What does a Paraoptometric do?

Paraoptometrics, sometimes called optometric technicians and optometric assistants, assist doctors of optometry in providing eye and vision care services. Paraoptometrics work under the direction and supervision of a doctor of optometry. They are generally employed by optometrists in private practice and sometimes clinics.

What might a Paraoptometric do in a workday?

Optometric technicians and assistants:

  • obtain and record patient case histories.
  • maintain records, schedules and announcements.
  • prepare patients for eye and vision examinations and assist with various diagnostic tests.
  • provide ancillary testing to assist the optometrist’s examination of patients.
  • instruct patients in the care and use of eyeglasses and contact lenses.
  • assist patients with selection of eyeglass frames and lenses.
  • make, adjust or repair eyeglasses.
  • maintain an inventory of materials.
  • assist with patients in vision therapy.
  • assist with patient education in areas of eye health and ophthalmic materials.
  • process third-party insurance forms with patient medical and vision insurance plans.

How much salary do Paraoptometrics make?

Average Salary Range
$20,000-$50,000 (technicians)
$18,000-$35,000 (assistants)

How do I become a Paraoptometric?

Students interested in working as a paraoptometric (assistant or technician) should prepare by taking science, math and English courses in high school.

A growing number of paraoptometrics are obtaining their associate or undergraduate degree in a health science concentration. A comprehensive and voluntary certification program, which may be completed while on the job, is available through the American Optometric Association.

Where else can I learn about becoming a Paraoptometric?

There are no programs available in Virginia. However, at present, the Commonwealth of Virginia offers scholarships to Virginia residents who agree to return to practice in the state after earning their doctoral degree and obtaining a license to practice. Virginia residents are more likely to attend schools or colleges of optometry in Memphis, Philadelphia and Birmingham.

Professional Associations:

Virginia Optometric Association
4461 Cox Road
Suite 110
Glen Allen, VA 23060

(804) 643-0309

American Optometric Association
243 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63141

(800) 365-2219

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