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A licensed optometrist is primarily responsible for the vision and eye care of clients, treating different conditions such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. Their duties mostly revolve around performing eye and vision tests, diagnosing issues, providing consultations, prescribing corrective glasses and lenses, and educating clients on proper eye care methods. Furthermore, an optometrist must maintain records of all cases and treatment plans, and supervise support staff should they choose to work at a private clinic or a similar setting.

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Optometrist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real optometrist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage and computerize scheduling, billing, and medical/insurance records management, including major carriers and Medicaid.
  • Evaluate and assess patients for pre and post cataract surgeries, retinal surgeries and glaucoma filtration surgeries.
  • Co-Manage large volumes of patients with local anterior segment specialists with regard to cataracts and other ocular disease.
  • Work with reputable ophthalmology professors in a private practice.
  • Provide comprehensive eye examinations including contact lens fitting and LASIK consultation within high-end optical shop.
  • Work with EHR program, EMA.
  • Interpret visual fields and OCT tests.
  • Comply with HIPPA rules and regulations.
  • Comply with HIPPA guidelines regarding patient's information.
  • Measure patient's eye length using an IOL master.
  • Provide treatment to adults, children, and adolescents.
  • Operate auto refractor, visual field, corneal topography and IOL master.
  • Work closely with the LASIK and cataract surgeons to provide comprehensive care to patients.
  • Implement various techniques, including EMDR and the MBTI, to help clients resolve issues
  • Utilize a variety of therapy treatment modalities, including EMDR, play therapy, and family therapy.

Optometrist Job Description

When it comes to understanding what an optometrist does, you may be wondering, "should I become an optometrist?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, optometrists have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 10% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of optometrist opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 4,000.

An optometrist annual salary averages $201,109, which breaks down to $96.69 an hour. However, optometrists can earn anywhere from upwards of $104,000 to $385,000 a year. This means that the top-earning optometrists make $281,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become an optometrist. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an eye clinic manager, eye specialist, speech pathologist, and chief, optometry service.

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Optometrist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 33% of Optometrists are proficient in Patient Care, Diagnosis, and Customer Service. They’re also known for soft skills such as Speaking skills, Detail oriented, and Communication skills.

We break down the percentage of Optometrists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patient Care, 33%

    Owned and operated the business and oversaw all aspects, including personnel, patient care, and insurance claims.

  • Diagnosis, 17%

    Experienced in the diagnosis and management of ocular pathology with prescription of appropriate therapeutic agents.

  • Customer Service, 9%

    Solo practitioner providing comprehensive and emergency eye care with superior customer service.

  • Diagnostic Tests, 8%

    Perform diagnostic tests as assigned by the Optometrist.

  • Visual Acuity, 7%

    Measured visual acuity and refraction.

  • Pre, 7%

    Scheduled patients, Answered phones, Ran pre exams on patients using several machines to include the latest in technology.

"patient care," "diagnosis," and "customer service" aren't the only skills we found optometrists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of optometrist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Speaking skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for an optometrist to have. According to a optometrist resume, "optometrists must clearly explain eye care instructions to their patients, as well as answer patients’ questions." Optometrists are able to use speaking skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "represented bar applicants in proceedings brought by attorney regulation counsel before board of law examiners. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform optometrist duties is the following: detail oriented. According to a optometrist resume, "optometrists must ensure that patients receive appropriate treatment and that medications and prescriptions are accurate." Check out this example of how optometrists use detail oriented: "provided medically oriented comprehensive eye exams. "
  • See the full list of optometrist skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming an optometrist. We found that 36.2% of optometrists have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 2.4% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most optometrists have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every six optometrists were not college graduates.

    Those optometrists who do attend college, typically earn either a optometry degree or a biology degree. Less commonly earned degrees for optometrists include a business degree or a psychology degree.

    Once you're ready to become an optometrist, you should explore the companies that typically hire optometrists. According to optometrist resumes that we searched through, optometrists are hired the most by Walmart, National Vision Administrators, and Visionworks. Currently, Walmart has 677 optometrist job openings, while there are 541 at National Vision Administrators and 430 at Visionworks.

    If you're interested in companies where optometrists make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Dignity Health, Mount Sinai Health System, and Kaiser Permanente. We found that at Dignity Health, the average optometrist salary is $273,488. Whereas at Mount Sinai Health System, optometrists earn roughly $272,507. And at Kaiser Permanente, they make an average salary of $244,420.

    View more details on optometrist salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious optometrists are:

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    What Eye Clinic Managers Do

    In this section, we compare the average optometrist annual salary with that of an eye clinic manager. Typically, eye clinic managers earn a $24,901 higher salary than optometrists earn annually.

    Even though optometrists and eye clinic managers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require patient care, customer service, and medical records in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, an optometrist responsibilities require skills like "diagnosis," "diagnostic tests," "visual acuity," and "pre." Meanwhile a typical eye clinic manager has skills in areas such as "cpt," "follow-up appointments," "staff members," and "eye exams." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Eye clinic managers tend to reach higher levels of education than optometrists. In fact, eye clinic managers are 5.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 18.4% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Eye Specialist?

    Now we're going to look at the eye specialist profession. On average, eye specialists earn a $67,499 lower salary than optometrists a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Optometrists and eye specialists both include similar skills like "patient care," "customer service," and "diagnostic tests" on their resumes.

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real optometrist resumes. While optometrist responsibilities can utilize skills like "diagnosis," "pre," "glaucoma," and "safety factors," some eye specialists use skills like "surgery," "dr," "insurance forms," and "surgical procedures."

    On the topic of education, eye specialists earn similar levels of education than optometrists. In general, they're 2.8% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 18.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Speech Pathologist Compares

    The job of speech pathologists is to diagnose, treat, and prevent speech, social communication, language, swallowing, and cognitive-communication disorders in both children and adults. They are responsible for providing aural rehabilitation for people with hearing impairment and hearing loss, and alternative and augmentative systems for people with severe language comprehension disorders such as progressive neurological disorders and the autism spectrum. Speech pathologists may also work with individuals without language, swallowing, or speech disorders, but are eager to know how to communicate more effectively.

    The third profession we take a look at is speech pathologist. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than optometrists. In fact, they make a $138,854 lower salary per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several optometrists and speech pathologists we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "patient care," "diagnosis," and "private practice," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from optometrists resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "customer service," "diagnostic tests," "visual acuity," and "pre." But a speech pathologist might have skills like "slp," "treatment plans," "communication," and "communication disorders."

    Additionally, speech pathologists earn a higher salary in the health care industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $79,338. Additionally, optometrists earn an average salary of $178,673 in the health care industry.

    Speech pathologists are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to optometrists. Additionally, they're 40.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 25.6% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Chief, Optometry Service

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than optometrists. On average, chiefs, optometry service earn a difference of $148,677 lower per year.

    While both optometrists and chiefs, optometry service complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like patient care, oct, and medical records, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, an optometrist might have more use for skills like "diagnosis," "customer service," "diagnostic tests," and "visual acuity." Meanwhile, some chiefs, optometry service might include skills like "pediatrics," "eye injuries," "health care," and "diagnostic procedures" on their resume.

    The average resume of chiefs, optometry service showed that they earn similar levels of education to optometrists. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 2.4% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 10.3%.