When you are considering a career in optometry, you might be pleasantly surprised at all the benefits that a professional optometry career can offer. Simply put, an optometrist provides basic eye vision care including testing for any vision problems and writing prescriptions for both glasses and contact lens for patients.
Quite often, optometrists are mistakenly confused with ophthalmologists, who do what optometrists do, but perform eye surgery as well. Optometrists are not qualified to perform any kind of surgery. In order to become an optometrist, you will need a bachelor’s degree along with a four-year doctorate degree from an optometry school. The competition is fierce and the programs are somewhat limited. However, if you can get in and ultimately obtain a degree, there are several benefits to having an exciting career in optometry.
Job Outlook. The job prospects for optometrists are very positive. It’s expected the profession will grow as much as 25% through the year 2018. This above average career growth is due to a continually growing and aging population which will require additional eye care and health plans that cover vision. Furthermore, in the U.S. alone, there are only 19 schools of optometry and about 1,200 graduates per year. These numbers can’t keep up with demand of the profession or number of available positions.
Various Workplace Options. An optometrist has the choice of working at a national chain for vision care, joining a group practice, or starting their own private practice. In addition to these mainstream options, they can also work in research, in a corporate setting, academia, or public health. Many times, optometrists will work with a group of consultants, frequently working with various engineers in order to improve the environment in the workplace or with sports teams to strengthen the athletes’ vision.
Assisting Patients. Optometry offers the chance to work with people in a professional, compassionate manner. Ideally, if you are passionate about your work and desire to help people, your benefits and salary will be more than enough to sustain your happiness. An optometrist who loves their career will bring out the best in them as well as their patients. In other words, there people oriented.
Job Security. Optometrists enjoy a strong sense of job security. Due to the limited number of graduates and growing available positions, there is little to no worry concerning the threat of any major layoffs relative to vision care professionals.
With the proper education, positive mindset, and drive – a career in optometry is an excellent choice for anyone to pursue.