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Optometric Technician
Work Local
95% of our recent graduates work in Wisconsin.
Student Satisfaction
100% of our recent graduates report they are satisfied with their Madison College education.
Annual Salary
Our recent graduates of this program reported an average starting salary of $44,000.

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Optometric Technician
Program Number: 315162
Your Degree:
Technical Diploma
Area of Study:
Health Sciences
Delivery Method:
Some Online/Some In Person
Estimated Time to Complete:
27 Credits | Finish diploma in 1 year
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Estimated Program Cost


Financial Aid

Applying for financial aid and scholarships help you pay for your education.
  • Program Overview

    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.

    Program Details

    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 2024-2025 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 Semester
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    2 credits
    Second Semester
    2 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    2 credits
    2 credits
    3 credits
  • Admission

    To Apply

    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 Dates

    Fall 2024

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is August 31, 2024

    Admission Requirements

    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.

    Additional Notes

    • 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.

    After Acceptance 

    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.


    Contact the Enrollment Center at EnrollmentServices@madisoncollege.edu or 608.246.6210.

    apply for admission

    Get Started!

    Apply to Madison College and take the first step towards your Optometric Technician career.

    It's Free to Apply

  • Career Outcomes

    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.

    Program Goals:

    1. 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.
    2. Prepare students as life-long learners and problem-solvers who can respond to a continually changing eye care profession.
    3. Utilize technology to deliver the program content to enhance the classroom experience for the students.
    4. Utilize technology to deliver program content to people already employed in an eye care setting.
    5. Maintain program accreditation with the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education and the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs.
    • Graduate Summary

      Graduate Report Summary Overview

      Number of Program Graduates151410
      Number of Surveys Sent151410
      Number of Surveys Returned9115
      Percent of Surveys Returned
      Available for Employment995
      Percent Available for Employment100.00%81.80%100.00%
      Not in Labor Market
      Percent Not in Labor Market0.00%18.20%0.00%
      Available for Employment

      Graduates Employed975
      Percent of Graduates Employed100.00%77.80%100.00%
      Employed in Related Occupation964
      Percent Employed in Related Occupation100.00%85.70%80.00%
      Employed in Unrelated Occupation011
      Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation0.00%14.30%20.00%
      Employed - No Response000
      Percent Employed - No Response0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Seeking Employment020
      Percent Seeking Employment0.00%22.20%0.00%
      Reaction To Training at Madison College

      Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4)43.33.6
      Number of Satisfaction Responses9115
      Very Satisfied (4)953
      Percent Very Satisfied100.00%45.50%60.00%
      Satisfied (3)052
      Percent Satisfied0.00%45.50%40.00%
      Unsatisfied (2)000
      Percent Unsatisfied0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Very Unsatisfed (1)010
      Percent Very Unsatisfied0.00%9.10%0.00%
      Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

      Number of Primary Reason Responses9115
      Preparation for Getting a Job412
      Percent Preparation for Getting a Job44.40%9.10%40.00%
      Career Change250
      Percent Career Change22.20%45.50%0.00%
      Improvement of Existing Skills232
      Percent Improvement of Existing Skills22.20%27.30%40.00%
      Preparation for Further Education021
      Percent Preparation for Further Education0.00%18.20%20.00%
      Personal Interest100
      Percent Personal Interest11.10%0.00%0.00%
      Percent Other0.00%0.00%0.00%
      When Employment was Obtained

      Number of When Employment Obtained Responses975
      Before Enrollment112
      Percent Before Enrollment11.10%14.30%40.00%
      While Attending the College201
      Percent While Attending the College22.20%0.00%20.00%
      After Training at the College662
      Percent After Training at the College66.70%85.70%40.00%
      Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

      Number of Employment Location Responses664
      In College District453
      Percent In College District66.70%83.30%75.00%
      In Wisconsin, Not in District000
      Percent of In Wisconsin0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Outside of Wisconsin211
      Percent Outside Wisconsin33.30%16.70%25.00%
      Employer Location Unknown000
      Percent Location Unknown0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Salary Trend
      Salary Trend202020212022
      Full Time Employment (Related Job)Full Time Salary Count754
      Average Monthly Wage$2,824$3,307$3,370
      Average Hourly Wage$16.42$19.22$19.59
      Average Work Hours per Week3940.339.5
      Part Time Employment (Related Job)Part Time Salary Count2
      Average Hourly Wage$17.60
      Average Work Hours per Week32
    • Graduate Employers

      Graduate Employers for academic year: 2022
      Employer(s)Job TitleCity*State**Positions
      Cardinal Family EyecareCertified Paraoptometric TechnicianStanley
      Chariton Vision CenterOptometric AssistantCharitonIA
      SSM HealthOphthalmic Assistant
      UW Health University Station ClinicOptomitrist 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 jobpostings@madisoncollege.edu

Ready to get started?
Your first step is to apply to Madison College. It's easy and free to apply, so get started today!
Contact the School of Health Sciences

Madison Truax Campus
Health Building, 103

1705 Hoffman Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53704



  • Monday – Thursday: 8 am - 4 pm
  • Friday: 8 am - 12 pm (Help by phone or email)