Allied Ophthalmic Personnel Training

Ophthalmic Assistant, Technician, and Technologist training options



The Georgetown University Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP) is designed to prepare students for a career assisting ophthalmologists (medical eye doctors and surgeons), and to enhance the knowledge and skills of those already employed in the field of ophthalmic medical assisting.

Learn more about this amazing career from There is a Career In Sight for you, a video from  Career Video

Georgetown's OMPTP Certificate prepares students to enter the Ophthalmic Technician and Technologist fields (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics SOC code 29-2057 and O*Net code 29-2099.03)

Upon graduation from the program, students are immediately eligible for employment with individual or group private offices, hospital ophthalmology practices. Dependent upon the student’s background prior to entering our course they may be eligible for employment with ophthalmic research opportunities, pharmaceutical companies or ophthalmic diagnostic instrumentation.

For more information on the training programs, please contact:
Phone: 202-444-4862     Fax: 202-444-1417

Medical Director: Jay Lustbader, M.D.

Program Director: Anna B. Kiss, B.Sc., COMT, OSC                

Associate Director: Teresa E. Narayan, OD, M.S.  

Contact the program by email:

Description of Ophthalmic Training Programs - Allied Health

The Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP) has three training options.

1) day-time:  Full-Time, 18 months 

Academic and Clinical Program for Ophthalmic Technicians and Technologists

The most comprehensive option is the 18 Months, full-time, certificate program under the sponsorship of the Georgetown University School of Medicine.   Upon successful completion of this course, students are eligible for the  IJCAHPO Core Certifications of  Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT®) (Intermediate Level) and/or Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT®) (Advanced Level).

No college credit is awarded, this is a Certificate from Georgetown University School of Medicine.  [College credit is may be available upon successful completion  of IJCAHPO Certification examination. More information is available through IJCAHPO's website: .]

The 18mo program combines classroom instruction with clinical rotations at ophthalmology clinics in and around Washington, D.C.

Students in the program receive advance instruction and training in patient evaluation and work-up for pre-screening examinations (including practical skills and instrumentation), medical sciences of ophthalmology (including pharmacology, microbioloy, surgical assisting), ophthalmic patient services and education, general medical knowledge, corrective lenses, ophthalmic imaging, and office responsibilities.  

The 18mo program begins in January of each year and has a limited class size. Applications should be submitted by September 15  in the fall prior. After Sept. 15,  applications may be considered on a space available basis for an additional late fee.  Since applications received early in the admissions cycle will be given priority consideration, it is in the best interest of prospective students to complete their applications early. 

2) Modular:  July - December, TUESDAY EVENINGS ONLY **New calendar format**

Part-time:  lectures & workshop for training Ophthalmic Assistants

A modular course is available for students who are already employed and who wish to increase their knowledge about ophthalmic assisting. This program currently meets once a week, each Tuesday (5:30 to 9 p.m.) from July through December.  No college credit is awarded. Applications should be submitted by July 15.

3) DAY-TIME:  January - June part-time, 6 MONTHS

Part-time:  lectures & workshop for training Ophthalmic Assistants.  Optional Clinical-add on available.

A 6 month classroom program is held each January. Students who are enrolled in the 18mo, full-time program begin with this course. Students may choose to register for ONLY this course (1-2 Lecture days per week) with available optional clinical time available for additional fee. No college credit is awarded. Applications should be submitted by September 15.  After Sept. 15,  applications may be considered on a space available basis for an additional late fee.  Students typically attend lecture 1-2 days per week and 3 clinical days per week.  They graduate at the end of June.

Schedule of 18 Month, full-time program

The18mo Georgetown University Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP) begins each winter with the daytime six month course.  The course begins with lecture sessions and quickly encompasses supervised clinical experience.  Students typically attend lecture 1-2 days per week and 3-4 clinical days per week.  They graduate at the end of June of their second year.  This rigorous and advanced Training Program is continous for 18 months.  

Admission Requirements for OMPTP

Official documentation of all prior educational experience is required.  Applicants must have completed highschool or passed high school equivalency test.  Preference will be shown (for the 18mo Program) for applicants completing 60+ college level courses and/or for some eye care-related work experience.  

Students must be able to speak, understand, read and write English. English language requirements contact . 

Interested applicants may call the program director’s office at 202-444-4862 to request an application packet.  Application & information packets are available here:

6 Month Evenings, July to December,  Modular Class of 2019

18 Month  Ophthalmic Technician and Technologist, Class of 2020 - 2021

6 Month Daytime, January - June, Class of 2020


After Graduation from OMPTP

Upon graduation from the Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program (OMPTP), students are immediately eligible for employment with individual and group ophthalmology practices.

Students who graduate from our formal accredited training programs (18mo) are qualified to apply for the highest (COMT) or the intermediate level of certification (COT).  Students who graduate from our non-clinical assistant accredited training programs (must meet the Clinical requirements for work experience)  before applying for the entry level certification (COA). Certification is governed by the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, Inc. (IJCAHPO). 

IJCAHPO uses written exams and skill assessments to certify allied ophthalmic personnel at one of three core levels. For current certification  information and requirements contact JCAHPO at 1-800-482-4858 and their website: .

JCAHPO’s three core levels of certification offer a progressive career ladder for ophthalmic medical personnel who seek growth in their profession:

  1. Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA®) (Entry Level) 
  2. Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT®) (Intermediate Level) 
  3. Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT®) (Advanced Level)

The amount of money one can expect after graduation depends on the level of certification and geographic area of employment. In the D.C. area, most OMP earn between $35,000 (entry level)  and $50,000+ (advance level) after their first 6 to 12 months on the job.  If not employed prior to starting a program, most students have had job interviews before graduating.

Accreditation Information

Our training program has been awarded continuing accreditation for our Non-Clinical Assistant, Technician, and Technologist Programs.  The International Council of Accreditation of Allied Ophthalmic Personnel Training Programs recognizes that the Georgetown Program is in substanial compliance with established accreditation standards.  The next comprehensive evaluations will occur in 2021 (Non-Clinical) and 2023 (Technician and Medical Tenchnologist).  More information about the accreditation process with rules and regulations can be found at their website.