Eyes are the window to the soul. So, as you can imagine, it's critical to keep those eyes in good and working order. If you want to be in charge of making sure everyone's eyes are functioning properly, then you should consider becoming an optometrist. Optometrists examine the eyes and other parts of the visual system. They also diagnose and treat visual problems and injuries.
Optometrists often prescribe glasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems. Some of their other duties include performing minor surgical procedures to correct or treat eye health issues, counseling patients on general eye health, and evaluating patients for the presence of other diseases, such as diabetes or liver failure.
To become an optometrist, you'll need to complete pre-professional undergraduate education in a college or university and then four years at a college of optometry, leading to the doctor of optometry (O.D.) degree. Some doctors of optometry complete an optional residency in a specific area of practice. You'll also need to obtain an optometry license in the state in which you wish to work.
Optometrists examine the eyes and other parts of the visual system. They also diagnose and treat visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes. They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed.
Optometrists must complete a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree program and obtain a license to practice in a particular state. O.D. programs take 4 years to complete, and most students have a bachelor’s degree before entering such a program.Education
Optometrists need an O.D. degree. In 2015, there were 23 accredited O.D. programs in the United States, one of which was in Puerto Rico.
Applicants to O.D. programs must have completed at least 3 years of postsecondary education. Required courses include those in biology or zoology, chemistry, physics, English, and math. Most students have a bachelor’s degree with a pre-medical or biological sciences emphasis before enrolling in an O.D. program.
Applicants to O.D. programs must also take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), a computerized exam that tests applicants in four subject areas: science, reading comprehension, physics, and quantitative reasoning.
O.D. programs take 4 years to complete. They combine classroom learning and supervised clinical experience. Coursework includes anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, optics, visual science, and the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the visual system.
After finishing an O.D. degree, some optometrists complete a 1-year residency program to get advanced clinical training in the area in which they wish to specialize. Areas of specialization for residency programs include family practice, low vision rehabilitation, pediatric or geriatric optometry, and ocular disease, among others.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
All states require optometrists to be licensed. To get a license, a prospective optometrist must have an O.D. degree from an accredited optometry school and must complete all sections of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam.
Some states require individuals to pass an additional clinical exam or an exam on laws relating to optometry. All states require optometrists to take continuing education classes and to renew their license periodically. The board of optometry in each state can provide information on licensing requirements.
Optometrists who wish to demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge may choose to become certified by the American Board of Optometry.Important Qualities
Decisionmaking skills. Optometrists must be able to evaluate the results of a variety of diagnostic tests and decide on the best course of treatment for a patient.
Detail oriented. Optometrists must ensure that patients receive appropriate treatment and medications and that prescriptions are accurate. They must also monitor and record various pieces of information related to patient care.
Interpersonal skills. Because they spend much of their time examining patients, optometrists must be able to help their patients feel at ease. Optometrists also must be able to communicate well with other healthcare professionals.
Speaking skills. Optometrists must be able to clearly explain eye care instructions to their patients, as well as answer patients’ questions.
In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of office manager you might progress to a role such as operations manager eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title operations manager.
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The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 32.9% of optometrists listed patient care on their resume, but soft skills such as speaking skills and detail oriented are important as well.
Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Optometrist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Optometrist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.
After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:
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Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an optometrist. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Vermont. Optometrists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $213,633. Whereas in North Dakota and Minnesota, they would average $213,629 and $202,663, respectively. While optometrists would only make an average of $195,986 in Vermont, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.
1. West Virginia
|Rank||Company||Average Salary||Hourly Rate||Job Openings|
|2||The LASIK Vision Institute||$237,966||$114.41||10|
|3||Omni Eye Specialists||$237,392||$114.13||10|
|8||Eye to Eye||$201,109||$96.69||13|
|9||Hero Practice Services||$201,109||$96.69||8|