OPTOMETRISTS provide primary vision care. They examine eyes of patients to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases, as well as diagnose related systemic conditions. They treat vision problems and certain eye diseases, such as conjunctivitis or corneal infections. They use instruments to examine eye health and test visual acuity, depth and color perception, and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. They analyze test results, diagnose problems, and develop a treatment plan. They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, and provide vision therapy. They administer drugs to aid in the diagnosis of vision problems and prescribe drugs to treat eye diseases.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $115,000 average per year ($55.25 per hour)
- A medium occupation (26,500 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.4% per year)
All states require OPTOMETRISTS to be licensed. Applicants must have a Doctor of Optometry degree from an accredited optometry school and pass a written and clinical state board exam and/or national board exam. The Doctor of Optometry degree requires completion of a 4-year program, preceded by at least 3 years of pre-optometric study at an accredited college or university. Most optometry students hold a bachelor's or higher degree. Requirements for admission to schools of optometry include courses in English, math, physics, chemistry, and biology.