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If you’d like to learn more about the Optometric Technician program, we’d love to talk with you.
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An optometric technician works under the supervision of an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
In the Optometric Technician program at Madison College, instructors train students to work in eye care, emphasizing the unique duties required of an optometric technician to provide quality vision care services to patients.
An important part of the curriculum is the clinical experience portion, in which you will work directly with doctors and patients.
Technical training includes:
- Patient pre-testing skills such as visual acuity, measuring eye pressure, muscle movement and pupillary assessment
- Operating ophthalmic equipment such as phoropters, ophthalmic imaging instruments, ultrasonography, visual field testing, tonometers and lensometers
- Assisting in ophthalmic surgery
- Ocular anatomy and physiology
- Ophthalmic terminology and pharmacology
- Frame and lens selection and eyeglass adjustments
- Contact lens patient education
- Visual training and practice management
- Equipment maintenance and repair
Please note that after acceptance to the Optometric Technician program, you will be required to complete a background check, provide documentation of current required-immunizations and current Healthcare Provider CPR certification. Further information about these requirements will be shared at program orientation.
Wisconsin law requires background checks for persons who provide care for others or have access to people who receive care. This law applies to students in many School of Health Sciences programs. Please review the Caregiver Background Check information on the School of Health Sciences Forms and Policies.
Students in the Optometric Technician program must attend full time.
Classes are offered Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Optometric Technician program classes may be offered at these Madison College campuses:
- Madison - Truax
As of September 2023, the website salary.com indicates the annual salary range for Certified Ophthalmic Assistants (COA) in the Madison area is $45,162 - $59,083 with the median salary at $51,715.
Earning your technical diploma in the Optometric Technician program at Madison Area Technical College prepares you for a range of professional positions in the optometric field, including:
- Optometric Technician - Assists an optometrist in the delivery of eye care. Duties may include: preliminary testing, contact lens instruction, fitting and dispensing of eyewear, front office management and patient education.
- Ophthalmic Assistant - Assists an ophthalmologist in the delivery of eye care. Duties may include: preliminary testing procedures, refractometry, tonometry, assisting physicians in performing ophthalmic procedures including surgery, ophthalmic photography and patient education.
- Dispensing Technician - Specializes in fitting and dispensing of eyewear; may be employed by an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist or own their own optical dispensary.
- Contact Lens Technician - Duties may include the ordering, verification and dispensing of contact lenses. The contact lens technician may also assist the doctor in chairside techniques of fitting contact lenses.
The Optometric Technician program is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE).
Curriculum and Experience
Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2023-2024 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.
Current and newly admitted program students, go directly to your Degree Progress Report to view:
- Progress toward your specific requirements
- Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements
If you have questions after reviewing your degree progress report (advisement report), please see Advising Services.First SemesterSecond Semester
Earning a degree is a great way to advance your career development opportunities, so apply today!
International students who wish to apply for, maintain, or transfer their F-1 student visa status to Madison College are required to complete the International Admission Process.
- Application open
- Application completion deadline is August 31, 2024
All materials must be submitted by the application deadline.
1. Admissions Application
The online application allows you to save your work as you complete it and ensures fast, secure delivery to our office.
2. Education Completion
Official transcripts must be sent from the institutions you attended and indicate one of the following:
- High school transcript (current high school seniors may submit an in-progress transcript)
- GED/HSED transcript
- College transcript(s) showing:
- Completion of an associate degree or higher, or
- At least 30 credits completed with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4-point scale
- The credits must be completed at a single college and cannot be combined with other transcripts
- Any transfer credit listed on a transcript does not count toward the 30-credit minimum
All high school and/or college transcripts are recommended to be submitted for Credit for Prior Learning evaluation.
- Class capacity is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.
- Course prerequisites differ from admission requirements. Admission into a program does not guarantee eligibility to enroll in courses or success in the program. Refer to program curriculum for details.
Once you have been admitted into your program, complete the Next Steps after Program Acceptance to prepare for your first day of classes at Madison College.
Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination.
After completing Optometric Technician program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be prepared to:
- Perform a variety of supportive optometric procedures.
- Demonstrate professional behaviors, ethics and appearance.
