An optometrist, previously known as an optician, is qualified to inspect the eyes to diagnose vision abnormalities, signs of injury, eye disease or defects, or general health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
They perform health assessments, offer professional guidance, recommend spectacles or contact lenses, and, if appropriate, refer patients for further care.
Optometrists study at university for at least three years. They have to engage in an accredited clinical training cycle in practice before they are considered to have the requisite knowledge and skills to be licensed. Once they have enrolled, they can take advantage of additional training and grow their interests quickly.
Steps to Become an Optometrist
To become an optometrist, you have a lot of years to go through. Obtain a pre-med and engineering bachelor’s degree. You must complete an undergraduate degree before you can apply for an optometry program. Many schools of optometry need biology, chemistry, physics, English, and mathematics education.
A premeditated biological science degree can help you prepare for medical school. Get a full undergraduate education and work hard to obtain good grades. Medical schools are going to want you to take your training seriously.
Next, get experience in shadowing. Shadowing is an excellent way to gain practical experience in the field of optometry. This will give you an idea of how the job is working and what an optometrist is doing. There’s no better way to find out if optometry is right for you than watching a real optometrist at work, so take advantage of your chance to soak up all the wisdom you can.
After this, push to be a doctor. Start an optometry program as a physician. Both core courses are in a classroom setting, and practical experience through clinics will be included in the curriculum. It will take four years to complete these programs at an accredited optometry school. It sounds like a long time, but if you’re dreaming of being an optometrist, you’re going to be done before you know it and helping people in no time.
Next, get the right licenses. Pass the entrance exam for optometry (OAT). This test is required when applying to accredited optometry programs and will evaluate your science knowledge as well as your understanding and reasoning skills. Tests are performed at Prometric Test Centers throughout the year. Good performance will improve your acceptance chances, so study hard and do your best. Now, you can take your licensure exam.
Where to Apply for a Job as an Optometrist
According to College Grad, the median annual wage for optometrists is $111,790.
When you finish your education, training, and licensure exams, you can apply for the following positions.
- Hospital Optometrist – As an optometrist at the hospital, you can work as part of a larger group of health care providers to provide specialist services.
- Researcher – There is still so much to be learned about the eye and sight disorders to be identified and handled. Work helps to expand our awareness and shape the profession.
- Domiciliary Optometrist – As a Domiciliary Optometrist, you can enter your local community to ensure that those who are unable to visit the examining room are still able to receive high-quality eye health care.
You may want to try to get a national organization approved as you go through your career. Certifications and fellowships are provided by multiple organizations. You must comply with strict guidelines and show your enthusiasm for the profession and patients to earn one of these coveted honors.
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