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Career and Education Opportunities for Optometrists in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for optometrists. There are currently 850 jobs for optometrists in Missouri and this is projected to grow by 2% to 860 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 $43 hourly or $91,020 per year on average in Missouri. Nationally, their income is about $46 per hour or $96,320 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Ophthalmology, people working as optometrists in Missouri earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Ophthalmology nationally. Jobs in this field include: doctor, doctor of optometry , and optometry doctor .

The St. Louis area is home to seventy-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree as an optometrist. Given that the most common education level for optometrists is a Doctoral degree, 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 St. Louis include:

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EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Optometrist Training

University of Missouri-St Louis - Saint Louis, MO

University of Missouri-St Louis, One University Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400. University of Missouri-St Louis is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,591 students and an admission rate of 46%. University of Missouri-St Louis has a professional degree program in Optometry which graduated thirty-eight students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.