What does an Optometrist do?
The primary role of an Optometrist is to provide quality eye and vision care to patients. Optometrists perform comprehensive eye and vision tests and diagnose eye defects, such as glaucoma, cataracts, impaired vision and other issues. They prescribe medications, appointments and followups. Optometrists can educate their patients on general eye care procedures and how to improve their vision. Typically, Optometrists are employed by GP practices, laboratories, NHS facilities, hospitals and retail stores.
Optometrist skills and qualifications
A successful Optometrist candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform their duties effectively. These include:
- Knowledge of how to use eye examination tools and vision testing equipment such as retinoscopes and tonometers
- Ability to provide practical diagnoses of eye and vision defects and discover conditions like cataracts or glaucoma
- Accuracy and manual dexterity in performing delicate eye surgeries
- Sales aptitude in recommending or selling vision care products that meet the needs of their patients
- Excellent written and oral communication skills to explain concepts to patients
- Interpersonal skills to build positive relationships with patients, colleagues and vendors
Optometrist experience requirements
Optometrist candidates must be experienced in both the healthcare and retail side of a vision care practice. In practices that focus on the medical side of optometry, Optometrists must have experience in standard optometric procedures, including surgery. Some organisations require candidates to have managerial or sales experience in the optometric industry. In organisations that perform advanced optometric surgeries, requiring lasers and robotics, Optometrists need several years of experience with their employer’s core services.
Optometrist education and training requirements
Optometrist candidates must have degrees that are accredited by the General Optical Council. This includes a one-year preregistration of paid and supervised work placement. Optometric practices may also employ a Dispensing Optician with the relevant training in optometry. Some organisations prefer candidates who have volunteered or worked in a healthcare-related organisation such as NHS. In practices that specialise in the retail side of optometry, candidates will need customer service and sales training.
Optometrist salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for Optometrist candidates in the UK is £53,669 per year. Individual salaries vary according to the employer, the location, the candidate’s education and experience levels and the specific job duties and responsibilities of the position.
Job description samples for similar positions
Here are job description samples for related positions if you are not looking to employ an Optometrist: