For lots of people interested in a career that offers a great salary, high job satisfaction, and prestige, the medical field is an obvious choice. Doctors are traditionally among the most beloved members of their communities. One of the most attractive options within the medical field is optometry. Optometry gives you all the perks normally associated with being a family physician, surgeon, or other specialist without some of the not-so-good things associated with being a doctor.
Optometry is a rewarding field for those who want to make a difference. They diagnose and treat people who must manage vision disorders, sometime literally giving sight to the blind. Some of their usual duties include testing patients’ vision, fitting people for contacts, and writing prescriptions for glasses.
Optometrists can reasonably expect to work their way up to a six figure salary during their career, but they do work industriously to get where they are. Like any physician, lots of years in school are required, and it is heavy in the math and sciences. A four year Bachelor of Arts degree is the first step, followed by a four year Doctor of Optometry degree. There is a lot of competition to get into optometry schools; there are only seventeen accredited schools in the country. After graduation, there are state board exams to pass, and continuing education is required for regularly scheduled license renewal requirements.
One of the biggest advantages optometrists have over other doctors is better hours. Certainly, an optometrist will never be startled out of bed at midnight to rush to the hospital on a regular basis. Unless an optometrist is working for a big national outfit or there is some extreme emergency, hours are generally restricted to Monday through Friday with no on-call duty scheduled. If you have your own private practice, you will be able to decide your own hours, obviously. Besides normal hours, optometrists suffer a lower stress level than do other physicians. Optometrists seldom hold a person’s life in their hands, and they do not generally lie awake at night wondering about what they could have done differently.
There are many reasons to enter the optometry profession. It is a special opportunity to help people, and you get to sleep in on the weekend!