Optometrists and Orthoptists perform eye examinations and vision tests, prescribe lenses, other optical aids and therapy, and diagnose and manage eye movement disorders and associated sensory problems.

    A bachelor degree in vision science or another related field is needed to work as an Optometrist or Orthoptist. Some Optometrists and Orthoptists complete postgraduate studies.

    Tasks

    • examining patients' eyes and setting tests to determine the nature and extent of vision problems and abnormalities
    • assessing ocular health and visual function by measuring visual acuity and refractive error, and testing the function of visual pathways, visual fields, eye movements, freedom of vision and intraocular pressure, and performing other tests using special eye test equipment
    • detecting, diagnosing and managing eye disease, referring patients to, and receiving referrals from other health providers, and prescribing medications for the treatment of eye disease
    • diagnosing eye movement disorders and defects of binocular function
    • prescribing lenses, contact lenses and low vision aids, and checking suitability and comfort
    • prescribing exercises to coordinate movement and focusing of eyes
    • managing programs for eye movement disorders, and instructing and counselling patients in the use of corrective techniques and eye exercises
    • advising on visual health matters such as contact lens care, vision care for the elderly, optics, visual ergonomics, and occupational and industrial eye safety
    • conducting preventative screening programs
    • conducting rehabilitation programs for the visually impaired

    More about Optometrists and Orthoptists

    All Optometrists and Orthoptists

    All Optometrists and Orthoptists

    • Unavailable Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 7,300 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 64% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 42 hours Average full-time
    • 40 years Average age
    • 58% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Optometrists and Orthoptists (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 7,300 in 2018 to 8,000 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 4,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 800 a year).

    • Size: This is a small occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Optometrists and Orthoptists work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (64%, similar to the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 58% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employers found it hard to fill vacancies for Optometrists in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Optometrists.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    20085200
    20094200
    20102000
    20114800
    20125400
    20133400
    20145600
    20156000
    20165200
    20175300
    20187300
    20238000

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Health Care and Social Assistance96.5
    Retail Trade1.1
    Education and Training0.9
    Financial and Insurance Services0.4
    Other Industries1.1

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateOptometrists and OrthoptistsAll Jobs Average
    NSW36.631.6
    VIC27.825.6
    QLD19.320.0
    SA5.07.0
    WA7.610.8
    TAS1.72.0
    NT0.51.0
    ACT1.51.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketOptometrists and OrthoptistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.2-5.05.0
    20-246.9-9.39.3
    25-3430.2-22.922.9
    35-4424.3-22.022.0
    45-5421.0-21.621.6
    55-599.6-9.09.0
    60-645.3-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.6-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationOptometrists and OrthoptistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate23.2-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree69.4-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.0-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV0.4-21.121.1
    Year 121.8-18.118.1
    Year 110.1-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.2-12.512.5

    A bachelor degree in vision science or another related field is needed to work as an Optometrist or Orthoptist. Some Optometrists and Orthoptists complete postgraduate studies.

    You must also be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or the Australian Orthoptic Board.

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Optometrists and Orthoptists who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Medicine and dentistry

      77% Skill level

      Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

    2. Customer and personal service

      70% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Biology

      67% Skill level

      Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

    4. Psychology

      64% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    5. Mathematics

      58% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1041.00 - Optometrists.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Face-to-face discussions

      98% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    2. Being exact or accurate

      94% Important

      Be very exact or highly accurate.

    3. Telephone

      94% Important

      Talk on the telephone.

    4. Contact with people

      93% Important

      Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

    5. Indoors, heat controlled

      93% Important

      Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1041.00 - Optometrists.

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