Optometrists do eye examinations to find the presence of vision problems and other eye conditions and disease. They treat or manage these problems by prescribing glasses, contact lenses, optical aids, vision therapy, medication (in the form of eye drops) or referral to an eye surgeon when required.
Where optometrists are employed
Most graduates enter private practice on completion of their course. Some graduates choose to embark on non-clinical careers that make use of their skills as visual scientists. Most non-clinical positions are in universities and research organisations or with companies involved in the manufacture of optical instruments and lenses. As optometry becomes more diversified, there are increasing opportunities for specialisation in areas such as ocular disease, sports vision, children's vision and industrial vision practices.
Full-time optometrists in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.
In 2011 there were 125 people employed full-time as optometrists in South Australia compared with 115 in 2006.
How to become one
To become an optometrist you usually have to study optometry at university. Alternatively, you can complete a degree in biomedicine or vision science at university followed by a postgraduate qualification in optometry.
For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).
Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.
For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).
Licensing or registration requirements
In Australia you must be registered with the Optometry Board of Australia to work as an optometrist.
Recognition of qualifications and skills obtained outside Australia
If you have overseas gained qualifications you must successfully complete the Competency in Optometry Examination offered by The Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ).
After successful completion of the examination you must then refer to the Board to meet their requirements for registration.
For information about assessment of overseas qualifications, and looking for work in Australia visit Recognition of overseas qualifications or contact Specialist Migrant Services on 08 8303 2450 or email email@example.com.
Career information has been sourced from government publications. See data sources
for more information.