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Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate

Prepare for employment as an Ophthalmic Assistant with iHealth@NECC's flexible, affordable training program.

Program Overview

If you are looking for a career in health care, have great interpersonal skills, are detail oriented, and like to work as part of a team, a career as an ophthalmic assistant may be for you. Ophthalmic assistants gather medical histories, conduct vision tests, coordinate patient schedules, and assist eye doctors with various procedural and clerical duties.

The Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate is designed to provide students with the knowledge, technical skills, and work ethic required for you to perform competently in an entry level position as a certified ophthalmic assistant. The program integrates classroom theory, laboratory experience, and clinical practice to prepare graduates for employment in an ophthalmic clinical setting.

Career Opportunities

Graduates will be able to pursue many career paths. Ophthalmic assistants work in a variety of health care settings including ophthalmologist’s offices, hospitals, and clinics. Job opportunities are good and are expected to grow.

Program Requirements

Students who attend the Ophthalmic Assistant Program through iHealth@NECC will complete most of their course work in online courses and come to the iHealth@NECC facility at our Lawrence campus once a week for in-class meetings and laboratory sessions.

Applicants must complete Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) at the Health care Provider level prior to entering the program. Students must receive a grade of “C” or higher in all OPT and HES prefix courses for graduation. A minimum of 26 Credits are required for graduation.


Students are required to be CPR certified at the Health Care Provider/Professional Rescuer level prior to the start of the Ophthalmic Clinical Practicum I course..

Drug Screening

Students enrolled in this academic program may be required to pass a random drug screening analysis.


Students are required to complete a health evaluation, and complete the specific immunization requirements required by the college and the Division of Health Professions prior to final acceptance into the program.

Student Professional Liability Insurance

Students are required to carry professional liability insurance.  The premium is to be paid at the time of course registration.


Students interested in participating in this program may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check, a Criminal Records Central Repository (CHRI) check, and/or a Sex Offender Record Information (SORI) check. For more information, visit the CORI/SORI/CHRI page on the NECC website.

Northern Essex Community College is committed to the success of every student. Students with legal issues in their background will meet with a committee as part of the CORI/SORI/CHRI process and will receive guidance and counseling throughout the review of their records. NECC personnel make every effort to help students prepare for careers in their chosen field. Students are encouraged to seek assistance and support.

Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate Required Courses
Course # Course Name Credits Comments
ENG101 English Composition I 3
HES103 RICCS:Preparing for Success in a Healthcare Career 1
OPT101 Introduction to Ophthalmic Assisting 2 Prerequisites, Corequisites
OPT102 Ocular Anatomy and Physiology 2 Prerequisites, Corequisites
OPT103 Introduction to Diseases of the Eye 2 Prerequisites, Corequisites
OPT104 Ophthalmic Optics & Refractometry 2 Prerequisites, Corequisites
OPT105 Ophthalmic Clinical Procedures I 2 Prerequisites, Corequisites
OPT106 Basic Ophthalmic Pharmacology 2 Prerequisites, Corequisites
OPT107 Ophthalmic Clinical Practicum I 4 Prerequisites, Corequisites
OPT108 Ophthalmic Clinical Procedures II 2 Prerequisites, Corequisites
OPT109 Ophthalmic Clinical Practicum II 4 Prerequisites, Corequisites

Program Notes

Recommended Course Sequence
Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate
Semester Courses
Year 1 Fall ENG101, OPT101, OPT102
Spring OPT103, OPT104, OPT105, OPT106
Summer HES103, OPT108
Year 2 Fall OPT107, OPT109,

Gainful Employment Disclosures | Print the Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate Program Sheet (PDF)


iHealth@NECC Building. 52 Franklin Street Lawrence. Room LIH 103

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Program Schedules

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