Optometrist Job Description:
Some optometrists specialize in a particular clientele or type of treatment. For example some treat patients with low vision and others provide post-operative care to patients who have undergone surgery.
Other practitioners who provide vision care are ophthalmologists and opticians. Ophthalmologists are physicians who, unlike optometrists, can perform eye surgery. Opticians fit eyeglasses and make adjustments to them but do not examine eyes, make diagnoses or treat diseases and conditions.
Employment Facts for Optometrists:
Educational Requirements for Optometrists:
Although applicants to schools must have completed only three years of study at an accredited college or university, most have earned, or will shortly earn, a bachelor's degree. Undergraduate coursework should include mathematics, English, chemistry, physics and biology. Applicants must take an entrance exam called the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). It is sponsored by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.
Training combines classroom instruction and clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed optometrist. Those who want to specialize in a particular area of practice will spend an additional year getting advanced clinical training by doing a residency.
Other Requirements for Optometrists:
Job Outlook for Optometrists:
How Much Do Optometrists Earn?:
A Day in an Optometrist's Life:
- examine people's eyes to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases;
- test patients' visual acuity, depth and color perception, and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes;
- prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses;
- provide vision therapy and low-vision rehabilitation;
- analyze test results and develop a treatment plan;
- administer drugs to patients to aid in the diagnosis of vision problems and prescribe drugs to treat some eye diseases;
- provide preoperative and postoperative care to cataract patients, as well as patients who have had laser vision correction or other eye surgery;
- diagnose conditions due to systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure and refer patients to other health practitioners as needed;
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Optometrists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/optometrists.htm (visited October 17, 2012).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Optometrists, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/29-1041.00 (visited October 17, 2012)