I am a huge proponent of finding work that you love. If you don’t love what you do, you probably won’t be able to do it for very long…and if you do manage to stick with it, you’ll probably end up burned out and unhappy. And that’s no way to live!
So in my opinion, the first priority is finding your passion. But let’s be honest: money is important, too. That’s probably an understatement! When I was a Practice Administrator, I understood the importance of making sure everyone got paid fairly and on time. One of the biggest motivators for working hard is getting promoted, and one of the biggest motivators for getting promoted is – you guessed it – a bigger paycheck.
There is no better way for an ophthalmic technician to signal to his or her managers that s/he takes the job seriously than getting certified by IJCAHPO. As I teach my COA and COT prep courses – and when I get emails from students who purchased my online COA prep and COT prep courses through IJCAHPO (COMT prep course coming soon!) – I frequently field inquiries about salary. What I tell my students is that certification is also an excellent way to increase your earning power. Besides expanding and increasing skills, seeking better salaries was the second-most popular reason techs gave for getting certified.
The Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology conducts a national salary survey every two years and it is a great inside look into exactly how much ophthalmic techs across the country are being paid.
The great news is that there has been a consistent upward trend in salaries for COAs, COTs, and COMTs. This is true for both overall salaries and hourly wages!
The survey found that “Certified technicians have 18-41% more tenure and career longevity than non-certified technicians.”
Here’s some other important tidbits from the survey:
- On average, COTs earned 13.8 percent more than COAs.
- COMTs earned 19.8 percent more than COTs.
- Northeastern respondents had the highest average annual salaries out of any region in the US.
- Most respondents stated they would choose the same career if given the chance to start over.
Overall, this survey shows that ophthalmic techs are satisfied with their careers – and that certification is a pathway to consistent salary increases over time. If you have been thinking about studying for your COA, COT, or COMT certification exams, this survey shows that salary is a fantastic reason to go ahead take the plunge. Check out my pages in my ‘Knowledge Base’ that give you more information about the COA, COT, and COMT exam.
If you have questions about the exams, or if you’re thinking about signing up for my online course, send me an email and I’d love to chat with you more about this fantastic opportunity. It will not just increase your salary, but your confidence, aptitude, and job satisfaction. Is there any other reason you need?