Optometrists examine the eyes and other parts of the visual system. They also diagnose and treat visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes. They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed.
Most optometrists work in stand-alone offices of optometry. Optometrists may also work in doctors' offices and optical goods stores, and some are self-employed. Most work full time, and some work evenings and weekends to accommodate patients' needs.
Optometrists must complete a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree program and obtain a license to practice in a particular state. O.D. programs take 4 years to complete, and most students have a bachelor's degree before entering such a program.
The median annual wage for optometrists was $103,900 in May 2015.
Employment of optometrists is projected to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Because vision problems tend to occur more frequently later in life, an aging population will require more optometrists.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for optometrists.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of optometrists with similar occupations.
Learn more about optometrists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.