Optometrists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Optometry Doctor (OD)
  • Optometrist/Practice Owner
  • Optometrist, President/Practice Owner
  • Optometrist, Owner
  • Optometrist
  • Independent Contractor
  • Eye Clinic Manager
  • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  • Chief, Optometry Service

What They Do

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

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: ISR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Social and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Working Conditions, but also value Achievement and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Education Required

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).

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in United States was $111,640 with most people making between $52,720 and $185,320

Outlook

2.94%
avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 34,000 people in United States. It is projected that there will be 45,000 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 1,000 openings due to growth and about 22,000 replacement openings for approximately 23,000 total annual openings.