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Career and Education Opportunities for Optometrists in Joliet, Illinois

Optometrists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Joliet, Illinois area. There are currently 2,310 jobs for optometrists in Illinois and this is projected to grow by 20% to about 2,760 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for optometrists are expected to grow by about 24.4%. Optometrists generally diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system.

A person working as an optometrist can expect to earn about $47 hourly or $98,380 annually on average in Illinois and about $46 per hour or $96,320 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. 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 .

The Joliet area is home to 132 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Joliet where you can get a degree as an optometrist. Optometrists usually hold a Doctoral degree, so you can expect to spend four or five years training to become an optometrist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years starting with 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.

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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: Joliet, Illinois

Joliet, Illinois
Joliet, Illinois photo by Joliet82

Joliet is situated in Will County, Illinois. It has a population of over 146,125, which has grown by 37.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Joliet, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Joliet are priced at $172,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-four new homes were constructed in Joliet, down from seven hundred sixty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Joliet are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, public administration, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 18.6% of Joliet residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Joliet is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Joliet residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.9%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. All Nation Church of God in Christ, All Saints Greek Orthodox Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church are all churches located in Joliet. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Joliet is home to the Will County Courthouse and the Timber Ridge Business Park as well as Joliet East Side Historic District and Rock Run County Forest Preserve. Shopping centers in the area include Joliet Mall Shopping Center, Caton Crossing Town Square Shopping Center and Twin Oaks Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Joliet can choose from Great Escapes Travel, Hampton Inn Joliet/I-80- IL and Bel-Air Motel for temporary stays in the area.