Ophthalmology assistant training | Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA)

Ophthalmic Assistant

An ophthalmic assistant is a person that works as an assistant to an ophthalmologist. They work at an Ophthalmologist (eye doctor’s) office.

There are two pathways for getting employment as a technician: you graduate from an accredited training course in a school or university, or you also obtain expertise through on-the-job coaching. In case you choose to go into a training plan, you’re going to get hands-on instruction. Another benefit is the fact that it might make you more competitive in the job marketplace.


Ophthalmic assistants are the primary point of contact between the patient and the physician. This usually means they have a very significant part in the individual encounter and in providing exceptional services to the individual. Ophthalmic assistants play an essential part in taking patient histories and introducing patients to the sorts of medical procedures they may need. Because of this, ophthalmic techs have to be comfortable answering individual inquiries and helping them comprehend clearly what different eye conditions and medical procedures imply.


How to get a certified ophthalmic assistant (COA)

General Educational Development (GED) or high school diploma, you need to complete a The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited OT program, usually a 1-year certificate or diploma for assistants and technicians or a 2-year associate degree for technologists.

Courses of COA includes

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical laws and ethics
  • Psychology
  • Ocular anatomy and physiology
  • Ophthalmic optics
  • Microbiology
  • Ophthalmic pharmacology and toxicology
  • Ocular motility
  • Diseases of the eye
  • Clinical experience.

JCAHPO Certified Ophthalmic Assistant

The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) offers national certification and testing for OTs on three different levels, plus subspecialty certification:

  • Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) – entry level
  • Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) – intermediate level
  • Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) – advanced level

The subspecialty of ophthalmic surgical assisting requires certification in one of the three core levels.


Ophthalmology assistant training online

There aren’t any online ophthalmology assistant training courses, but you can study theoretical knowledge related to ophthalmology by purchasing course-related books. You have to practice with an opthalmologist to earn knowledge and skills.

Salary of COA at the USA

The average Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) salary in the United States is $48,311 as of August 27, 2020, but the salary range typically falls between $42,189 and $55,196. Source: Salary.com

Ophthalmology assistant training Courses offered by

  • Duke University School of Medicine
  • Portland Community College
  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • Renton Technical College
  • Mercy College of Ohio
  • Camden Community College
  • Coastal Carolina Community College

Leave a Reply