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Optometrist

Optometrist

A satisfying career caring for people’s vision.

What's it like to be an Optometrist?

An Optometrist is a health care professional who provides primary eyecare through comprehensive eye examinations to detect and treat various visual abnormalities and eye diseases. They have an intimate knowledge of the workings of the eye and visual systems. Optometrists use a variety of complex techniques and instruments to understand their patients’ needs.

Tasks and duties

  • Conducting eye examinations by taking a detailed case history to determine what visual problems the patient may be experiencing, as well as other relevant information about their health and visual needs.
  • Performing tests in order to detect and diagnose eye disease, such as glaucoma.
  • Advising patients on their best treatment options. This may include prescribing suitable spectacles, contact lenses or eye exercises, prescribing medications to treat infections or other eye diseases, or giving advice on lighting, visual habits or other issues.

What can I earn as an Optometrist?

The most common salary  for an Optometrist is between $100k and $120k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become an Optometrist

You can study an optometry degree straight out of high school or as a graduate student. Both paths require you to complete high school with an appropriate ATAR score. From high school, you may need to register for and sit the Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT). As a graduate student, you may need to register for and sit the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT).
  1. Complete an undergraduate optometry degree, or alternatively, a degree in vision science or a related area followed by a postgraduate qualification in optometry.
  2. It’s important you check the entry requirements to properly understand the different course requirements. 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.
  3. Register with the Optometry Board of Australia. There is national legislation controlling the practice of optometry in Australia; only registered optometrists can practise optometry.

Explore optometry pathway qualifications

Browse pathway qualifications to becoming a qualified Optometrist.

Duration 3 yrs - 6 yrs
1 institutions offering this qualification
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Duration 3 yrs - 6 yrs
2 institutions offering this qualification
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Communication skills
  • Australian health practitioner regulation agency (ahpra)
  • Results orientation
  • Coaching
  • Self motivation

Shortlisted applicants have:

  • Time management
  • Adaptability
  • People management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ms office proficiency
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Optometrists rate their role?

Latest reviews from 10 Optometrists surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews

5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Vision Science and Masters of Optometry
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
The good things
Optometry is a flexible career, well remunerated with the ability to specialise and advance in areas of interest. It gives you the opportunity to help people, to give back to the community, to literal...
The challenges
Optometry is definitely a.. work smarter not harder occupation. Understanding your own limits and knowing when to refer to your colleagues to ensure best outcomes for your patient is very important. I...
3 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Graduate certificate in ocular therapeutics
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
The good things
Flexible hours. Not much work outside hours
The challenges
Demanding customers
5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Medical retina and ophthalmic lasers
The good things
My job is very appealing to the customers i.e. patients, they most likely are satisfied about being treated from their complaints. It is an elite level job. It is not boring by being always evolving...
The challenges
It is time consuming , takes long years of one's life to reach specialization level. Has a very hard learning curve. Sometimes stressful , when thinking of the patients who go through complications...
5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of vision science
Experience
5 - 9 years
Specialisation
Vision rehabilitation
The good things
I can simply say tha our roles is to bring life back to people who has vision impairment. We make then believe in themselves again. We bring smile back on their faces. Because we care about their visi...
The challenges
It might sounds depressing to deal with people with vision impairments, but it is the opposite. Because when the patient leaves the clinic with a smile on their face is just pricelesee.
5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor Applied Science Optometry
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
The good things
It is a privilege to be able to help people with their vision needs. They trust and rely on us from prescribing the best pair of glasses for their visual needs to detection and referral of ocular dis...
The challenges
Time pressure is a challenge.You may get someone walk into the practice when you are already fully book that you need to see immediately if vision threatening such as retinal detachment. Foreign body ...
5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Optometry
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Optometrist
The good things
I am working on Optometrist role in good location.
The challenges
No idea
3 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of social media marketing
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
The good things
I love it ti change the look of someone with a pair of new glasses and to give them.the gift so see
The challenges
When people are rude and not understanding
5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Optometry UNSW
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Children’s vision
The good things
Potential for high earning if self employed in own house close to s major shopping centre because the lease contract s are a joke
The challenges
Metro positions hard so new grads will have to go regional
5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Doctorate degree in Optometry
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Refraction, diagnosing and treating eye diseases, ocular manifestation of systemic diseases, contact lens dispensary and glasses
The good things
As an Optometrist, you will get less emergency cases and will barely Have cases of death in the Hospital. As an Optometrist, you will see less or no cases of fatal accident that will make you scare ...
The challenges
Challenges in any field makes us grow stronger in knowledge in that field. Firstly, you may face challenges of language which may be limiting factor for proper interaction with patients when taking c...
5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Doctor of Optometry
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Clinical Optometrist
The good things
No two patients are the same. Each visit involves various levels of troubleshooting. From hyper-acute injuries to helping someone see a little better. The conversations along the way make every intera...
The challenges
Sometimes you can’t have all the answers. Knowing your limits an boundaries is the safest practice for you and your patients. Optometry is set in a vast community of allied health professionals. Refer...
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Optometrists?

Find out how the job market is trending

Job opportunities

Optometrist jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
9.7%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP. Optometrists and Orthoptists
Latest Optometrist jobs on SEEK
Oscar Wylee
Brisbane > CBD & Inner Suburbs
We are passionate about eye care just as much as you are! Join Oscar Wylee at Myer Center or Albert Street as our amazing Full Time Optometrist !
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Abernethy Owens Optometrists
Perth
Full/Part time Optometrist required, working with experienced Optometrists and qualified Optical Dispensers for south of the river position
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Oscar Wylee
Hobart
Hello Tasmania! We can't wait to meet you next year! We are passionate about eye care just as much as you are! Join Oscar Wylee at Hobart as a Ful
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Bupa
Melbourne > CBD & Inner Suburbs
Opportunity to join the freshest name in eye care!
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data