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Life As an Orthoptist

Position Description Diagnose and treat visual system disorders such as binocular vision and eye movement impairments.

Life as an Orthoptist: What Do They Do?

  • Present or publish scientific papers.
  • Collaborate with ophthalmologists, optometrists, or other specialists in the diagnosis, treatment, or management of conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal diseases.
  • Provide instructions to patients or family members concerning diagnoses or treatment plans.
  • Examine patients with problems related to ocular motility, binocular vision, amblyopia, or strabismus.
  • Provide nonsurgical interventions, including corrective lenses, patches, drops, fusion exercises, or stereograms, to treat conditions such as strabismus, heterophoria, and convergence insufficiency.
  • Perform diagnostic tests or measurements, such as motor testing, visual acuity testing, lensometry, retinoscopy, and color vision testing.

Things an Orthoptist Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Orthoptists say are the most useful in their careers:

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

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Types of Orthoptist Jobs

  • Clinical Orthoptist (CO)
  • Certified Orthoptist
  • Orthoptist
  • Chief Orthoptist

Job Outlook for Orthoptists

There were about 56,400 jobs for Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 13.3% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,500 new jobs for Orthoptists by 2026. There will be an estimated 3,800 positions for Orthoptist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Orthoptists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners are California, Florida, and New York.

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

Do Orthoptists Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners ranges between about $40,910 and $141,330 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $73,960.

Salary Ranges for Orthoptists

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

Maryland

$126,550

District of Columbia

$122,830

Georgia

$107,530

Louisiana

$104,930

North Carolina

$92,950

Washington

$89,590

New Jersey

$89,220

Massachusetts

$88,290

Delaware

$87,300

Virginia

$86,250

Minnesota

$86,010

Ohio

$84,760

Vermont

$83,520

Oregon

$83,430

Rhode Island

$79,950

Connecticut

$79,750

Maine

$79,090

Michigan

$78,210

Pennsylvania

$77,950

New York

$77,400

Hawaii

$76,650

Alabama

$75,360

Wisconsin

$75,260

Alaska

$74,750

Utah

$74,310

California

$74,080

Montana

$73,070

Kansas

$72,840

Oklahoma

$72,510

New Hampshire

$72,400

South Carolina

$72,050

Arizona

$70,780

New Mexico

$70,490

Texas

$70,270

Missouri

$68,600

Illinois

$67,600

Mississippi

$67,310

Florida

$66,660

West Virginia

$64,840

South Dakota

$63,640

Colorado

$61,630

Indiana

$61,420

Kentucky

$60,670

Tennessee

$59,990

Idaho

$59,640

Nevada

$52,800

Nebraska

$51,310

North Dakota

$48,300

What Tools do Orthoptists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Orthoptists:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

Where Orthoptists Work

Orthoptist Sectors

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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