The demand for optometrists is growing. With an aging population, many are recognizing the importance of vision retention. Optometrists are responsible for everything from diagnosing glaucoma to prescribing eyeglasses and contacts.
A typical day for an optometrist can include:
- diagnosing vision problems and eye disease
- testing visual accuracy
- providing vision therapy
- providing operative care to cataract patients
Most optometrists run private practices, therefore they deal with the business aspect of eye care. This may involve:
- record keeping
- hiring staff
- building a patient base
- ordering and replacing office equipment
Most optometrists work full-time. Many are required to work evenings and weekends to accommodate the needs of patients. Due to the increasing ability to prescribe medications, optometrists must be on-call for visual emergencies.
Nationally, new job opportunities for optometrists are expected to grow by 33 percent by 2020. Within Michigan, jobs are expected to increase by 15 percent during the same time period.
In all 50 states, optometrists must be licensed, have a Doctor of Optometry degree from an accredited university, and have successfully passed a written and clinical state board exam. Every one to three years, continued education is needed for license renewal.