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Job Description

Optometrists examine patients eyes to detect disease or other conditions, test their eye sight, prescribe glasses or contact lenses and refer patients to other specialists for further treatment if necessary.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You'll need to get a degree in optometry, approved by the General Optical Council (GOC).

You'll also complete a one-year pre-registration paid and supervised work placement, with a registered optometrist, and pass the GOC final assessment to qualify.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science

Click here to search for a suitable course.


If you're working as a dispensing optician, you could retrain in optometry.

You'll need to complete an approved optometry degree and pre-registration year.

Career Tips

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in a healthcare setting before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults.

Career Path and Progression

You could specialise in an area like paediatrics (working with children), contact lenses, sports vision or low vision.

You could study for an MSc in optometry or train further in contact lens practice, therapeutics (prescribing drugs for certain eye problems) or specific conditions like diabetes and glaucoma.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Dispensing optician
  • Orthoptist

Required Skills

  • The ability to analyse scientific and mathematical data
  • Good concentration
  • Precision and attention to detail
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to maintain concentration
  • Ability to put people at ease
  • Adaptability - to new technologies and techniques

Salary Range

£31,365 to £62,001

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