Job Duties

Optometrists, sometimes referred to as doctors of optometry, or ODs, provide their clients with many types of vision care and treatment. They diagnose vision problems and eye diseases by examining the eyes of individuals, testing for visual acuity, depth and color perception, and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. Based on the results of their eye tests, they recommend various treatments, including eyeglasses, contact lenses, vision therapy, and low-vision rehabilitation. Treatments may include prescribing drugs to patients, and may assist them before and after eye operations. They do not perform eye operations, though, as this is the domain of opthalmologists. When they diagnose other conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, they refer those patients to other specialists.

A majority of optometrists operate a general practice. However, some specialize in areas such as the elderly, children, or partially sighted persons who need specialized visual devices. Some specialize in job safety, creating methods for protecting the eyes of workers from injury. Others specialize in contact lenses, sports vision, or vision therapy. A small number teach, consult, or perform research. Most run their own private practice who are responsible for organizing all aspects of their business, including office functions, hiring, record-keeping, and ordering equipment.

Job Skills

Optometrists should be self-motivated and able to work independently. They need to have the ability to deal with patients in a compassionate and tactful manner. They must have well-developed manual dexterity, as well as attention to detail. Good business sense also comes in very handy.


In 2002, optometrists, including both salaried and self-employed, earned a median annual salary of $110,000. The middle 50% earned between $82,50 and $156,500. Those who were self-employed earned more than those who were salaried.

Training and Education

In every State in the U.S., optometrists are required to be licensed. In order to obtain a license, they must possess a Doctor of Optometry degree from an accredited optometry school and pass a written and clinical exam. Continuing education is required to renew licenses, which occurs every 1 to 3 years. Students earn a Doctor of Optometry degree by completing 3 years of pre-optometric college study, followed by a 4-year program at an optometry school. Optometry programs are offered at 17 accredited U.S. schools and colleges. Most students of optometry have at least a bachelor's degree. In order to be admitted to an optometry program, students must have competed courses in English, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. Some schools require psychology, history, sociology, speech, or business. Many applicants major in biology, chemistry, or another science.

Optometry programs cover the health and visual sciences, along with laboratory and clinical study of eye disorders and courses in pharmacology, optics, vision science, biochemistry, and systemic disease. Optometrists need a master's or Ph.D. degree in visual science, physiological optics, neurophysiology, public health, health administration, health information and communication, or health education in order to be able to conduct research or teach.


In 2002, optometrists held about 32,000 jobs. About two-thirds were in private practice, and a growing number were involved in a partnership with other optomotrists.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of optometrists is expected to increase about as fast as the average. This is mainly due to a growing and aging population which will need the services of optometrists more and more. Aging baby boomers will become more likely to develop vision problems, some of which will be associated with increased viewing of computer screens.

For more information on becoming an optometrist, please see our directory of schools offering Medical Training

Optometrist Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
            • Nursing Degree Programs from Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing & Health Care Professions
            • Degree Variety: GCU offers a full-spectrum of nursing programs including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-master’s certificates.
            • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu-accreditation).
            • GCU provides a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
            • Depending on the degree you choose, you could take online, evening, or on-campus classes. Speak with an enrollment counselor to discuss your options!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Bachelor of Science in Health Science
            • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
            • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
            • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
            • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
            • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Dental Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
            UEI College , Riverside
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Medical Assisting
            Platt College , Ontario
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Dental Assistant
            • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
            • Our short-term allied health programs will give you the skills and knowledge to become a part of the exciting health care field.
            • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Healthcare Administration.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
            • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant

            Online programs to fit your schedule.

            You’ve expressed interest in Blue Cliff College before, now we have online programs to better fit your busy lifestyle. Enroll now!

            • Online Courses
            Medical Assistant
            • Offers accelerated programs w/ flexible schedules & professional instruction
            • Multiple accredited campuses across 9 states including CA, TX, NV, & PA
            • 10 + programs including Practical Nursing, Dental and Medical Assisting
            • Provides professional development training & career planning resources
            • Military Student Center (MSC) is committed to the success of military students
            Show more [+]
            MSN Clinical Nurse Educator
            • Presents stimulating, thoughtful programs for students in every academic field
            • SACS accredited w/many accreditations per program & 14:1 teacher-student ratio
            • 7 colleges with dozens of majors & programs to choose from for undergrads & grads
            • Beautiful 248 acre campus with ¾ mile waterfront located in Jacksonville, FL
            • Named an “America’s Best College” in the south for 10+ years, US News & World Report
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Medical Specialties (AOS)
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Show more [+]
            Certificate - Dental Assistant
            • For more than 45 years, PMI has been dedicated to quality healthcare education
            • 17 campuses across 9 states including Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado & more
            • Accredited by the ABHES with multiple accreditations per specific program
            • Certificates, associates, and bachelor’s programs in leading healthcare fields
            • PMI offers financial aid to students who qualify for assistance
            Show more [+]