Optometrists and Orthoptists
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.
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
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 11,400 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 64% of people employed as Optometrists and Orthoptists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is similar to the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Optometrists and Orthoptists work in the Health care and social assistance industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Optometrists and Orthoptists||All Jobs Average|
Around 73% of Optometrists and Orthoptists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Optometrists and Orthoptists is 40 years. This is the same as the all jobs average.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 58% of the workforce. This is 10 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Optometrists and Orthoptists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.6||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in vision science, clinical optometry or another related field is needed to work as an Optometrist or Orthoptist. Some workers have a postgraduate qualification.
Registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or the Australian Orthoptic Board is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Optometrists and Orthoptists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||23.2||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.2||12.5|
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.
Skills and Knowledge
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.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Talking to others.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
55%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
52%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Looking for ways to help people.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
46%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Using maths to solve problems.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
41%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
77%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
70%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
58%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
57%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
56%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
54%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
53%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
49%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
48%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
41%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
39%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
35%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
33%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Read and understand written information.
Communicate by speaking.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
59%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
57%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
See details that are far away.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
78%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
77%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
75%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
73%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
71%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
70%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
69%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
68%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
67%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
65%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
64%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
64%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
63%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
60%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
60%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
58%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
58%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
55%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
55%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
53%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Talk with people face-to-face.
94%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Talk on the telephone.
93%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
93%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
92%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
92%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Use electronic mail.
90%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
90%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
88%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
87%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Work with people in a group or team.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
80%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
80%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Work to strict deadlines.
73%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
71%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
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.