Optometrists

(NOC 3121)

in All Health

Optometrists examine eyes and diagnose ocular diseases and disorders. They prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses and recommend treatments such as exercises to correct vision problems or ocular disorders. They work in private practice, clinics and community health centres.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Optometrists most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 44% of Optometrists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $25,189. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$64,009

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$25.50

Median

$41.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Optometrists examine eyes and diagnose ocular diseases and disorders. They prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses and recommend treatments such as exercises to correct vision problems or ocular disorders. They work in private practice, clinics and community health centres.

Job duties

Optometrists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Examine patients' eyes, conduct tests and use ophthalmoscopes, biomicroscopes and other specialized instruments to determine ocular health and visual efficiency.
  • Prescribe treatment (excluding surgery) to maintain, improve and correct vision and manage other ocular disorders.
  • Prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses.
  • Educate and advise patients on contact lens use and care, ocular hygiene, preventive care and maintenance, lighting arrangements, working distances and other safety factors.
  • Refer patients to ophthalmologists or other physicians and surgeons for treatment of ocular or other diseases or conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. // Optometrists may specialize in fitting visual aids for people who are partially blind, fitting contact lenses or correcting special vision problems.

Sample job titles

  • doctor of optometry (OD)
  • optometrist

Skills

This work demands good hand-eye coordination and an aptitude for precision and accuracy. You should be comfortable working with delicate instruments and apparatus. Patience, tact, and the ability to put people at ease are important. You should also have good communication and interpersonal skills. Since most optometrists run their own practices, some business skills would be helpful.

Job requirements

  • Three years of university undergraduate studies in mathematics and sciences and a four-year university program in optometry are required.
  • Licensing by the provincial or territorial regulatory governing body is required.

Other considerations

Earnings depend upon the number of patients served and the services provided. Optometrists who are self-employed have considerable flexibility in their hours of work. Some may work on Saturdays or evenings to meet the needs of their patients.

By the numbers

Quick look

170

employed in 2016

92.0%

employed full-time

79.4%

self employed

54.5%
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45.5%
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43.6

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

77.1%

employed full-time

10.2%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

42.4%

Halifax

27.3%

Northern

12.1%

Cape Breton

12.1%

Southern

9.1%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

100.0%

Health Care and Social Assistance

What is the age of Employment?

33.3%

55-64

22.2%

35-44

22.2%

45-54

22.2%

25-34

Compared to: All Health

31.4%

45-54

27.6%

35-44

20.5%

55-64

15.2%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

96.0%

Master's degree

$99,202 median annual income
8.0%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$52,944 median annual income
8.0%

Doctorate

N/A

Compared to: All Health

39.4%

College certificate or diploma

$36,693 median annual income
27.6%

Bachelor's degree

$57,186 median annual income
7.2%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$83,000 median annual income
6.9%

High school

$24,119 median annual income
5.1%

Master's degree

$87,808 median annual income

Education & training

Optometry (OD)

This program is typically offered by a university school of medicine.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of optometry and that focuses on the principles and techniques for examining, diagnosing and treating conditions of the visual system. These programs include courses in prescribing glasses and contact lenses, other optical aids, corrective therapies, patient counselling, physician referral, practice management, and ethics and professional standards.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Optometrist

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia College of Optometrists
PO Box 9410, Station A
Halifax, NS B3K 5S3
(902) 434-8810
(902) 425-2441

Contacts

Nova Scotia Association of Optometrists
6009 Quinpool Road, Suite 700. PO Box 9410, Station A
Halifax, NS B3K 5S3
Tel: (902) 435-2845
Fax: (902) 425-2441
Canadian Examiners in Optometry
37 Sandiford Drive, Suite 403
Stouffville, ON L4A 7X5
Tel: (905) 642-1373
Fax: (905) 642-3786
Canadian Association of Optometrists
234 Argyle Avenue
Ottawa, ON K2P 1B9
Tel: (888) 263-4676
Fax: (613) 235-2025
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
380 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
Tel: (902) 461-0871
Fax: (902) 461-9572
University of Waterloo - Optometry & Vision Science
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Tel: (519) 888-4567
Fax: (519) 884-8009

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.