Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Certification
As an ophthalmic medical assistant, you will not be required to apply for a state license. Voluntary certification through the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) can enhance your career opportunities.
Become an Ophthalmic Assistant
- Career Plan: How to Become an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant
- Schools offering: Medical Assisting Programs
There are three routes to earning the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant credential. If you attend a program that has been accredited by CoA-OMP or CMA and that includes a clinical component, you can sit for exams at the conclusion of your program.
If you enroll in an accredited program that does not have a clinical component, you will 500 need hours of work experience before you can apply for certification. If you choose approved self-study, you will need at least 1,000 hours.
There is also an option to file a special consideration application if you believe you have equivalent training but don’t meet the guidelines for any of the three established pathways.
There are two stages to the assessment process: a multiple choice exam and a practical skills assessment. You can find a PDF with sample questions on the JCAHPO site. You will need to be recertified every three years. During each recertification period, you will need 18 units of continuing education.
As an ophthalmic medical assistant, you’ll have the option of pursuing specialty certifications. Ophthalmic medical assistant is the first step on a career ladder that also includes ophthalmic technician and ophthalmic technologist. You can earn eligibility to sit for higher level exams by completing further education or by accumulating enough work experience. You can qualify to take the technician exam after a year of experience as an assistant. If you complete a technologist degree program, you can become a Certified Ophthalmic Technologist without work experience. If you have no education beyond your initial certificate, you’ll need four years of full-time experience at the technician level before you become eligible to sit for exams.