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Home » How To Become An Optometrist: Career, Salary and Skills 2022

How To Become An Optometrist: Career, Salary and Skills 2022

How To Become An Optometrist

How To Become An Optometrist: Career, Salary and Skills 2022

Now that you’ve finished high school, it’s time to decide which degree to study. In this post we are going to tell you about the degree in Optometry. This is a good option if you are interested in health care and would like to study something more specialized than Medicine.

Stay in the article. Here we are going to talk to you about the universities where you can study it, what you can do as an optometrist, what is the salary you can aspire to and some of the advantages and disadvantages of studying this career.

We hope this information helps you make one of the most important decisions of your life.

What Is An Optometrist?

Optometrist is defined as the specialty in charge of primary care visual health. What is it then? It is the professional who works as an optometrist.

It has the legal capacity and authorization to diagnose visual health. Composed of accommodative, refractive, structuring and sight motor elements. He prescribes medications in order to deal with the refractive, binocular and sensory problems of the person to be treated.

He is trained to study and diagnose diseases, pathologies and the visual system. It is here when they recommend or work under the collaboration of ophthalmologist specialists.

What is the career in Optometry?

Optometry is the discipline that is responsible for the primary care of visual health. This is achieved through actions of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and correction of refractive, accommodative, muscular and ocular diseases. Optometry also deals with the design, calculation, fitting and control of contact lenses and ophthalmic lenses.

Optometry, in addition to preventing, is also in charge of detecting and solving various visual problems. One of the most important objectives of this race is to achieve the maximum and best visual performance with the minimum level of fatigue and fatigue for the eyes.

For this, in this career, not only the refractive state of the eyes is studied, but also the aspects that may influence in some way the development and visual learning.

In addition, he is dedicated to studying and investigating the possible causes of binocular dysfunctions . For example, habits related to body posture when reading and reading distance. As well as all the elements of the environment or environment. As are the lighting, the type of furniture and/or the colors.

Optometry is dedicated to the care and operation of the visual system at short distances. For example reading, writing, precision work, or activities that involve spending a lot of time in front of a screen. Because it is during the performance of these activities where most visual problems are generated.

What does a Bachelor of Optometry do?

The graduate in Optometry is a professional who was trained in the health area During their training, optometrists acquire the values, knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for prevention, promotion and research. The above in order to detect and diagnose any alteration of the visual system. 

In this way it achieves the treatment, rehabilitation and monitoring of any problem related to the visual system In addition, he is trained to know and relate any other type of systemic disease that may affect health and visual functioning.

A graduate in Optometry is the professional who is trained with broad and solid scientific, humanistic, technological and ethical knowledge in order to carry out health diagnoses.

This is how they have the tools to choose and execute the appropriate treatment for patients with visual problems. This is also how they manage to develop and disseminate activities that promote visual health care in different sectors of society.

In addition to everything we tell you, optometrists have the goal of preserving and improving the visual health of individuals and communities in different social contexts.

Where does a graduate in Optometry work?

Optometry graduates can find work in the following professional spaces:

  • Private office. By opening your own office you can attend patients for the diagnosis and treatment of any problem related to their visual health. In this way, you will not only treat diseases, but you can help prevent and care for the eyes of people of different ages.
  • Public or private institutions of the health sector. For example, hospitals or specialized clinics. In any of these places you will have the opportunity to apply educational processes aimed at individuals, families and society with a preventive approach. In such a way that people learn to establish healthy behaviors in their daily lives.

Other fields:

  • Teaching and research. You can work as a professor and researcher in Universities or in specialized laboratories. You can find work in a private laboratory, such as those that pharmaceutical companies or those dedicated to manufacturing lenses have. There is also the opportunity to work in research centers of public institutions. For example in various institutes of the UNAM or the IPN.

How Much Does a Bachelor of Optometry Make?

An optometrist in Mexico has a monthly salary of between $8,000 and $10,000. For example, an optometrist who works in a private practice in Mexico City, either an intern or a graduate, can earn 8,500 MXN.

It is important that you consider that the salary you earn will depend on where you work. If it is your own office or if you work in a clinic together with other specialists.

Also consider that the salary is related to how many clients you have and the number of sessions you schedule. This will depend on the type of service that patients need. For example, if they are only routine consultations or if they have a problem or annoyance.

