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
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:
- Chiropractor. Adjust spinal column and other articulations of the body to correct abnormalities of the human body believed to be caused by interference with the nervous system. Examine patient to determine nature and extent of disorder. Manipulate spine or other involved area. May utilize supplementary measures, such as exercise, rest, and nutritional therapy.
- Dentist. Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting vitality of teeth.
- Licensed Practical Nurse. Care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.
- Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
- Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
- Orthodontist. Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.
- Physician Assistant. Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
- Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.
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 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.