How To Become An Optometrist


The Job

Optometrists carry out eye examinations and are trained to recognize, and sometimes treat, eye diseases. Optometrists can prescribe and fit glasses, and with additional training may also prescribe medication. To work as an optometrist you will need to be registered with the General Optical Council (GOC). Registering with the GOC requires that you have successfully completed a three- or four-year optometry degree and undertaken an additional one-year placement with a registered optometrist.

Optometrists must have the ability to communicate well with people and work with a high degree of professionalism.

Annual Salary

Optometrist Salary

Minimum Education Level

Level: Level - 6

Recommended Qualifications

To qualify as an optometrist you will need to complete a Level 6 undergraduate degree from one of the eight universities approved by the General Optical Council, the statutory body for opticians/optometrists. This four-year course is followed by a further ‘pre-registration’ year when you will work in a practice under the supervision of a GOC-registered optometrist. Once you have completed your pre-registration period you will take a final core-competence assessment before you can register with the GOC.

Average Working Hours Per Week = 35-40


Common Working Pattern

Common Working Pattern

Time Taken To Qualify

4 years minimum

What Next/Career Development

Once registered with the GOC, you could develop your career by studying for higher level qualifications, such as an MSc in optometry. You could also specialize in a particular area, such as prescribing drugs for eye diseases or treating problems relating to conditions such as diabetes or glaucoma.

Related Courses

Facts And Figures

Optometry means ‘measurement of sight’.
You must be registered with the General Optical Council to work as an optometrist.
There are only eight universities in the UK approved by the General Optical Council.

(Source: General Optical Council)