Ophthalmic Technician Associate in Applied Science (Associate in Applied Science, 2020-2021)

Program Info

Year Established
Program Code
Degree Type
Associate in Applied Science

Program Description


Prepares individuals as entry-level Ophthalmic Technicians. The first year of the program is devoted to building a strong foundation in core technical courses and their corresponding academic support courses. Students receive a comprehensive introduction to ophthalmic technology with simulated and actual clinical equipment. During the second year, the program continues with advanced didactic conferences and studies while students begin the clinical component of the program, consisting of approximately 750 hours in a variety of diverse vision care clinical settings.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  1. Perform technician-level tasks safely and accurately defined by national certification and accreditation standards.
  2. Communicate and collaborate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary health care team.
  3. Model professional and ethical behaviors in the healthcare environment.
  4. Performs administrative duties of an ophthalmic technician.
  5. Calibrate and maintain ophthalmic equipment and instrumentation.
  6. Evaluate eye movements and binocular functions.
  7. Measure visual acuity and visual fields.
  8. Perform surgical scrub, change gloves and gown, and monitor sterile field during minor and major eye surgery to meet professional standards.
  9. Perform ocular imaging procedures.
Career Opportunities

The Profession Ophthalmic Technicians are health professionals who are an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing vision care. They perform administrative and clinical functions under the direction of medical or osteopathic physicians who provide comprehensive, refractive, medical, and surgical eye care to the public. Technicians provide administrative support services by coordinating clinic schedules, charting, coding, and transmitting orders of the physician. Clinical functions may be generalized or specialized. Duties may include calibrating and maintaining ophthalmic equipment and supplies, recording medical histories and vision, testing eye movements and binocular functions, measuring optical power and visual fields, assisting in minor and major eye surgery, and performing ocular imaging and biometry services as applicable by local law.

Ophthalmic technicians are employed primarily by ophthalmologists, medical institutions, clinics, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, university ophthalmology centers, or physician groups in which they may be assigned to an ophthalmologist responsible for their supervision and performance. They may be involved with the patients of an ophthalmologist in any setting for which the ophthalmologist is responsible.

Demand for ophthalmic medical technicians should remain strong due to the rising population of older persons, the segment of the population with increased frequency of chronic health conditions.

Occupational Exposure/Risk

Applicants considering a career as an Ophthalmic Technician should be aware that during their course of study and in subsequent employment in the field, they are likely to work in situations where exposure to infectious disease is possible. This is an occupational risk for all health care workers. Persons should not become health care workers unless they recognize and accept this risk. Proper education and strict adherence to well established infection control guidelines can reduce the risk to a minimum. Thorough education in infection control procedures is an important part of the Ophthalmic Technician program.

Latex Allergies Early recognition of sensitization to natural rubber latex (NRL) is crucial to prevent the occurrence of life-threatening reactions in sensitized healthcare workers. The program faculty strongly advises that students sensitized or allergic to latex consult with a physician for guidance on the merits of continuing in a health care career. NRL sensitized students who choose to continue in Ophthalmic Technician program must notify the program director.

Program Completion Limits

The Ophthalmic Technician (OPT) program is 23 months in length. Students must complete all OPT courses within three years of beginning the formal program. All courses in the OPT program must be completed with a C or better. Students are responsible for their own transportation to clinical sites and any expenses incurred.

The College continuously attempts to improve each program and as a result, courses and requirements may be modified. Curriculum, course content, and admission criteria are subject to change by action of the College faculty and administration. Contact the Health Careers Office at (313) 845-9877 for any current program updates or visit www. hfcc.edu.

Withdrawal and Readmission

A students who fails one or both first semester OPT courses (OPT 101/OPT 134) must stop out of the program. Sequencing for OPT course work is not optional; courses are scheduled annually. Therefore, all students who fail a course must appeal for continuance with a remediation plan in writing. If a student fails a course on second attempt, they are out of the ophthalmic technician program.


The Ophthalmic Technician program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs, 2025 Woodlane Drive, St. Paul, MN 55125-2998; (651) 731-7244

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements and Eligibility

Students who meet all admission requirements are considered qualified and are admitted to the program once per year in the fall semester on a “first-qualified, first-admitted” basis. Acceptance into the college does not constitute nor guarantee admission to the program. Final approval to enroll in the program comes from the Ophthalmic Technician Program Director.

Program Admission Requirements

  1. College GPA of at least 2.60 or higher for a minimum of 12 academic credits, excluding lower than 100-level courses, HPE activity, studio and performance classes (if applicable),
  2. Accuplacer Next Gen (255+) Reading Score.
  3. Eligible for placement into ENG-131.
  4. Complete one of the following:
  5. Complete one of the following:

The Program Admission Process

Our Health Career programs are limited enrollment programs with specific admission requirements. In order to get on the qualified list, you must complete the Health Careers Ophthalmic Technician (OPT) application found at the Health Careers Admissions Process site and all the OPT admission requirements. It is recommended that students interested in a health career meet with the Health Careers Student Success Navigator located in the Welcome Center Advising area. Make an appointment with the Health Careers Student Success Navigator early in your planning process. This will allow you to discuss program options and create an academic plan to qualify for the selected program.

Due to the number of credit hours required for program completion and the intensity of the program, students are encouraged to complete as many of the Required Support Courses as possible prior to entering the program. The first courses that a student should complete are those required for program admission followed by the other Required Support Courses.

Courses Required for Admission
Course name Credit Hours
Credit Hours: 5
Additional Program Requirements

Prior to starting the program:

  • Applicants must attend informational and orientation meetings scheduled by program director for Ophthalmic Technician Program.
  • Within two months of beginning second year clinical rotations, students must provide a current American Heart Association, Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider certification (AHA, BLS Healthcare Provider) valid through remainder of program. This may be completed by taking AH-105: BLS for Healthcare Providers

Program Supplies

  • Students will be required to purchase clinical uniforms and supplies including electronic devices (i.e. iPod Touch) for electronic clinical documentation. Do not purchase in advance. Specific directions will be given during orientation meeting.

Program Deposit

  • At the time of formal admission to the program, each applicant is required to pay a $100 fee to secure a place in the program. This fee is refunded only if the student is still active in the program October 15 of Fall Term 1.

Health Appraisal

Students in the OPT program are expected to meet the same physical and mental health requirements as an ophthalmic technician.

A representative OPT Job Profile listing these requirements as well as environmental conditions of this occupation is available through the Health Careers Office.

Final acceptance and continuation in the OPT program is contingent upon fulfilling and maintaining minimum program requirements and proof of the following by specified deadline dates:

  • Physical examination (must meet job profile requirements as determined by a physician and validated on health form)
  • Required titers from previous immunizations and needed immunizations from titer results, if necessary. Evidence of titers must be provided by submission of current lab copies
  • Tuberculosis screening
  • Vaccinations as required by health care community, including flu vaccine
  • Health insurance coverage throughout clinical externship portion of the program

Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen

Consistent with Section 20173 of the Michigan Public Health Code and the requirements of our clinical affiliates, a Criminal Background Check and Drug screen clearance (on first test) are required for all students in the OPT program prior to beginning clinical assignments. The cost for this test is in addition to the basic tuition and fee schedule. Students who are not cleared for clinical through the health appraisal, criminal background check, and have not passed the drug screen on the first test will not be able to complete the OPT program.

Program Requirements


All OPT courses must be successfully completed within three consecutive calendar years and may be repeated only once. A minimum of a C grade is required for all courses in this program.

Minimum Total Credit Hours
Requirements are subject to change. The information represented here is effective starting Fall 2020 and applies to the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the My Progress section of HFC Self Service.