Optometrists are highly educated and well trained primary eye-care providers. As important members of the health-care team, optometrists treat ocular diseases such as glaucoma, co-manage refractive procedures, fit medical devices such as contact lenses and prostheses, prescribe therapeutic medications, and treat amblyopia as well as binocular vision disorders. Additionally, optometrists are instrumental in referring patients to health-care specialists after the detection of ocular signs of systemic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
In today's market, practice opportunities for optometrists abound. Optometrists may elect to practice individually, join group practices, teach, conduct valuable research, participate in health-care administration, or practice in military and public health-care settings. Optometrists are also important consultants in workplace designs, highway lighting, aviation, and sports vision.
Data from the American Optometric Association shows the average net incomes ranging from $140,013 for the primary practice of optometry to $172,356 for optometrists who own all or a portion of their practice. (Source: 2016 AOA Survey of Optometric Practice)
As the third largest independent healthcare profession, optometry continues to have a very promising outlook. The demand for optometric services is expected to rise, according to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Optometry Association (AOA) in part because: