SCEI LogoHollywood Presbyterian Hospital Logo (CHA)


The delivery of quality healthcare is the responsibility of a team of professionals working in concert with patients and their families. In response to this dynamic, the Southern California Eye Institute has established the Ophthalmic Technician Education Program (OTEP) with the mission to prepare highly skilled allied health professionals committed to serving the eye care needs of individuals of all ages. Ophthalmic Technicians conduct various tests and procedures that inform ophthalmologists in the diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision conditions.

Ophthalmic technicians work closely with patients and their families to help them understand their vision conditions and assure compliance with treatment protocols. OTEP students have the unique opportunity to pair their coursework with clinical experience. If you are interested in healthcare, enjoy working as a member of a professional team, and want to have a positive impact on quality of life issues, you should consider becoming an ophthalmic technician. For any questions regarding the OTEP program, please contact OTEP Coordinator, Dr. Carlos Lastra Gonzalez, at carlos.lastra@sceyes.org or (833)270-3937.

Description of the Ophthalmic Technician Education Program (OTEP)

The Ophthalmic Technician Education Program (OTEP) at the Southern California Eye Institute is one of only 14 programs nationally, and the only one in California that prepares individuals to become Certified Ophthalmic Technicians (For more information on certification through the Joint Commission of Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO), please click here. The 21-month OTEP program integrates academic coursework, technical skills, and clinical training in preparation for a career as an ophthalmic technician. Through a series of courses, students learn the structure and function of the visual system, master a broad range of diagnostic tests and procedures, administer to and educate patients, and become essential members of eye care teams. Clinical rotations at the Southern California Eye Institute and its affiliated health centers offer students supervised real-world experience in the testing, diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions.

Classes are scheduled on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning at 8:00 AM and ending at noon. In addition to taking classes, OTEP students practice professional and technical skills through a series of clinical rotations. Students are required to spend 10 hours a week in clinical rotations, but the scheduling of clinic time is flexible, offering students the flexibility to work part-time while enrolled in OTEP if they desire. Small class sizes assure personal attention and the opportunity to practice developing skills under close supervision. This training prepares graduates for positions in a variety of settings including private practice offices, hospitals, and community based clinics.

OTEP Curriculum

CourseCourse Title
OTEP 101History Taking
OTEP 102Visual Assessment
OTEP 103Medical Ethics, Legal, and Regulatory Issues
OTEP 104Ocular and General Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology
OTEP 105Visual Fields
OTEP 106Supplemental Skills A
OTEP 107Lensometry and Optical Dispensing
OTEP 108Optics
OTEP 109Pharmacology
OTEP 110Supplemental Skills B
OTEP 111Refractometry
OTEP 112Ophthalmic Imaging
OTEP 113Tonometry
OTEP 114Microbiology
OTEP 115Contact Lenses/Keratometry
OTEP 116Pupillary Assessment
OTEP 117Ocular Motility
OTEP 118Surgical Assisting

Clinical rotations begin during the first semester. There will be 10 clinical rotations in total, eight weeks each.

Ophthalmic Technician Occupational Employment and Wages in California and select metropolitan areas, May 2015 (from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

AreaEmploymentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division930$21.13$43,940
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA550$17.43$35,810
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division190$27.73$57,680
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA40$21.96$45,680
Fresno, CA360$17.67$36,760

To Apply to OTEP

Print out an application from the link below, read instructions carefully, complete all sections, sign and date. Application materials may be sent electronically to  carlos.lastra@sceyes.org or mailed to:

The Southern California Eye Institute
Attention: OTEP Director
1300 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Provide 2 letters of recommendation using the Applicant Recommendation Form.

Notify recommenders that the forms must be received by the Southern California Eye Institute. Recommenders may mail the forms directly to the Southern California Eye Institute (see above), or may include sealed recommendation forms with your application. Recommendations must be completed by employer, volunteer supervisor, counselor or teacher.

The deadline for applications for the August start date is May 1, 2020. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Upon receipt and review of all application materials, an admissions committee with invite qualified candidates for in-person interviews at the Southern California Eye Institute.

IJCAHPO Certification

For more information about the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology Certification (JCAHPO), please visit  http://www.jcahpo.org/

For any questions regarding the OTEP program, please contact OTEP Coordinator, Dr. Carlos Lastra Gonzalez, at carlos.lastra@sceyes.org or (833)270-3937.

OTEP is supported by funding from the Fox Family Foundation.
Federal and state financial aid is not available for this program at this time.