Optometrists perform eye examinations to determine the presence of vision problems and other eye conditions and disease. They treat or manage these problems by prescribing glasses, contact lenses, optical aids, vision therapy, medication (in the form of eye drops) or referral to an eye surgeon when required.
To become an optometrist you usually have to study optometry at university. Alternatively, you can complete a degree in vision science or a relevant area at university, followed by a postgraduate qualification in optometry. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics are normally required. You may also be required to sit the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT). Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. A number of universities in Australia offer these degrees. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.
Optometrists may perform the following tasks:
Most optometrists are in daily contact with members of the public on a one-on-one basis.
Most graduates enter private practice on completion of their course. Some graduates choose to embark on non-clinical careers that make use of their skills as visual scientists. Most non-clinical positions are in universities and research organisations or with companies involved in the manufacture of optical instruments and lenses. As optometry becomes more diversified, there are increasing opportunities for specialisation in areas such as ocular disease, sports vision, childrenâ€™s vision and industrial vision practices.