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What Do Optometrist Do?

Optometrist Definition 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.

Optometrist Responsibilities

  • 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.
  • Educate and counsel patients on contact lens care, visual hygiene, lighting arrangements and safety factors.
  • Analyze test results and develop a treatment plan.
  • Prescribe medications to treat eye diseases if state laws permit.
  • Provide patients undergoing eye surgeries, such as cataract and laser vision correction, with pre- and post-operative care.
  • Consult with and refer patients to ophthalmologist or other health care practitioner if additional medical treatment is determined necessary.

What an Optometrist Should Know

When polled, Optometrists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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

Types of Optometrist Jobs

  • Eye Clinic Manager
  • Optometrist, Owner
  • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  • Optometry Doctor (OD)
  • Optometrist/Practice Owner

Job Outlook for Optometrists

There were about 40,200 jobs for Optometrist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 17.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,200 new jobs for Optometrist by 2026. The BLS estimates 2,000 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Optometrist are Utah, Colorado, and Washington. 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.

Salary for an Optometrist

The salary for Optometrists ranges between about $57,480 and $188,160 a year.

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Optometrists who work in North Dakota, Vermont, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

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

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $114,070
Alaska $165,640
Arizona $124,920
Arkansas $95,500
California $117,180
Colorado $132,030
Connecticut $138,140
Delaware $116,210
District of Columbia $90,140
Florida $102,060
Georgia $104,970
Hawaii $117,310
Idaho $96,070
Illinois $121,610
Indiana $113,880
Iowa $130,160
Kansas $117,840
Kentucky $114,550
Louisiana $104,360
Maine $136,510
Maryland $129,000
Massachusetts $141,890
Michigan $112,440
Minnesota $134,270
Mississippi $133,370
Missouri $114,110
Montana $110,370
Nebraska $104,010
Nevada $127,940
New Hampshire $131,180
New Jersey $114,630
New Mexico $86,870
New York $124,820
North Carolina $136,260
North Dakota $175,090
Ohio $132,400
Oklahoma $109,300
Oregon $99,560
Pennsylvania $119,820
Rhode Island $104,320
South Carolina $142,290
South Dakota $96,540
Tennessee $115,960
Texas $123,930
Utah $74,490
Vermont $170,550
Virginia $129,010
Washington $119,860
West Virginia $118,270
Wisconsin $122,310
Wyoming $135,220

What Tools & Technology do Optometrists Use?

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

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Scheduling software
  • First Insight MaximEyes
  • HealthLine Systems Eyecom
  • Insight Software My Vision Express
  • OfficeMate Software Solutions OfficeMate

How to Become an Optometrist

Individuals working as an Optometrist have obtained the following education levels:

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What work experience do I need to become an Optometrist?

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Where Optometrists Work

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Optometrists work in the following industries:

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Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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

References:

Image Credit: via Creative Commons CC0

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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