Optometrist Career

Introduction

Vision is one of the most important essential senses of the human body. Optometry is all about taking care of people’s eyes and vision.

So, if you’re interested in healthcare but don’t want to spend years in medical school, Optometry can be a great career choice. It lets you help people with their vision and make a big difference in their lives.

Who is an Optometrist?

Optometrists are healthcare professionals who specialise in eye care. They examine eyes to check vision problems and eye diseases, prescribe glasses or contact lenses to improve vision and provide treatment for common eye conditions.

 

They are often the first point of contact for people with vision issues and play a key role in maintaining overall eye health.

 

Career Scope as Optometrist

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The job outlook for Optometrists is good, with a projected 10% growth over the next ten years. This is faster than many other jobs because as people get older, they often have more eye problems, like cataracts or macular degeneration.

Also, more people are having trouble with their eyes from using phones and computers a lot. Diabetes is also causing more eye problems for people, so there’s a growing need for Optometrists to help with these issues.

In India and abroad, there are lots of opportunities for Optometrists. The government is even thinking about making eye care services a requirement in all government hospitals, which would create even more jobs for optometrists. Plus, more people are buying glasses and contacts online, so Optometrists who keep up with the latest developments will have an added advantage.

Optometrists can do many different things besides just working in clinics. They can do research, teach, or even start their own eye care businesses. Overall, Optometry offers a chance for a rewarding career where you can help people see better while also having lots of opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Role & Responsibilities of Optometrist

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The primary responsibility of Optometrists is to check and treat the patient’s eyes. They mainly diagnose eye diseases, treat eye injuries, and recommend glasses or contacts for vision correction.

 

Some of the other responsibilities include:

 

  • Test vision and prescribe glasses or contacts if necessary.
  • Look for eye diseases or problems like infections or glaucoma.
  • Remove foreign particles from the patient’s eye.
  • Educate people about how to take care of their eyes, like wearing sunglasses and avoiding too much screen time.
  • Refer patients to eye specialists or doctors if they need more advanced care.
  • Keep up with new developments in eye care and technology.

 

Employment Scope Career Options for Optometrists

Optometrists have huge career options. They can work as teachers, work in safety programs, as consultants for eye care companies, or do research at optometry schools.

Optometrists can work in various companies as Vision Technicians, Vision Consultants, Senior Optometrists, or Research Scientists in Vision Technology.

Some of the top companies that recruit Optometrists are Fortis Healthcare, Titan Eye Plus, Lenskart Solutions, Optum, Lawrence & Mayo, Reliance Industries, etc.

 

 

Career scope for Optometrist in Govt & PSU sector

Optometrists have good career opportunities in the government and public sector (PSU). They can work in government hospitals, health departments, military services, and public sector companies.

Optometrists can work in CGHS dispensaries, ESI Hospitals, NSPB and VI Government of India, and in several other state and central government branches in India.

 

Salary Range

The salary for Optometrists varies as per location, level of experience, and type of employer (private practice, hospital, retail chain, etc.). 

The average salary in India for an Optometrist is around 3 to 4 lacs per annum with little or no experience.  The salary can be increased to around 6 to 10 lacs per annum with experience.

Optometry professionals have various job opportunities in both business and education sectors, with their pay reflecting their skills and years of experience.

 

How to Become an Optometrist?

Bachelor of Optometry is a full-time 3-year course offered by various colleges in India.

To become an Optometrist, you need to follow the below steps:

  • Fulfil the eligibility criteria. Candidates need to pass their Class 12 in Science stream from a recognised board or university. The subjects selected in class 12 should be Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Biology. Some colleges may also have the age criteria like candidates should be minimum 17 years of age and have obtained at least 50% marks.
  • Clear Entrance Exam: Most colleges give admission to students in Optometry courses based on merit. However, some colleges conduct entrance exams to shortlist students. The popular entrance exams conducted for Bachelor of Optometry courses are CUET, GITAM, GAT, TJEE, IUET, KCET, and GUJCET.
  • Complete the Bachelor’s degree: The next step is to complete the Bachelor’s degree program. Candidates can even further pursue the Master’s degree if they are interested.
  • Internship: It is mandatory to complete a 1-year internship after the academic program to become an Optometrist.
  • Apply for a License: After completing the internship, candidates can apply for a state license or certificate from the Optometry Council of India (OCI). A license from OCI is mandatory in India to practice as an Optometrist.

Bachelor of Optometry Syllabus

The Bachelor of Optometry program teaches students a lot about eye care. It covers both theory and practical training. The subjects in the program cover different parts of eye care and how vision works.

The syllabus for the Bachelor of Optometry program is outlined in the below table:

Semester 1

•    General & Ocular Biochemistry

•    Anatomy

•    Geometrical Optics

Semester 2

•    Ocular Anatomy

•    Ocular Physiology

•    Environment and Ecology

Semester 3

•    Visual Optics

•    Pharmacology

•    Ocular Pathology and Microbiology

Semester 4

•    Ophthalmic Lens & Dispensing Optics

•    Clinical Refraction

•    Ophthalmic & Optical Instrumentation

Semester 5

•    Dispensing Optics

•    Contact Lens

•    Binocular Vision & Ocular Motility

Semester 6

•    Systemic Condition & the eye

•    Glaucoma

•    Public Health & Community Optometry

 

Skills Required to Become an Optometrist

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Optometrists mainly focus on patient care. The technical skills and knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of the eye and the ability to diagnose, manage, and treat various eye infections and disorders are imparted to students during the optometry course.

But apart from the technical skills, Optometrists also need to be good at communication and interpersonal skills, time management, problem-solving skills, focus-oriented, listening skills, system analysis, quality control analysis, and critical thinking to ensure effective patient care.

Top Institutes for Optometry Course

Numerous institutes in India offer Optometry courses. Some of the top institutes are listed below:

  • Maharashtra University of Health Science, Nashik
  • Dr DY Patil Vidyapith, Pune
  • Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Science (DMIMS), Wardha
  • Bharti Vidyapith, Pune
  • Armed Forces Medical College, Pune
  • SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai
  • Parul University, Vadodara
  • Rajiv Gandhi Paramedical Institute (RGPI), New Delhi
  • Teerthanker Mahaveer University, UP
  • NIMS University, Jaipur, etc.

 

Fees for Optometry Course

The fees for the Optometry course depend upon the institute, location, duration, and level of the program (undergraduate or postgraduate).

The fees for a Bachelor’s degree in private institutes range between 2 to 5 lacs. For diploma courses, the fees are around 2 to 2.5 lacs. The fees are lower in government colleges as compared to private colleges.

Students opting for a Master’s degree in Optometry from private institutions need to pay around additional 2 to 4 lacs for a 2 year course.

Final Thoughts

Optometry is an exciting part of healthcare. Optometrists help with eye health, from diagnosing problems to giving care. With proper training, they can work in various places like hospitals or eye clinics. It’s a career full of chances to learn and make a difference in people’s lives.

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