Growth Trends for Related Jobs


What Optometrists Do

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.

Work Environment

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.

How to Become an Optometrist

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.

Job Outlook

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.

Growth & Trends

This occupation supported 33,100 jobs in 2012 and 40,600 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 22.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 24.5% in 2022 to 41,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 34,700, compared with an observed value of 40,600, 17.0% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 33.2% in 2024 to 51,600 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 42,800 jobs for 2024, 17.1% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

Optometrists Employment and Labor Information 2023

Optometrists Employment Brief:

Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.

Optometrists Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Optometrists.

Optometrists Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Prescribe therapeutic procedures to correct or conserve vision.
  • Educate and counsel patients on contact lens care, visual hygiene, lighting arrangements, and safety factors.
  • Consult with and refer patients to ophthalmologist or other health care practitioner if additional medical treatment is determined necessary.
  • Examine eyes, using observation, instruments, and pharmaceutical agents, to determine visual acuity and perception, focus, and coordination and to diagnose diseases and other abnormalities, such as glaucoma or color blindness.
  • Prescribe, supply, fit and adjust eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other vision aids.
  • Analyze test results and develop a treatment plan.
  • Prescribe medications to treat eye diseases if state laws permit.
  • Remove foreign bodies from the eye.
  • Provide patients undergoing eye surgeries, such as cataract and laser vision correction, with pre- and post-operative care.
  • Provide vision therapy and low-vision rehabilitation.

Typical Daily Tasks of Optometrists:

  • Assisting and Caring for Others: Fit eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other vision aids. Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources. Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries. Treat chronic diseases or disorders.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge.
  • Documenting/Recording Information.
  • Getting Information.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public.
  • Processing Information.
  • Analyzing Data or Information: Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events.

Optometrists Skills and Requirements:

  • Word ProcessingUsing a computer application to type text, insert pictures, format, edit, print, save, and retrieve word processing documents.
  • Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Installation Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Management of Material Resources Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  • Management of Personnel Resources Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Optometrists Education and Training:

Typical education for include: Doctoral or professional degree.

Optometrists Salary, Wages, and Salary and Job Outlook

Optometrists average pay is: $125590 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who work in Outpatient Care Centers are the highest paid making $83.50, while NAmake the least at $38.50 per hour.Here are the top city/metro areas with the highest paying salaries for a Optometrists:


Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

Employment per thousand jobs

Wilmington, NC




Boulder, CO




Anchorage, AK




Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX




Syracuse, NY



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