1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Optometrist


Alternative titles for this job include Ophthalmic optician

Optometrists test vision, identify eye health problems, prescribe glasses and fit contact lenses.

Average salary (a year)

£35,000 Starter


£69,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 a week

You could work

evenings on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Optometrist

You can get into this job through a university course or by working towards this role. 


To become an optometrist you'll need to:

  • get a degree in optometry, approved by the General Optical Council (GOC)
  • complete a pre-registration work placement which takes 1 year and you'll be supervised by a registered optometrist
  • pass the GOC final assessment to qualify

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science

More Information


If you're working as a dispensing optician, you could retrain to become an optometrist.

You'll need to complete an approved optometry degree and pre-registration year.


You'll find it helpful to get some work experience in healthcare before you apply for a course.

You could also contact high street opticians directly for information on work experience schemes.

More Information


Further information

You can find out more about working in optometry from:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of biology
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an optometrist you could:

  • use precision instruments and vision measuring and testing tools
  • diagnose and give advice
  • prescribe, fit and supply glasses or contact lenses
  • discuss the suitability and shape of glasses frames
  • refer clients to specialists or ophthalmologists (eye surgeons)

Working environment

You could work at a store, in an NHS or private hospital, at a GP practice or in a laboratory.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • specialise in an area like contact lenses, sports vision, low vision or working with children
  • study for a postgraduate master's degree in optometry
  • train further in prescribing drugs for certain eye problems or working with specific conditions like diabetes or glaucoma

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an Optometrist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to HE: Science

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Ipswich

Access to HE (Science)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Cambridge

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.