A career in optometry

If you're looking for a varied and rewarding career that makes a real difference to people's lives, why not take a look at a career in optometry?

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Can you see yourself as an optometrist?

Optometrists can make a big difference to people's lives. Their skills and knowledge helps to improve vision and diagnose and manage a range of eye conditions. They can also alert patients to life changing and life threatening illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a brain tumour.  

There are all sorts of opportunities and roles within optometry - you could be working with the general public and carrying out eye examinations in a high street optometrists, treating specific eye conditions in a hospital or clinic or carrying out essential research in a university or laboratory. You could also be working with people with low vision or developing and fitting cutting-edge contact lenses for all kinds of eye conditions. If you have the right skills, you could work all over the world and one day you could be running your own business or department.


What is an optometrist?

Previously known as ophthalmic opticians, optometrists are primary health care specialists trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases or abnormality and problems with general health.

Community optometrist

Most optometrists work on the high street, carrying out eye examinations on patients of all ages with all kinds of conditions, and advising them on how to look after their eyes and vision.

Hospital optometrist

As a hospital optometrist you will be working as part of a larger health care team, providing specialist support.

IP optometrist

Once, you have qualified as an optometrist, there are a number of career paths open to you that will enable to follow your interests, take on more responsibility and progress in your career.


There is so much still to discover about the eye and vision and detecting and treating eye conditions. Research is helping to extend our knowledge and shaping the profession.

Domiciliary optometrist

Domiciliary optometrists get out into their local community - making sure that those who can't visit the examining room can still receive high quality eye health care.

Frequently asked questions

What is an optometrist? Is optometry the right career for me? Where can I study? If you have questions about a career in optometry - we have the answers!


Optometry is about helping people to see as well and as clearly as possible. Your knowledge can make a real difference to people's lives every day.

Dr Susan Blakeney FCOptom