Optometrists

optometry
$125,590 Median Wage (2022)
1,700 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
8.80% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
  • Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
  • Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Doctoral Degree

Related Work Experience: N.A.

On-Site or In-Plant Training: N.A.

On-the-Job Training: Anything beyond short demonstration, up to and including 1 month

Detailed Work Activities

  • Test patient vision.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Develop medical treatment plans.
  • Fit eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other vision aids.
  • Prescribe assistive medical devices or related treatments.
  • Prescribe medications.
  • Train patients, family members, or caregivers in techniques for managing disabilities or illnesses.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
  • Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
  • Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.
  • Prescribe treatments or therapies.
  • Treat chronic diseases or disorders.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Analyze test results and develop a treatment plan.
  • Prescribe, supply, fit and adjust eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other vision aids.
  • Prescribe medications to treat eye diseases if state laws permit.
  • Educate and counsel patients on contact lens care, visual hygiene, lighting arrangements, and safety factors.
  • Remove foreign bodies from the eye.
  • 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.
  • Prescribe therapeutic procedures to correct or conserve vision.
  • Provide vision therapy and low-vision rehabilitation.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.