what is an optometrist?
An optometrist is a healthcare professional who specialises in diagnosing and treating issues and conditions related to the human eye. In this role, you are trained to examine your customers' eyes and vision, as well as to diagnose and manage conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
You may choose to become certified in a subspecialty of optometry, such as paediatrics, low vision, or contact lenses. Regardless of whether you specialise, your duties include performing comprehensive eye examinations, prescribing contact and corrective lenses, and diagnosing various eye conditions. You also occasionally collaborate with other healthcare professionals if it is in the patient's best interests. These professionals include ophthalmologists who specialise in diagnosis.
As an optometrist, you work in various settings, from private practices to clinics, and even retail optician chains. In addition to your specialist training, you use excellent interpersonal and communication skills to ensure your customers' comfort and ease. Strong attention to detail is necessary for this line of work, as the health and well-being of your customers can otherwise be put at risk.
Would working as an optometrist suit your compassionate nature and attention to detail? Keep reading to find out what qualifications and competencies you need to find success in this career.optometrist roles available
average salary of an optometrist
According to Payscale, the average annual salary of an optometrist in India is around ₹312,054 per year. This figure includes factors like commission, bonuses, and profit-sharing. The full range of salaries for this role starts at around ₹146,000 for entry-level positions and goes up to roughly ₹624,000 for the highest earners in the field. Optical shops in India are run like regular businesses, so the potential to own or part-own your own business is there.
factors that affect optometrist's pay
As an optometrist, your salary can depend on many factors. As you might expect, your level of experience will play a role, with more experience often leading to a higher salary. Qualifications can also affect earnings, but not as much as other jobs. Most optometrists in India have completed a bachelor's degree in Optometry. After that, additional qualifications provide a diminishing return in terms of salary.
An exception to that rule is specialities. If you decide to specialise in a particular area of optometry—which requires additional education and training—you put yourself in a position to earn a higher salary. Clinical experience can also help you command higher pay, as optometrists with experience have hands-on training in the diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions
types of optometrists
Optometrists can specialise in a range of areas. Doing so can increase the demand for your skills as you excel in your part of the field. Some of the most common types of optometrists are:
- contact lens optometrist: in this role, you specialise in the fitting and management of contact lenses. Customers come to you for comprehensive eye exams and, if necessary, prescriptions for contact lenses and information about the proper use and care of contact lenses.
- clinical optometrist: as a clinical optometrist, you provide eye exams and, where appropriate, diagnoses and treatments for eye conditions, as well as prescriptions for lenses.
- vision therapy optometrist: in this role, you specialise in treating various visual problems. You will use a variety of techniques and recommend various exercises to help your patients improve their visual skills.
- low vision optometrist: this type of optometrist works specifically with patients who have low vision, which is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by lenses.
- ocular disease optometrist: in this role, you specialise in diagnosing and managing diseases related to the eye. That involves carrying out eye exams, diagnosing and treating disease, and coordinating with other healthcare professionals to get your patients the best care possible.
working as an optometrist
Are you wondering what a optometrist does daily? Read on to find out a optometrist's work routine and duties.
duties and responsibilities
The specific duties of an optometrist include:
- performing eye exams: one of your main duties as an optometrist is carrying out eye exams. You test for various reasons, including testing for eye conditions, determining what prescription lens a patient needs, or just a routine checkup.
- prescribing corrective lenses: on occasions when patients need corrective lenses or contact lenses, you handle these prescriptions so that the patient can get the correct lenses for their needs.
- educating patients: educating customers and patients is typically part of the role of an optometrist. This education includes things like keeping their eyes safe from injury, maintaining good eye health, and managing any eye conditions they may have.
- diagnosing and treating eye conditions: when a patient has an eye condition, your role is to treat the condition—perhaps after diagnosis. You may also prescribe medication to help with the condition.
- monitoring chronic eye conditions: you help patients with chronic eye conditions manage the condition with regular eye tests, treatment, prescriptions, and advice.
- collaborating with healthcare professionals: when a condition or situation warrants it, you collaborate with healthcare professionals to ensure your patient gets the necessary care they need for their situation.