It is also important that you consider that the salary of a recent graduate is usually lower than that of someone with more experience. Like almost all health care careers, you have to keep preparing. For example, taking courses, workshops, diplomas, specialties or postgraduate courses. Being better prepared gives you better opportunities to get a better job or so that over time, your practice will have more demand for patients.

Also, do not stop considering studying a specialty or a postgraduate degree. Master’s scholarships are approximately $13,000 and PhD scholarships are $15,000 MXN.

Optometry Curriculum

In all the universities that we send you above, this career is taken semester. This means that the subjects are organized in blocks of 5 or 6 subjects for every 6 months. In these same universities, the career lasts between 8 and 9 semesters, that is, between 4 and 4 and a half years.

To obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Optometry, it is necessary that you accredit all subjects, both theoretical and those that involve laboratory practice. In addition to that you have to fulfill a social service, professional practices and write a thesis.

Optometry Subjects

The following are just some subjects that are studied in this degree. Remember that each University has its own study plan and the subjects may vary. We recommend that you review each of them so that you can make a more informed decision.

  • Biochemistry
  • Morphology
  • Basic Optometric Instrumentation
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Systemic diseases with ocular repercussions
  • Pharmacology
  • Bioethics in Optometry
  • Visual therapy
  • Contact lens seminar

How to become an optometrist?

Optometrists must complete a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree program and obtain a license to practice in a particular state. OVERDOSE. The programs take 4 years to complete and most students have a bachelor’s degree before entering such a program.


Optometrists need an O.D. degree. In 2015, there were 23 O.D. programs in the United States, one of which was in Puerto Rico.

Applicants for O.D. Programs must have completed at least 3 years of post-secondary education. Required courses include biology or zoology, chemistry, physics, English, and mathematics. Most students have a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in biological or pre-medical sciences before enrolling in an O.D. Program.

Applicants for O.D. Programs must also take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), a computerized exam that assesses applicants in four subject areas: science, reading comprehension, physics, and quantitative reasoning.

OVERDOSE. Programs take 4 years to complete. They combine classroom learning and supervised clinical experience. Course work includes anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, optics, visual science, and the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the visual system.

After finishing an O.D. degree, some optometrists complete a 1-year residency program to gain advanced clinical training in the area in which they wish to specialize. Areas of expertise for residency programs include family medicine, low vision rehabilitation, pediatric or geriatric optometry, and eye disease, among others.

Licenses, certifications and registrations

All states require optometrists to be licensed. To obtain a license, a potential optometrist must have a D.O. degree from an accredited school of optometry and must complete all sections of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam.

Some states require individuals to pass an additional clinical exam or an exam on laws related to optometry. All states require optometrists to take continuing education classes and renew their license periodically. Each state’s board of optometry can provide information on licensing requirements.

Optometrists who wish to demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge may choose to be certified by the American Board of Optometry.

Frequently Asked Questions: How To Become An Optometrist?

How many years does it take to become an optometrist?

There are some variations, but generally the high school pathway takes 3.5 to 5 years to complete, while the graduate pathway takes 7 years.

Is it hard to become a optometrist?

The Challenges of the Optometry Program

As Dr. McDevitt puts it, “Optometry school can be very intensive—it covers lots of disciplines from physics to biology to psychology. It’s certainly hard work and stressful at times, but very rewarding to be learning about such an interesting field. ‘Eye stuff’ is not just eyes.

Do optometrists get paid well?

An optometrist earns an average salary of $86,306 a year, with salaries ranging from $61,989 to $115,912.

Is becoming an optometrist worth it?

Optometry can certainly be a rewarding career as it helps people improve their eyesight and maintain eye health. And along with this eye care career an OD can earn a nice living. Even though incomes have leveled off, the cost of optometry school continues to rise.

Is optometry a dying profession?

But optometry isn’t dying. Indeed, the need for optometrists is going to be greater than ever in the coming decade. Our current population of 315 million will swell to almost 350 million by 2025. More important, the percentage of our population age 65 or older will increase by 50%, from 12% to 18%.

Is optometrist a doctor?

An optometrist is not a medical doctor. They receive a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by at least three years of college. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care.

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