What is a Doctor of Optometry?

Doctor of Optometry Professional Programs

Optometry Schools and Colleges

Doctors of Optometry (O.D.s/optometrists) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye.  Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.

  • Doctors of Optometry prescribe medications, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and perform certain surgical procedures.

  • Optometrists counsel their patients regarding surgical and non-surgical options that meet their visual needs related to their occupations, avocations, and lifestyle.

  • An optometrist has completed pre-professional undergraduate education in a college or university and four years of professional education at a college of optometry, leading to the doctor of optometry (O.D.) degree. Some optometrists complete an optional residency in a specific area of practice.

  • Optometrists are eye health care professionals state-licensed to diagnose and treat diseases and disorders of the eye and visual system.

-Approved by the AOA Board of Trustees, June 2012


Why should you become an optometrist?

  • Optometry is High in Demand. Employment in optometry is projected to grow by 33 percent through 2020. Optometry also ranks at #12 on CNNMoney's list of America's 100 top jobs.

  • Flexible Work Schedule. The average optometrist works 37.3 hours a week. You have the opportunity to enjoy an enviable work-life balance.

  • Enjoy a Rewarding Career. Optometry offers an average net income of $129,385 across the profession.

  • Personal Gratification. Thanks to your care, a child is no longer apprehensive to participate in class because he can't see the chalkboard. A hockey player is scoring more goals and helping his team succeed. And a grandfather is able to read a book to his grandchildren and create lasting memories.

Click on the link here to view a brochure highlighting how a career in optometry can enrich your life. Doctors of optometry do more than care for a person's eyes—they improve a person's quality of life.