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Eye Care Employment Among Fastest-Growing US Jobs
Date:2/5/2009

pl. ABO, President of the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO®). "We see these statistics as an opportunity to address several problems currently facing the eye care industry."

Population analysts estimate the numbers of adults over the age of 65 to reach upwards of 70 million by the year 2030, and by then, senior citizens are expected to outnumber teenagers by more than 2 to 1. A range of factors associated with this age group will converge to paint an unprecedented picture: increasing life-expectancy, patient demand, and the stress of a growing demographic. While the numbers and projections are startling, the resulting upshot is that jobs for ophthalmic personnel will remain in high demand for the next few decades.

"The ability to adapt to current employment conditions is essential," says Astle. "If employees want to remain competitive in the job market, they need to move toward industries with opportunities such as ophthalmic assisting. This will require new training and continuing education, but the potential for long-term payoff is extraordinary," he adds.

One of the advantages of ophthalmic assisting is that the profession is open to individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent. This makes it stand apart from other health care professions that often require years of training, education, and/or an undergraduate or graduate degree. Once certified through JCAHPO via an independent study course or accredited academic program, certificants will find employment opportunities in abundance. Depending on their JCAHPO certification level, an ophthalmic assistant or technician can expect to earn between $36,000 and $46,000 annually.

"Eye care has a number of opportunities for advancement," notes Astle. "The allied health profession is a field primed for an influx of eager, enthusiastic, and trained personnel to help meet the increasing p
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