Ophthalmic Technician

Program Information

Degree Type: 
Associate in Applied Science

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 960 hours in a variety of diverse vision care clinical settings.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Perform technician-level tasks safely and accurately defined by national certification and accreditation standards.
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary health care team.
  • Model professional and ethical behaviors in the healthcare environment.
  • Performs administrative duties of an ophthalmic technician.
  • Calibrate and maintain ophthalmic equipment and instrumentation.
  • Evaluate eye movements and binocular functions.
  • Measure visual acuity and visual fields.
  • Perform surgical scrub, change gloves and gown, and monitor sterile field during minor and major eye surgery to meet professional standards.
  • Perform ocular imaging procedures.
Admission Requirements / 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. Students who are interested in this program should select Associate of Science with a specialization in Pre-Ophthalmic Technician degree, and meet with a Health Careers Advisor/Admissions Specialist in the Welcome Center.

OPT Program Admission Criteria

  1. Minimum high school grade-point average of 2.6 (4.0 scale), or if a student has taken college courses, a minimum of 12 academic credits, excluding less than 100 level courses, HPE activity, studio and performance classes (if applicable).
  2. COMPASS Reading score of 84 or better.
  3. BIO-134: Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology or college equivalent with a C or better.
  4. Complete one of the following:
  5. COMPASS Writing score sufficient for placement in ENG-131. This requirement may also be fulfilled by successful completion of required developmental English courses or completion of ENG-131 with a C or better.

The Program Admission Process

It is recommended that students interested in a health career meet with a Health Careers Admissions Assistant/Advisor in the Welcome Center or (313) 845-9877 to discuss program options and then create an academic plan to qualify for the selected program.

Step 1 - Apply to the program

  • First time applicants to HFC will indicate the program by selecting an Associate of Science with a specialization in Pre-Ophthalmic Technician degree on the application to the college.
  • Current HFC students must complete a program change form indicating the new program as an Associate of Science with a specialization in Pre-Ophthalmic Technician degree. College applications and change forms must be submitted to the Records and Registration Office located in the Welcome Center.

Step 2 – Qualifying for admission

  • Complete all program admission requirements.

Step 3 - Deliver information and track applicant status

  • It is the student’s responsibility to make certain official transcripts are sent to: Henry Ford College, Transfer Evaluation, 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128-2407
  • It is the student’s responsibility to make certain all necessary records are submitted to the Health Careers Admissions Assistant in the Welcome Center.
  • Students are responsible to monitor their program admission progress via the WebAdvisor Program Evaluation link.

Step 4 - Qualifying and admission

  • Students are qualified when all of the program’s admission criteria have been satisfied.
  • Applicants are admitted on a “first-qualified, first-admitted” basis. Application date may be used to determine placement on the qualified list if necessary.
  • Students will only be contacted via the contact information provided through WebAdvisor. It is imperative that all student contact information such as phone numbers and addresses are kept current. If we are unable to contact you, we then move to the next qualified applicant.
  • Final approval to enroll in the program comes from the Ophthalmic Technician Program Director.

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/General Education 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/General Education Courses.

Degree-Specific Requirements

All students receiving an Associate Degree are required to meet Degree-Specific Requirements AND General Education Requirements. Courses listed in the Required Core and/or Required Support Courses may also be used to fulfill Degree-Specific and General Education Requirements. Developmental courses (those numbered below 100) cannot be used to fulfill these requirements.

Attention: It is the student's responsibility to review the entire program form before making course selections for registration purposes. The College recommends that students meet with an advisor or counselor well in advance of registration deadlines and before making course selections.

General Education Requirements: 

The following courses are required in this program and satisfy HFC’s General Education Outcomes for this program. Students who change their program will need to confirm in advance that they are completing all required courses for their specific program of study, including additional General Education courses. All Associate in Applied Science degrees require at least 15 General Education credits total, including at least three credit hours from each of the five areas below. For this program:

  1. Civil Society & Culture: Complete the following:

  2. Communication: Complete the following:

  3. Computer Technology: Complete the following:

  4. Critical Thinking & Information Literacy: Complete one of the following:

  5. Quantitative Literacy: Complete one of the following:

NOTE: For this program, General Education minimum credits: 16

Degree-Specific Requirements: 

Fulfill the Required Core, Required Support, and/or Elective Courses for this program.

Program Admissions Requirement

Minimum Credit Hours: 
Minimum Number Of Credits To Graduate: 
82.0 (Including Options/Electives)

Program Requirements

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 card (AHA, BLS Healthcare Provider) valid through remainder of program. This may be completed by taking AH 105.

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 Oct. 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 the Michigan Public Health Code and the requirements of our clinical affiliates, a criminal background cCheck and drug screen 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. For questions regarding this policy, contact the Health Careers Office. Students who are not cleared for clinical through the health appraisal, criminal background check, and drug screen will not be able to complete the OPT program.

Program Duration Limits / Updates / Changes: 

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.

Requirements are Subject to Change

The information represented here is for the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the Program Evaluation section of WebAdvisor.

Other Information

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.


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

Phone (651) 731-7244 or visit www.jcahpo.org/coa-omp.

Year Established: 
Program Code: 


Health Sciences Division: 313-845-9877, Health Careers Education Ctr, Room: G-132
Kathy Campbell: 313-317-1720, kacampbell4@hfcc.edu, Health Careers Education Ctr, Room: G133G

Transfer Information

Transfer Options/Requirements: 

The College has articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to help students who want to transfer to other institutions once they have completed their studies at HFC. Articulation agreements ensure that graduates from HFC can transfer to another institution and work towards a bachelor’s degree without a loss of coursework completed at HFC. Transfer guides denote the transferability of HFC coursework toward specific degree programs at other institutions. It is important that students who intend to transfer to another institution consult the appropriate articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to ensure the transferability of the courses they take to the institution they plan to attend. Articulation agreements and transfer guides are available on the HFC Transfer Resources page. For additional resources and assistance with transferring, students are encouraged to work with HFC’s University Transfer, Advising, and Career Counseling Center (313-845-9612, counseling@hfcc.edu, Learning Resource Center). Students enrolled in this program frequently transfer to institutions such as:

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.