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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)

£31,365 Starter

to

£62,001 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 an optometrist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role

University

You'll need to get a degree in optometry, approved by the General Optical Council (GOC).

You'll also complete a one-year pre-registration paid and supervised work placement, with a registered optometrist, and 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

Work

If you're working as a dispensing optician, you could retrain in optometry.

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

Volunteering

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in a healthcare setting before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice on hospital placements.

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

More Information

Registration

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 health conditions that can affect sight
  • 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 part of your day-to-day duties, you could:

  • use a range of precision instruments
  • use 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

You could specialise in an area like paediatrics (working with children), contact lenses, sports vision or low vision.

You could study for an MSc in optometry or train further in contact lens practice, therapeutics (prescribing drugs for certain eye problems) or specific conditions like diabetes and 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 Higher Education: Science

  • Provider: LOUGHBOROUGH COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2022
  • Location: Loughborough

Access to HE Diploma (Science)

  • Provider: DARLINGTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: Darlington

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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