Salary

Read the articles below for imformation on salary trends for ophthalmic medical personnel. Is getting certified at all worth the effort? Is it worth it to move through the different levels of certification? What factors affect how much money you will make in this field? Find out how you can increase your worth to your employer.

The bottom line is that it is definitely worth getting certified and it is definitely worth moving up through the levels of certification. A 2011 survey of ophthalmic medical personnel showed that the average experienced certified technician made $10K more per year than the average certified assistant. Ophthalmologists surveyed believe that certfied personnel increase the quality and productivity of an ophthalmic practice.

Click here to go to the step by step certification planner.

Scroll down for separate articles on salary trends for ophthalmic assistants, technicians, and technologists.

ATPO has recently released the results of their 2015 salary survey for ophthalmic assistants, technicians, and technologists.
What is an average salary for an ophthalmic assistant?

According to a 2015 salary survey by the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, the average salary for certified ophthalmic medical assistant respondents to the survey was about 

What is an average salary for an ophthalmic technician?

According to a 2015 salary survey by the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, the average salary for certified ophthalmic medical technician respondents to the survey was about $55K per year, which breaks down to about $28 per hour. We must take into account the experience and job tenure of the average respondent to the survey. The respondents to the 2015 survey on average had worked in the field for 17 years, and had been on the job for 11 years in the current position.

Indeed.com and other job related websites provide salary data that is based upon what current job listings are posting as salary. Below are screenshots from indeed.com of "ophthalmic technician" searches performed in January, 2013 and December 2015.

What is an average salary for an ophthalmic technologist?

According to a 2015 salary survey by the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, the average salary for certified ophthalmic medical technologist respondents to the survey was about $69K per year, which breaks down to about $35 per hour. We must take into account the experience and job tenure of the average respondent to the survey. The respondents to the 2015 survey on average had worked in the field for 17 years, and had been on the job for 11 years in the current position.

Indeed.com and other job related websites provide salary data that is based upon what current job listings are posting as salary. Below are screenshots from indeed.com of "ophthalmic technologist" searches performed in January, 2013 and December 2015.

The factors that affect your salary are generalizations, meaning they will not necessarily apply to you in your particular job situation.  If your current employer refuses to pay a salary above a certain threshold, no matter how skilled and how efficient you are, then your only option is to find another employer if you want to make more income.  In most areas of the country, this is usually a possibility.

Job hopping for minimal improvements in your situation is not a good career strategy. The tech who moves from one job to another for a 50 cent an hour raise in pay may eventually run out of employment possibilities without moving to another metro area. Surveys show that the higher paid employees tend to be those who have the most seniority. The lesson learned is to pick a good employer early on and stick with them. Loyalty usually matters.

Factors that affect your salary:

The quality and productivity of an ophthalmic practice is enhanced by the employment of certified ophthalmic medical personnel as compared to non-certified personnel.

This is the conclusion of a 2008 study by Woolworth et al that surveyed 385 American and Canadian ophthalmologists. Click here to get help with certification or with moving to the next level of certification.

A comparative study of the impact of certified and noncertified ophthalmic medical personnel on practice quality and productivity.
Woodworth KE Jr, Donshik PC, Ehlers WH, Pucel DJ, Anderson LD, Thompson NA.
Kentucky Eye Institute, Lexington, KY, USA.
Eye Contact Lens. 2008 Jan;34(1):28-34.

Abstract: