OptometristNot to be confused with ophthalmologists (MDs who perform surgeries), optometrists diagnose and treat eye disease, in some states perform minor surgery, and they issue prescriptions for eyeglasses and contacts.
Because of the aging baby boomer population, there will be many job opportunities for optometrists. The increased use of corrective laser surgery has decreased demand for optometrists, but future demand for optometrist services will continue to exist. Optometrists do not have to perform complicated surgery or develop complicated solutions to vision problems since most problems are corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or minor surgery.
Since there are so many people wanting to begin optometrist careers, it can be difficult to get accepted to optometry school. Most optometrists are self employed, so it is helpful to have marketing and networking skills to build a clientele. Conducting free vision screenings in malls or department stores can be an effective marketing tactic.
Most optometrists are self-employed. They typically work 40 hour weeks in comfortable, brightly-lit, and organized offices. Many accommodate patients' schedules by working nights and weekends.
Career Training and Education
To become an OD, you must finish a 4 year graduate program at an optometry school. However, make sure to enroll in an accredited program. Before applying to optometry school, you'll be required to take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). Following graduation, all optometrists are required to become licensed in their respective state by taking multiple exams.
Median (8 years of experience): $103,000
25-75 percentile (8 or more years of experience): $86,500-124,000
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