Optometrist

(Eye Doctor) By: Angel Perez

Career Details

Duties/Responsibilities

Optometrists perform eye exams to check for vision problems(nearsightedness and farsightedness) and also checks for diseases like glaucoma. Optometrists prescribe Glasses, contacts, and medications. They also give other treatments like vision therapy and low-vision rehabilitation. Most optometrists spend their time providing special care. Many of them may spend more time on general business activities such as hiring employees and ordering supplies.


Average hours/Working schedule

Most full-time optometrists work about 40 hours a week. Many of them work weekends and evenings to suit their patients needs. Emergency calls were very uncommon for optometrists but now since the drug laws expanded, optometrists have more of the ability to prescribe medications. Optometrists who work by themselves or with a partner tend to work longer hours because they must tend to administrative duties in addition to their medical ones. The American Optometric Association surveys proved that optometrists worked about 49 hours per week (on average) in 2004 and were available to see patients about 38 hours per week.


Working Location(s)

Optometrists held about 34 thousand jobs in 2010. About Half of optometrists work in stand-alone offices of optometry. They may also work in doctors' offices, retail stores. outpatient clinics, and hospitals. Some of them are self-employed.


Salary/wage potential

Median annual wage of an optometrist was 94990 dollars in May 2010. The median wage is the wage which half the workers earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than 49630 dollars and the top 10 earned 166400 dollars or more.

Education Needed/Skills Needed

Optometrists need a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree and a state license. The O.D. takes four years to complete after earning an undergraduate degree. People who have applied for the O.D. program must have completed at least 3 years of post secondary education, involving Bio, chem, Physics, English and Math. Most students get a Bachelor's degree before going in an O.D. program and they must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) to apply to O.D. program. A doctor of Optometry take 4 years to complete. The classwork involves Anatomy, Physiology , Biochemistry, Optic and visual science, and the Diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the visual system. After the program optometrists take a one year program to get advanced clinical training in a specialty.

Job outlook/Growth

The employment rate is expected to grow by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations but, because its a small occupation, the fast growth will only be about 11300 new jobs over the ten year period. Since vision problems tend to occur more frequently later in life, more optometrists will be needed to meet the health needs of an older population. Also, the numbers of people with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, has increased during the years. This disease usually causes vision problems and require treatment from optometrists.

Advancement opportunities or Related Jobs

Some similar jobs are:


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The Optometrist Song