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Our recent graduates of this program reported an average starting salary of $44,000.
Optometric Technician - Online
Program Number: 315162
Your Degree:
Technical Diploma
Area of Study:
Health Sciences
Delivery Method:
100% Online
Estimated Time to Complete:
27 Credits | Finish diploma in 1 year
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Estimated Program Cost


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  • Program Overview

    If you are currently working in an eye care setting and are interested in learning more and preparing for the national Paraoptometric Technician certification written examination, you will want to consider the Madison College online Optometric Technician program. 

    You will need to secure a mentor (see Mentor Guidelines) to assist in and oversee some of the lab activities. The program is a four semester part time program. Upon completion you will receive a One Year Technical diploma from Madison College.

    The program can be completed entirely online allowing you to maintain your full time employment while taking courses. 

    An optometric technician works under the supervision of an optometrist or ophthalmologist. In the Online 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. 

    Technical Training includes:

    • Patient pre-testing skills
    • Contact lens patient education
    • Ocular anatomy and physiology
    • Optometric terminology
    • Optical properties of light
    • Visual training and practice management
    • Frame and lens selection
    • Eyeglass adjustment

    For more information about the Online Optometric Technician program and the mentor/clinical preceptor role, please contact ahaydenfinger@madisoncollege.edu or call 608.246.6472.

    Program Details

    The Online Optometric Technician program is available part time only. 


    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 Online Optometric Technician program at Madison Area Technical College prepares you for a range of professional positions in the optometric field, including:

    • Optometric Technician
    • Ophthalmic Assistant: Assists an optometrist or ophthalmologist in the delivery of eye care. Duties may include: Preliminary testing procedures, dispensing of glasses and contact lenses and front office management.
    • Dispensing Optician: 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.

    Flexible Learning Options

    • Out-of-state students can complete the Optometric Technician Online program without paying out-of-state tuition. 

    MATC's Optometric Technician online 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.

    Online First Semester
    2 credits
    3 credits
    Online Second Semester
    3 credits
    3 credits
    Online Third Semester
    2 credits
    3 credits
    1 credit
    Online Fourth Semester
    3 credits
    2 credits
    1 credit
  • 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

    Spring 2025 

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is January 15, 2025

    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. Current Employment
    Applicants to the online Optometric Technician program must be employed by an eye care clinic so the Optometric Technician Mentor Form is required to verify employment. This ensures the student has access to equipment required for course completion as well as an eye care professional to serve as a laboratory mentor.

    Additional Notes

    • During the course of the program, you must demonstrate the ability to perform these essential functions safely, reliably and efficiently within the scope of practice. If you need accommodations to help you perform these functions, contact our Disability Resource Services office. 
    • 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 are admitted into your program, review the Start of Semester Checklist 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 - Online career.

    It's Free to Apply

  • Career Outcomes

    Madison College Online Optometric Technician program graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination and are 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:

    • Provide relevant instruction to an optimal number of students each year in eye, vision, optical concepts, pre-testing 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.


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



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