Optometric Assistants (OAs) and Optometric Technicians (OTs) have responsibilities way beyond clerical work like bookkeeping, scheduling, and filing. All the tasks they perform are crucial to both the optometric team and the patient. They perform a variety of tasks including test preparation, administering drops, treatments, and eye exercises and helping people choose their glasses and adjust the fit. Most Optometric Assistants and Technicians work in offices and laboratories. Some work in health clinics or for government agencies, while optical instrument companies may employ others.
Optometric assistants may be trained on the job by optometrists. Formal training programs usually consist of one-year certificate programs for assistants and two-year associate degree programs for technicians. Optometric technicians must successfully complete the Optometric Technician Registry Exam. A registered optometric technician will have the Opt.T.R. designation.