Ophthalmic Medical Personnel
Ophthalmic medical personnel assist eye surgeons (ophthalmologists) with patient care.
Ophthalmic medical personnel assist eye surgeons (ophthalmologists) with patient care.
Eyecare Assistant / Technician, Health Care Assistant, Medical Assistant, Ophthalmic Assistant / Technician, Ophthalmic Medical Technologist, Ophthalmic Scriber
In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.
The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:
In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.
Interest in compiling information to make preliminary assessments of patients' vision, and to record patients' test results, treatments and case histories
Interest in assisting ophthalmologists with examinations, treatments and office surgery; and in instructing patients in insertion, removal, cleaning and storage of contact lenses
Interest in operating ophthalmic testing and measuring instruments and equipment to administer eye drops, ointments and medications as directed by ophthalmologists
To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.
The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation.
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.
Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.
A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.
A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.
To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.
A Quick Guide
You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.
The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.
The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.
There are 3 levels of ophthalmic medical personnel in Alberta:
Duties vary depending on the work setting and the level of responsibility the ophthalmologist assigns. In general, ophthalmic medical personnel may:
Ophthalmic medical personnel work in office or clinical settings. They often work regular weekday hours. They may also work evenings and weekends.
Ophthalmic medical personnel need to possess:
They should enjoy:
This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 15 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 24, 2021 and Jun 26, 2022.
Review these skills to learn:
|Personal Suitability: Team player||13|
|Personal Suitability: Organized||13|
|Personal Suitability: Client focus||12|
|Clean and maintain equipment||11|
|Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills||11|
|Personal Suitability: Reliability||11|
|Personal Suitability: Flexibility||11|
|Carry out treatment programs, under the direction of physiotherapists and/or occupational therapists, to rehabilitate patients with various injuries or disabilities||9|
|Schedule and confirm appointments||8|
|Take patients' general medical and ophthalmic history||8|
In Alberta, ophthalmic medical personnel can learn on the job or attend training programs at colleges, universities or hospitals.
In general, ophthalmic technicians require a diploma in ophthalmic technology.
The International Council of Accreditation (ICA) assesses and accredits ophthalmic training programs to ensure national standards are met. A list of approved ophthalmic assistant, ophthalmic technician and ophthalmic medical technologist programs is published on the ICA website.
Ophthalmologists generally prefer to hire applicants who have:
The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.
To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.
Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.
When applying for programs offering advanced levels of ophthalmic assisting, it’s possible other institutions will not recognize the courses listed here. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the courses they take will be accepted for credit at the institution to which they wish to transfer.
Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation. However, employers may prefer to hire applicants who are certified by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO).
Ophthalmic medical personnel work in:
In general, advancement takes the form of more complex duties. Additional education may be required. In larger organizations and clinics, ophthalmic assistants may advance to technician and technologist roles.
Ophthalmic medical personnel are part of the 2011 National Occupational Classification 3237: Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment. In Alberta, 87% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:
The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.
In Alberta, the 3237: Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.4% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 75 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.
Earnings for ophthalmic medical personnel (depending on the level of education and work experience) generally range from $22 to $47 per hour (2018 estimate).
For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.
In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.
Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.
All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.
To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.
Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.
Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.
|Wages*||Low (5th percentile)||High (95th percentile)||Average||Median|
Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.
* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.
Pay brackets for hourly wages
|Health Care & Social Assistance||$40,825|
Canadian Ophthamological Society (COS) website: www.cos-sco.ca
Canadian Society of Ophthalmic Medical Personnel website: www.cos-sco.ca/scomp
Discover Eye Careers website: www.discovereyecareers.org
International Council of Accreditation (ICA) website: icaccreditation.org
Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) website: www.jcahpo.org
Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.
Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.