|$ 5-Month (Non-Degree): Program $925||$ $ 2-Year Public Program: $4,500||$ $ $ 2-Year Private Program: $7,500-$11,000|
All ophthalmic medical assistants work under the supervision of ophthalmologists to provide patients with eye care and assist in running doctor’s offices.
The ophthalmic medical assistant training lasts from one to two years, and result in an associate’s degree in two-year programs.
Private colleges and community colleges secure ophthalmic medical assistant programs, which are accredited by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology.
Some private institutions like Georgetown University in Washington DC, for example, charge up to $11,000 for a two-year, full-time program.
Other programs, such as Emory University’s in Atlanta, for example, charge somewhat a bit less – $7,500 for a two-year program.
The cost at the community colleges can be significantly less for in-state students.
For example, at Portland Community College, the tuition costs about $4,500 for a 2-year program that results in an associate’s degree.
Certain shorter programs, which do not result in an associate’s degree, can also cost less.
At UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, the five-month program designed for students with some experience working in an ophthalmologist’s office costs $925.
What Is Included
- The administrative duties of the ophthalmic medical assistants usually include greeting patients and helping to file insurance claims.
- Their clinical duties often include administering visions tests and teaching patients how to properly use contact lenses and medication such as eye drops.
- Training programs include standard coursework focused on the eye diseases, the anatomy of the eye, medical and surgical treatment of the eye, and administrating eye muscle and vision exams.
- Some programs also include working with patients or in skills labs, as well as clinical hours, outside of coursework.
- No certification is required to work as an OMA; however, certification will make job candidates stand out and be competitive.
- The certification exam costs $300.
- The costs for books are the same as for any other college course of study and can reach $750-$1,300 annually, depending on the program requirements.
- The fulltime students in programs leading to an associate’s degree are eligible for federal financial aid including the Stafford loans.
- Programs could further offer payment plans for tuition for students who prefer not to take loans; the individual programs provide more information.
The Joint Committee on Accreditation for Ophthalmic Medical Personnel provides a list of the accredited OMA schools by state.