clinical job responsibilities.
Generally speaking, optical assistants work within a privately owned practice or a vision care clinic. It is important that you understand that optical assistants should not be confused with ophthalmic medical assistants, who primarily work alongside medical eye doctors. On any given day you will likely be responsible for answering the telephone to address patient needs and questions, greeting patients that come into the practice, maintaining patient records, handling and responding to correspondence, assisting with vision tests, teaching patients how to properly use glasses and contact lenses, and scheduling appointments for patients.
Although there are no formal requirements that you must complete to be able to work as an optical assistant, by completing some degree of formal training you are much more likely to become gainfully employed over less qualified individuals. Many local community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools typically offer certificate type programs that can be completed in less than a year. Along with administrative type courses, you can also expect to complete courses related to CPR, optical equipment, and the anatomy and physiology of the eye. There are typically two certification options that are offered to students by the American Optometric Association.
Once you have at least six months of experience in this field it will be possible for you to sit for the examination, earn a passing score, and be designated as a Certified Paraoptometric. After earning this certification and completing a minimum of at least six more months of experience you will be able to complete the examination that will designate you as a Certified Paraoptometric Assistant. Take a few minutes and check out any of the schools on our site that seem to appeal to you and your educational goals. Feel free to request a complimentary information packet from any of these schools so that you will be informed about what they have to offer you.
As previously mentioned, as an optical assistant you may be able to find work in a large optical organization, within a privately owned optical office, or within a hospital type setting. Should you decide to further your level of education you will have additional employment opportunities available to you. Find your AA, BA or MBA school that can train you for your optical assistant degree.