Career Detail

Optometrists, also known as doctors of optometry, or ODs, are the main providers of vision care.
The Job
Optometrists also test for glaucoma and other eye diseases and diagnose conditions caused by systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, referring patients to other health practitioners as needed. They administer drugs to patients to aid in the diagnosis of vision problems and to treat eye diseases. Optometrists
Work Environment
Optometrists work in places-usually their own offices-that are clean, well lighted, and comfortable. Most full-time optometrists work about 40 hours a week.
College Majors
Doctor of Optometry degree
Minimum Qualifications
The Doctor of Optometry degree requires the completion of a 4-year program at an accredited optometry school, preceded by at least 3 years of preoptometric study at an accredited college or university.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Business ability, self-discipline, and the ability to deal tactfully with patients are important for success. The work of optometrists also requires attention to detail and manual dexterity.
Quick Facts
  • Admission to optometry school is competitive.
  • To be licensed, optometrists must earn a Doctor of Optometry degree from an accredited optometry school and pass the appropriate exams administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.
  • Employment is expected to grow as fast as average in response to the vision care needs of a growing and aging population.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual earnings of salaried optometrists were $91,040 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $66,530 anMedian annual wages of salaried optometrists were $96,320 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $70,140 and $125,460. Median annual wages of salaried optometrists in offices of optometrists were $92,670. Salaried optometrists tend to earn more initially than do optometrists who set up their own practices. In the long run, however, those in private practice usually
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