It’s not a career that I had ever really thought about until a friend mentioned it, but recently, my eyes have been opened to the prospect of budding healthcare professionals becoming an optometrist.
Eggs-ploring any new career path can be a little intimidating, so I’ve put together a quick guide to the role to help you get familiar!
Interested in learning more about careers in healthcare? Check out the latest articles in TalentEgg’s Healthcare Career Guide!
How do you become an optometrist?
Optometrists require seven to eight years of post-secondary education to obtain their professional designation, Doctor of Optometry (OD).
Educational requirements generally include:
- A minimum of three years of undergraduate education*, preferably in the sciences;
* In Québec two years of CEGEP is accepted at the undergraduate level.
- A four or five year university program in optometry, accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.
- Upon completion of the course in optometry, the graduate is required to satisfy provincial board requirements in the province or territory in which they intend to practice. This process also includes a national examination directed by the Canadian Examiners in Optometry. Licensing by the provincial or territorial governing body is required to ensure the public gets the highest quality optometric care.
Where can you get your education?
There are two schools of optometry here in Canada and 20 in the United States (that are also accredited and recognized in Canada).
How much does it cost?
The cost of studying optometry in Canada varies from $60,000 – $70,000. While this may be a hefty amount, you can always apply for government assistance. Education fees in the United States are considerably higher, ranging from $175,000 – $200,000. Additionally, if you decide to open up your own practice, costs include the equipment, rent and the inventory of lenses, frames, contact lenses and lens solutions.
How much can you expect to earn?
As an optometrist with 0 years of experience, you could start off by earning anything from $50,000 to $90,000 per year. However, as you gain more and more experience, your earnings can vary from $100, 000 and up. Your income will depend on several factors such as coverage under provincial medical programs, your fee structure, hours worked, practice location, services provided and patient base.
For more information, visit the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) website