If you’re looking for a challenging career in healthcare that offers lots of job satisfaction, working in optics may be the answer. As well as treating and caring for eyes, optometry is about using your skills and technical understanding to make a real difference to people’s quality of life. Whether you’re still at school, considering a degree in optometry at college, or thinking about a change of direction, this website explains what you need to know before entering the profession.

Working in the optical profession requires a unique blend of technical knowledge and people skills. As an optometrist, you focus on science-led theory and practice, learning about the mechanics of the eye and how to test and manage eye conditions. And you continue to learn after your optometry degree, too.

Download the General Optical Council fact sheet ‘A career in vision care‘ that includes information on approved training courses, tuition fees, and useful careers links.

In the video below Optometrist Gemma Hill discusses the benefits of working in independent practice.

In the video below Optometrist Zetun Arif discusses a day in the life of a domiciliary optometrist.


Optometrists study at university for at least three years and must participate in a period of assessed clinical training in practice, before being deemed to have the knowledge and skills needed to be registered. Once registered, Optometrists have the opportunity to take further qualifications and develop their interests in specialist areas of practice. Read more »

Dispensing Optician

Dispensing opticians advise on, fit and supply spectacle frames and lenses after taking account of each patient’s lifestyle and vocational needs. Dispensing opticians are also able to fit contact lenses after undergoing further specialist training. Read more »

Ophthalmic Medical Practitioner

Ophthalmic Medical Practitioner (OMPs) are registered medical practitioners who have undertaken postgraduate training in ophthalmology. Like optometrists, they examine eyes, test sight, diagnose abnormalities and prescribe suitable corrective lenses. Read more »

Optical Assistant

Optical assistants and clinical assistants are the first point of contact when a patient visits a practice. They make sure that any necessary paperwork is completed before a patient sees the optometrist. The support team is highly trained and can advise on suitable spectacle frames and lenses as well as instruct patients on how to use contact lenses safely. Read more »