Ophthalmic Technician Program

A Bright Future In Sight! 


A 1-year certificate program for a career in eye care

Ophthalmic Technicians (OpTechs) work closely with ophthalmologists, who are specialty eye doctors, to assist in caring for patients with eye diseases or injuries. An OpTech holds many important roles in an ophthalmology practice to prepare a patient to see their eye doctor.

Benefits of the Duke OpTech Program

Students may begin the program after earning a high school diploma, students must be 18 at start of clinical rotations.   

No college degree or prerequisites required  

Earn a certificate in one year with eligibility to take the certification exam  

Nine months spent getting hands on experience in clinical rotations at Duke Eye Center 

Starting pay $22-$24/hr 

90% job placement rate after program completion  

Tuition is affordable compared to other allied health programs and financial aid is available  

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Learn More about the Program



Highlights of an OpTech Career

  • Provide direct patient care with highly specialized eye doctors (ophthalmologists)  
  • Perform vision exams, diagnostic testing, measure and record visual stats, to help ophthalmologist correct diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases 
  • Assist in surgery performed by ophthalmologists 
  • Instruct patients about medications, tests and procedures 
  • Support clinical research by collecting information for research studies  
  • An in-demand career due to a nationwide shortage of OpTechs 
  • Many possibilities for career advancement in clinic management positions and other roles in eye care 
  • Individuals interested in a direct patient care career that does not require a four-year degree are encouraged to apply  

Apply today

Why Choose Duke for OpTech Training?

  • Top 10 ranked eye care center by the US News and World Report annual best hospitals survey 
  • Receive a wide range of experience and training with rotations in every ophthalmology specialty 
  • Learn from international leaders in eye care 
  • Well-equipped classroom with lecture space and 2 fully-equipped eye exam areas located at Duke Eye Center on the Duke University Medical Center Campus

  • Successful students are often hired in Duke Eye Center clinics   


Deborah Smith, COMT, BS, OSC
Coordinator of Education and Training
Program Director