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Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program


Program Information:
Faith Race
Director/Instructor, Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program

Admissions Information:
Amy Huffman
Coordinator, Heath Sciences Admissions

Ophthalmic Medical Assistin Program

CCC&TI offers educational opportunities in Ophthalmic Medical Assistant on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson, N.C.

  1.  Ophthalmic Medical Assistant 
  2.  Program Info 
  3.  Career Info  
  4.  Accreditation  
  5.  Admission Info  
  6.  FAQs  

Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program

Our one year diploma program in Ophthalmic Medical Assistant (OMA) prepares individuals to work with Ophthalmologists and their patients. Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in a branch of medicine that deals with the structure, function and diseases of the eye.

Ophthalmic Assistants provide support services to the Ophthalmologist.  The Ophthalmic Assistant is an important member of the eye care team, supplying vital information to the physician who is treating the patient. The duties delegated to the Ophthalmic Assistant may include:

  • taking a general medical and ophthalmic history 
  • taking basic anatomical and functional measurements
  • testing ocular functions (e.g. visual acuity and basic color vision tests)
  • verifying eye glass prescriptions
  • administering topical ophthalmic medications under physician direction
  • instructing the patient in personal eye care
  • caring for and maintaining ophthalmic instruments and equipment
  • caring for, maintaining, and sterilizing surgical instruments  

CCC&TI's OMA program includes both didactic (classroom) and "hands on" clinical experience. Clinical sites are located throughout the state.

For more information about course descriptions or required courses, refer to the current CCC&TI Course Catalog.

Learn more about a career as an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant.

About our program

The Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program at CCC and TI is a member of the Consortium of Ophthalmic Training Programs (COTP), a non-profit corporation of ophthalmic educational programs in the U. S. and Canada. 

The OMA program is accredited by the International Council of Accreditation(ICA) as a clinical assistant level program.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program is to provide students with effective instruction, both in the classroom and clinical environment, to prepare them for employment in ophthalmic and optometric practices.

Employment Outlook

Ophthalmic Medical Assistants are included in the job classification 29-2057.00 Ophthalmic Medical Technicians as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor. They assist ophthalmologists in performing ophthalmic clinical functions. May administer eye exams, administer eye medications, and instruct the patient in care and use of corrective lenses.

Graduates of the program may be employed in ophthalmic offices, hospitals, surgery centers, and optometric offices.

The projected growth in employment 2014-2024 is much faster than average (14% or higher). The national median hourly wage for 2015 was $16.99 or $35,350 annually. Salary varies according to the size of the employing practice, experience and certification level of the employee.

Visit IJCAHPO.org (http://www.jcahpo.org) and MyEyeCareer.org (http://www.myeyecareer.org) for more information about Ophthalmic Medical Technician careers.

To learn more about employment outlook and work environment in the Ophthalmic Medical Assistant field, visit CCC&TI's Career Coach site for the following program:
Career Coach logoOphthalmic Medical Assistant Diploma

A summary report for Ophthalmic Medical Technicians including tasks, tools & technology, knowledge, skills, abilities, detailed work activities, work context, job zone, education, interests, work styles, work values and wages and employment trends can be found at http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2057.00

Gainful Employment Program Information

There are no additional costs for this program outside of tuition, fees, books, and supplies.


Person having an eye exam The OMA program is accredited by the International Council of Accreditation (ICA). ICA is sponsored by the following collaborating organizations:
  • International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO) www.jcahpo.org

  • Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (ATPO) www.atpo.org

  • Consortium of Ophthalmic Training Programs (COTP) www.cotpedu.org/

Upon earning their diploma, graduates may become nationally certified by passing the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant exam (COA) administered by IJCAHPO.

Information Session

Admission Information

Admission Requirements for the Ophthalmic Medical Assistant programs:

FAQs about the OMA Program at CCC&TI

What is an ophthalmic medical assistant?

Ophthalmic medical assistants work with medically trained eye doctors (ophthalmologists) and their patients. Job duties may include:

  • Taking patient histories
  • Administering tests and evaluations
  • Taking eye measurements to assist the doctor in diagnosis
  • Administering topical and oral medications under the direction of the physician
  • Performing a variety of clinical skills

OMAs supply important information to the physician who is treating the patient and assist in such as areas as surgery and patient education/compliance. They are not independent practitioners and do not diagnose or treat ocular disorders, nor do they prescribe medications.

What is involved in the OMA program?

CCC&TI’s OMA program was the first program in the state of North Carolina to be accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs at the clinical assistant level. The program is taught in 3 semesters (11.5 months) with a new cohort beginning each May.

You don’t have to live in Caldwell County to attend the program. Although the core classes are offered on the Caldwell campus, the general education classes (English, Psychology, Medical Terminology, and Communication) may be taken at your local community college or given transfer credit from a four year university.

Where are the clinical sites?

The OMA program is a regional program with clinical sites in Lenoir, Hickory, Morganton, Winston-Salem, Asheville, Charlotte,High Point, Lexington, and Statesville.

How much time is involved in the program? Can I still work?

Students should plan at least 2 hours of time outside of class for each hour in class. Students should try to limit outside working hours to weekends only in order to fulfill the demands of the program. Clinical rotations are unpaid.

What are the employment opportunities and salary prospects?

The United States Department of Labor recognizes Ophthalmic Medical Assistants under the employment classification:

29-2057 Ophthalmic Medical Technicians

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the national median hourly wage is $16.94 per hour with an median annual wage of $36, 230. North Carolina has the fifth highest number of Ophthalmic Medical Technicians employed in the country with a hourly mean wage of $16.40.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How do I find out more about the program?


Faith Race, COT, Program Director at 726-2200 Ext. 2248 or frace@cccti.edu


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