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Career and Education Opportunities for Optometrists in Chicago, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for optometrists in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 2,310 jobs for optometrists in Illinois and this is projected to grow 20% to 2,760 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for optometrists, which sees this job pool growing by about 24.4% over the next eight years. In general, optometrists diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system.

Income for optometrists is about $47 hourly or $98,380 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $46 per hour or $96,320 annually. Earnings for optometrists are better than earnings in the general category of Ophthalmology in Illinois and better than general Ophthalmology category earnings nationally. People working as optometrists can fill a number of jobs, such as: doctor, optometry doctor , and doctor of optometry .

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be an optometrist, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Optometrists usually hold a Doctoral degree, so it will take four or five years to learn to be an optometrist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years if you have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Optometrist

Optometrist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, optometrists diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. They also examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment.

Optometrists analyze test results and design treatment plans. They also examine eyes, using observation, instruments and pharmaceutical agents, to establish visual acuity and perception, focus and coordination and to diagnose diseases and other abnormalities such as glaucoma or color blindness. Equally important, optometrists have to prescribe, supply, fit and adjust eyeglasses, contact lenses and other vision aids. They are often called upon to confer with and refer patients to ophthalmologists or other health care practitioners if additional medical treatment is determined needed. They are expected to educate and counsel patients on contact lens care, visual hygiene, lighting arrangements and safety factors. Finally, optometrists examine eyes, using observation, instruments and pharmaceutical agents, to establish visual acuity and perception, focus and coordination and to diagnose diseases and other abnormalities such as glaucoma or color blindness.

Every day, optometrists are expected to be able to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for optometrists to furnish vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation. Somewhat less frequently, optometrists are also expected to educate and counsel patients on contact lens care, visual hygiene, lighting arrangements and safety factors.

Optometrists sometimes are asked to remove foreign bodies from the eye. and prescribe medications to treat eye diseases if state laws permit. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation.

Like many other jobs, optometrists must have exceptional integrity and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

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EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Optometrist Training

Illinois College of Optometry - Chicago, IL

Illinois College of Optometry, 3241 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60616-3878. Illinois College of Optometry is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 613 students. Illinois College of Optometry has a professional degree program in Optometry which graduated 150 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.