Optometrist Job Description (US focus)

The medical field is expanding in both positions and position availability. For one thing, there have been a number of openings and new jobs created that did not exist ten years ago. For optometrists, the jobs have always been there, but as the field becomes more complex, more opportunities open. After all, laser surgery has opened new possibilities and allowed for a number of different changes in the way we do things from day to day. The optometry field is certainly open, and there is plenty of demand for those interested in taking such a position. Before you start running after this job, you will need to know what it entails.

In the field of optometry, you will be dealing with the eyes. In no way is an optometrist an eye surgeon who performs the various brands of laser surgery, but rather an individual that understands the various eye disorders. As an optometrist, one would be tasked with the following duties:

Performing a Diagnosis
Use Medication to remedy Disorders
Vision Tests
Write Prescriptions

Though the optometrist is able to prescribe eye glasses of various prescription levels and styles, they are not in a position to create or distribute contact lenses. They do provide pre and postoperative care to patients who are undergoing eye surgery even if they do not perform the surgery themselves.

The Education

In 2007 there were 1,200 yearly graduates from 19 schools that dealt in optometry. Among these schools were Ohio State University, Indiana University, The University of California, and State University of New York to name just a few. Starting out one would need a three year course followed by a government approved course in optometry.

Expected Optometrist Salary

In the United States, it is expected that the median salary for an optometrist will be $103,669 annually. Naturally the entry level salary will be a bit lower, and it will raise considerably depending on the experience obtained while in the field. By gaining experience you also gain the chance to open your own practice and raise your salary.

Things to Keep in Mind

There are different requirements between states for becoming an optometrist. It is not unusual to spend eight years studying to become and optometrist in the state of Florida. As is the norm with any medical career, you will need to complete at least a year long residency.

Once those requirements are met, you will find yourself with a very rewarding career. You can help many to retain their sight, improve it, or even save it. You won’t be a surgeon, but you can help people in so many ways and improve their lives.


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