Your environment as an optometrist in India can vary on a broad scale. You may work in a medical institution, such as a hospital, or you could work in a retail setting. Regardless of the wider setting, your immediate environment will be professional and clean. Optometrists work with eyes and require a clean environment to ensure they do not create more problems than they solve.
In most cases, you do not have to travel for your work as an optometrist. The most common exception to this is if you work for a medical institution with several locations, or eye care centres with more than one centre. In these cases, you may be expected to travel between locations.
who are your colleagues?
As an optometrist, your immediate colleagues are typically other optometrists who work in the same location as you. You also work closely with healthcare professionals when a patient's needs require it, such as ophthalmologists specialising in eye conditions and your patient's primary caregivers.
For the most part, your schedule as an optometrist will follow a standard work week of around 40 hours through the week. However, longer hours are not uncommon. Your schedule may include unsociable hours, such as working at weekends. This is often the case if you work for an optical shop in a retail setting, where most of your business will fall outside the typical work week.
It is not common for optometrists to be required for emergency callouts, as healthcare professionals will handle anything urgent enough to require emergency attention.
The job outlook for optometrists in India is very positive. The demand for this profession is set to grow in the coming years, and it already pays quite well compared to average salaries in India.
advantages of finding an optometrist job through randstad
Finding your optometrist job through Randstad provides important advantages such as:
- a wide variety of training and development opportunities
- an experienced contact person to provide help if needed
- a range of opportunities in your area
- get paid weekly or monthly, depending on the job
- temporary and permanent contracts
Want a permanent contract? A temporary job as an optometrist is often a stepping stone to an attractive permanent job. Every year, thousands of people earn a permanent contract with great employers thanks to a temporary job found through Randstad. What's more, many companies recruit their permanent employees through Randstad too!
education and skills
Some of the academic qualifications for optometrists include:
- 12-science: your first step to becoming an optometrist is to get your 12-science, preferably (but not necessarily) in biology. This is essential for anyone interested in pursuing this profession.
- bachelor's degree: getting a bachelor's degree in optometry is a minimum requirement in India. You may consider a diploma in ophthalmic assistance technology instead, but that alone will not enable you to become an optometrist, whereas a bachelor's degree often does.
- master's degree: though not essential to becoming an optometrist, a master's degree can improve your chance of being hired in the first place and increase your potential salary. If you opted to study for a diploma in ophthalmic assistance technology instead of a bachelor's degree, your next step would be a postgraduate diploma in optometry.
skills and competencies
Some of the qualities of an optometrist include:
- attention to detail: problems and conditions related to the human eye can be subtle and easy to miss. Good attention to detail helps you avoid making mistakes that could adversely affect someone's health.
- communication and interpersonal skills: during the course of an average day as an optometrist, you might see dozens of patients. Strong communication and interpersonal skills help you learn everything you need from your patient, as well as adequately convey any information you need them to have.
- compassion: part of your role involves giving people unpleasant news. In these situations, being able to show compassion for the individual will be a crucial aspect of your job.
- computer proficiency: much of your work involves using computers in various capacities, from standard administrative software to specialist optometry software.
FAQs about working as an optometrist
Here are some common questions about working as a optometrist:
is an optometrist a doctor in India?
Optometrists in India are healthcare professionals specialising in primary vision care and administering eyesight tests. While they can prescribe certain treatments and corrective lenses, they are not medical doctors.
how much do optometrists make in India?
Optometrists in India make an average of ₹312,054 per year. This figure falls almost centrally in the overall pay spectrum for the role, with entry-level positions earning upwards of ₹146,000 and the highest earners bringing in ₹624,000.
are optometrists in demand in India?
Optometry is a field that is in high demand in India and is expected to grow in the coming years.
can optometrists open their own clinic in India?
The option to open a clinic is there for optometrists in India. A person would need many years of experience working as an optometrist first, however, and would also need the capital to start a business.
how do I apply for an optometrist vacancy?
Applying for an optometrist job is easy: create a Randstad profile and search our job offers for vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!