How to become an 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 the orthoptics degree courses, so you'll need to show an understanding and commitment before you apply.
You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in your local orthoptic department before you apply for a course.
You could contact the head orthoptist or the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.
The British and Irish Orthoptics Society can provide information on work shadowing opportunities.
As well as a student loan, you may be able to access elements of the NHS Learning Support Fund, which can cover hardship, travel and childcare costs.
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
- you'll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council
When applying for courses and jobs, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how 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 and runs until you graduate.