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How to become an Optometrist

Optometrist
£20,000/y
avg. starting salary

If job satisfaction is in the eye of the beholder, careers don’t come much healthier than this… Optometrists work everywhere from in hospitals to on the high street, examining their patient’s eyes and giving advice on how to solve vision problems. Traditionally, an Optometrist would stop short of any formal diagnosis and refer their patients on to a specialist for further treatment. However, these days they have become much more involved in primary care, offering vital support and improving quality of life for anyone struggling with their vision. Typical day-to-day duties for an Optometrist may include:
  • Having consultations with patients to learn more about their optical health
  • Examining eyes for any abnormalities or sign of disease
  • Performing tests, such as reading charts, to monitor changes in vision
  • Diagnosing problems
  • Advising patients on suitable frames or contact lenses

In order to become an Optometrist, excellent analytical and conversational skills are absolutely essential. You’ll encounter patients on a daily basis who may be seriously struggling with their sight, and being able to deal with these frustrations as simply and as tactfully as possible will be key in this profession. Having good taste in glasses will also help. Because life is too short for unflattering frames… Other key skills for an Optometrist include:
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Assertiveness
  • Adaptability
  • Manual dexterity
  • Patience, and excellent concentration skills

1

Trainee Optometrist

Up to £20,000
2

Optometrist

Up to £32,000
3

Specialist Optometrist

Up to £40,000

"I’ve been a fully-qualified Optometrist for just over two years, and I’m still loving it. I work in a well-known high-street opticians, which means I get to meet people from lots of different backgrounds, and solve everything from glaucoma to people simply looking for their perfect pair of glasses. The optometry degree is pretty challenging, especially when you do your pre-registration year, but all the hard work is well worth it in the end. The discount on glasses and contact lenses doesn’t hurt either..."

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