Alternative titles for this job include

Orthoptists work with a team of specialists to diagnose and treat eye problems.

Average salary (a year)

£28,000 Starter


£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Orthoptist

You can get into this job through a university course.


You'll need to get a degree in orthoptics, approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.

There's a lot of competition for places on orthoptics degree courses, so you'll need to show an understanding and commitment to orthoptics before you apply.

Work experience

Before you apply for a course, you'll find it helpful to get some work experience in healthcare, for example in a local orthoptic department.

The British and Irish Orthoptics Society can also give you information on work shadowing opportunities.

NHS Learning Support Fund

As well as a student loan, you might be able to get financial support through the NHS Learning Support Fund.

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

More Information


Career tips

When applying for courses and jobs, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how the NHS values apply in your work.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the British and Irish Orthoptic Society, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts. 

Student membership is free of charge until you graduate.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in orthoptics from the British and Irish Orthoptic Society and Health Careers.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • knowledge of English language
  • 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

Depending on where you work, as an orthoptist you could:

  • diagnose squints, lazy eyes, reduced or double vision, and disorders
  • manage conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, stroke, retinal disease and neurological disorders
  • carry out vision tests on children
  • suggest treatments like eye patches, eye exercises, contact lenses or low vision aids
  • refer clients to other healthcare professionals like optometrists, eye surgeons and vision scientists

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital or in the community.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • become a specialist orthoptist and work with specific groups of people such as children or people affected by stroke
  • become a head or consultant orthoptist, and manage a team or department
  • take further qualifications and move into research or teaching
  • work in private practice and set up your own clinic

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 Orthoptist 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

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Skills assessment

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