Earn A Living As An Optometrist

December 20, 2012 by: 0

Optometrists are healthcare practitioners who are trained in the examination of the defects of the eyes. They can discover signs of trauma, abnormalities, diseases and other problems. Their work includes diagnosis, advice, prescription of and the supply of contact lenses and glasses. It is sometimes necessary to refer patients to other healthcare professionals when a particular problem is diagnosed. As an optometrist, you can work in partnership with a medical practitioner. You may also choose to go for further training in order to specialize in a specific area. The following are tips that will enable you to earn a living as an optometrist.

The Importance Of The Profession

Optometrists occupy an important position in the care of eye health and sight. Effective communication and expertise is required in the area of vision care. When you qualify as an optometrist, your patients will depend on you for the proper care of their visual health. This profession is demanding but it has a lot of rewards. Your job will also be made easier with the availability of modern technology.

Getting A Degree

You can study for a degree in optometry at several universities. Search online for the list of institutions that offer this course in your country. In the United Kingdom, the usual qualification is a C grade or higher in 5 GSCE subjects and 3 passes at the A level. The required subjects are biology, physics, mathematics or chemistry. There may be slight differences in these requirements depending on the institution that you select. The course runs for three years in some schools while it is four years in others. The final year is dedicated to clinical skills, ocular therapeutics, pathology and research.

Registering As An Optometrist

After the completion of your university course, you have to work under a registered optometrist for a period of about one year. This year is your pre-registration year. During this period, you will pass through a number of assessments as well as the Professional Qualifying Examination. The PQE involves oral, written and practical evaluations of your skills and ability to handle patients and equipment.

The PQE and the pre-registration year are under the supervision of the college of optometrists. You will be permitted to register as an optometrist if you make satisfactory progress and obtained a pass mark at the final examination. Once you are registered, you have to continuously update your registration through professional courses and training throughout the duration of your career. This is done so as to ensure that professionals in this field are always current with the latest developments.

Job Opportunities

There are different ways to earn a living as an optometrist. A large number of graduates of this discipline start their own private practice after becoming registered. Some may decide to work in non-clinical careers where they can use their skills as visual professionals. Non-clinical jobs can be found in research institutes, universities and companies that produce optical devices. The field of optometry is becoming more diversified and some professionals are now specializing in areas such as industrial vision, children’s vision and sports vision.

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