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What Does it Take to Be an Optometrist?

Optometrist Example Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.

A Day in the Life of an Optometrist

  • Analyze test results and develop a treatment plan.
  • Prescribe medications to treat eye diseases if state laws permit.
  • Prescribe therapeutic procedures to correct or conserve vision.
  • Prescribe, supply, fit and adjust eyeglasses, contact lenses and other vision aids.
  • Examine eyes, using observation, instruments and pharmaceutical agents, to determine visual acuity and perception, focus and coordination and to diagnose diseases and other abnormalities such as glaucoma or color blindness.
  • Provide patients undergoing eye surgeries, such as cataract and laser vision correction, with pre- and post-operative care.

Optometrist Required Skills

Optometrists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

  • Optometrist/Practice Owner
  • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  • Chief, Optometry Service
  • Optometry Doctor (OD)
  • Optometrist, President/Practice Owner

Job Opportunities for Optometrists

In the United States, there were 40,200 jobs for Optometrists in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 17.9% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,200 new jobs for Optometrists by 2026. There will be an estimated 2,000 positions for Optometrist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Optometrists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Optometrists are California, New York, and Texas.

Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Rhode Island, or Mississippi. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of an Optometrist

The typical yearly salary for Optometrists is somewhere between $57,480 and $188,160. The median salary for this occupation is $111,790.

Salary Ranges for Optometrists

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

North Dakota

$175,090

Vermont

$170,550

Alaska

$165,640

South Carolina

$142,290

Massachusetts

$141,890

Connecticut

$138,140

Maine

$136,510

North Carolina

$136,260

Wyoming

$135,220

Minnesota

$134,270

Mississippi

$133,370

Ohio

$132,400

Colorado

$132,030

New Hampshire

$131,180

Iowa

$130,160

Virginia

$129,010

Maryland

$129,000

Nevada

$127,940

Arizona

$124,920

New York

$124,820

Texas

$123,930

Wisconsin

$122,310

Illinois

$121,610

Washington

$119,860

Pennsylvania

$119,820

West Virginia

$118,270

Kansas

$117,840

Hawaii

$117,310

California

$117,180

Delaware

$116,210

Tennessee

$115,960

New Jersey

$114,630

Kentucky

$114,550

Missouri

$114,110

Alabama

$114,070

Indiana

$113,880

Michigan

$112,440

Montana

$110,370

Oklahoma

$109,300

Georgia

$104,970

Louisiana

$104,360

Rhode Island

$104,320

Nebraska

$104,010

Florida

$102,060

Oregon

$99,560

South Dakota

$96,540

Idaho

$96,070

Arkansas

$95,500

District of Columbia

$90,140

New Mexico

$86,870

Utah

$74,490

What Tools & Technology do Optometrists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Optometrists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Access
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Microsoft SQL Server

Who Employs Optometrists?

Optometrist Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming Optometrists might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Preventive Medicine Physicians

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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