- Assist the optometrist in the care of patients.
- Assist patients with glasses and/or contact lenses.
- Perform business office procedures.
Program Mission: to prepare certification eligible technicians to work as members of the eye care team under the supervision of optometrists, ophthalmologists and other health care providers. To train individuals to assist in providing quality eye care to the patient.
- Provide relevant instruction to an optimal number of students each year in eye, vision, optical concepts, pretesting procedures, specialty testing procedures, contact lenses, optical dispensing and practice management.
- Prepare students as life-long learners and problem-solvers who can respond to a continually changing eye care profession.
- Utilize technology to deliver the program content to enhance the classroom experience for the students.
- Utilize technology to deliver program content to people already employed in an eye care setting.
- Maintain program accreditation with the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education and the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs.
Graduate Report Summary Overview
2020 2021 2022 Number of Program Graduates 15 14 10 Number of Surveys Sent 15 14 10 Number of Surveys Returned 9 11 5 Percent of Surveys Returned Available for Employment 9 9 5 Percent Available for Employment 100.00% 81.80% 100.00% Not in Labor Market Percent Not in Labor Market 0.00% 18.20% 0.00% Available for Employment
2020 2021 2022 Graduates Employed 9 7 5 Percent of Graduates Employed 100.00% 77.80% 100.00% Employed in Related Occupation 9 6 4 Percent Employed in Related Occupation 100.00% 85.70% 80.00% Employed in Unrelated Occupation 0 1 1 Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 0.00% 14.30% 20.00% Employed - No Response 0 0 0 Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Seeking Employment 0 2 0 Percent Seeking Employment 0.00% 22.20% 0.00% Reaction To Training at Madison College
2020 2021 2022 Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 4 3.3 3.6 Number of Satisfaction Responses 9 11 5 Very Satisfied (4) 9 5 3 Percent Very Satisfied 100.00% 45.50% 60.00% Satisfied (3) 0 5 2 Percent Satisfied 0.00% 45.50% 40.00% Unsatisfied (2) 0 0 0 Percent Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Very Unsatisfed (1) 0 1 0 Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 9.10% 0.00% Primary Reason for Attending Madison College
2020 2021 2022 Number of Primary Reason Responses 9 11 5 Preparation for Getting a Job 4 1 2 Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 44.40% 9.10% 40.00% Career Change 2 5 0 Percent Career Change 22.20% 45.50% 0.00% Improvement of Existing Skills 2 3 2 Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 22.20% 27.30% 40.00% Preparation for Further Education 0 2 1 Percent Preparation for Further Education 0.00% 18.20% 20.00% Personal Interest 1 0 0 Percent Personal Interest 11.10% 0.00% 0.00% Other 0 0 0 Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% When Employment was Obtained
2020 2021 2022 Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 9 7 5 Before Enrollment 1 1 2 Percent Before Enrollment 11.10% 14.30% 40.00% While Attending the College 2 0 1 Percent While Attending the College 22.20% 0.00% 20.00% After Training at the College 6 6 2 Percent After Training at the College 66.70% 85.70% 40.00% Location of Employment (related and unrelated)
2020 2021 2022 Number of Employment Location Responses 6 6 4 In College District 4 5 3 Percent In College District 66.70% 83.30% 75.00% In Wisconsin, Not in District 0 0 0 Percent of In Wisconsin 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Outside of Wisconsin 2 1 1 Percent Outside Wisconsin 33.30% 16.70% 25.00% Employer Location Unknown 0 0 0 Percent Location Unknown 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Salary Trend Salary Trend 2020 2021 2022 Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 7 5 4 Average Monthly Wage $2,824 $3,307 $3,370 Average Hourly Wage $16.42 $19.22 $19.59 Average Work Hours per Week 39 40.3 39.5 Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 2 Average Hourly Wage $17.60 Average Work Hours per Week 32
Graduate Employers for academic year: 2022 Employer(s) Job Title City* State** Positions Cardinal Family Eyecare Certified Paraoptometric Technician Stanley Chariton Vision Center Optometric Assistant Chariton IA SSM Health Ophthalmic Assistant UW Health University Station Clinic Optomitrist Assistant
* - Only cities outside of Madison will display.
** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.
*** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at email@example.com