Optometrist - Demographic Profile
Optometrists are primary health care specialists trained to perform vision tests, diagnose eye diseases, prescribe glasses and other visual aids, perform minor surgical procedures, provide vision-related treatments, and promote eye health. They are able to work with precision and have the ability to put a nervous patient at ease. Below are the rest of our findings on the demographic profile of optometrists.
- Gender composition: 51.6% of optometrists in the US are male, and 48.4% are female.
- Age by gender: The average age of male optometrists is 50.6 and of female optometrists is 40.6.
- Race and ethnicity: 80.6% of optometrists are white, making it the most common ethnicity in the occupation, and Asians come second, representing 17.7%.
SKILLS AND QUALITIES
- Optometrists are able to work with precision, concentrate while doing repetitive tasks, and are well organized.
- With the ever-changing technology, they are also expected to be able to adapt to new equipment and techniques.
- They must have an interest in health and a desire to improve people's quality of life.
- Optometrists earn an average of $110,359 per year, which is higher than what some financial specialists make in general. Males earn a higher average salary than females, which is $127,659, and females earn an average salary of $91,952.
- Most optometrists are employed by the offices of optometrists industry both by share and by number, but the highest-paid industry for optometrists is offices of physicians.
- In order to become an optometrist, applicants need a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree. Applicants to O.D. programs must have completed at least three years of post-secondary education, which includes courses in biology, chemistry, physics, etc. Most students have a bachelor's degree with a premedical or biological science's emphasis before enrolling in an O.D. program.
- Applicants to O.D. programs must also take a test known as Optometry Admission Test (OAT), which is a computerized exam that tests applicants in subject areas such as science, reading comprehension, physics, and quantitative reasoning.
- O.D. programs take four years to complete. After finishing an O.D. degree, some optometrists complete a one-year residency program to get advanced clinical training in the area in which they wish to specialize.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN OPTOMETRIST
- The responsibilities of an optometrist include performing vision tests and analyzing results; diagnosing eye diseases, such as glaucoma and sight problems (like nearsightedness or farsightedness); prescribing eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other visual aids; performing minor surgical procedures to correct or treat visual issues; providing treatments such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation; and promoting eye health and general health by counseling patients.
- Optometrists work at an average of 40 hours a week, and they spend an average of 30 minutes with a patient.
- The number of people employed as optometrists has been growing at a rate of 10.5%, from 31,930 to 35,276 people.
- Offices of optometrists employ the largest share of optometrists at 76.5%, followed by health & personal care with 6.9%, and hospitals with 5.66%.
- One of the great aspects of optometry is that an optometrist, assuming his or her health holds out, can continue to practice well beyond the normal retirement age of 65.
- An optometrist's extended team includes office and lab managers, opticians, optometric technicians, lab technicians, and optometric assistants.
CHALLENGES FACED BY OPTOMETRISTS
- Factors like population, practice location, budget, and competition may restrict an optometrist's ability to grow.
- Optometrists have to stay current with regulations.
- They also have to deal with staffing issues. Making sure that their staff is composed of the right people is important because they represent the practice.
- Implementing new technology can bring convenient solutions; however, optometrists may have difficulty adopting new technology or training their staff to use new technology.