How Long Does It Take To Become An Optometrist (And Why)?

How Long Does It Take To Become An Optometrist (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 9 years

Optometrists are doctors associated with the treatment of the eyes. These are also known as doctors of optometry, the latter term being the field of study. They are primarily sought to inquire into the defects in vision. They are also concerned with examining the signs of injuries and similar ocular diseases.

Optometrists are required to conduct a general health appraisal. They offer clinical services and suggest opticals or contact lenses based on them. They also examine problems linked to general human health and administer medicines to help solve eye and other problems.

How Long Does It Take To Become An Optometrist

How Long Does It Take To Become An Optometrist?

Course Time Taken
Undergraduate Degree3-4 years
Optometry School4 years
Internship1 year
Hospital residency program in OphthalmologyMinimum of 3 years

Before attempting to go for an optometrist career, you need to see if you fill all the right boxes. To pursue a career in optometry, you must have completed high school. Only then, you would be eligible to climb up the ladder.

The first step in pursuing your optometrist career is to go for an undergraduate degree from some reputed college. Getting undergraduate degrees related to the optometry branch should be your main focus. You can have a pre-medical, biology or optometry-related degree. Here, the primary focus of the subject curriculum is Science or maths.

Once you complete your undergraduate, you might be required in several countries to go for an Optometry Admission Test. This test shall examine whether the examinee is fit for further study in optometry. Questions related to Natural Sciences, Physics, Reasoning and Comprehension are given.

Once you pass this test, you have to enroll and pass the four-year doctor of optometry program. These programs are a combination of classes with clinical experience. You would be offered courses like vision science, optics, pharmacology, biochemistry and similar others. You would be taught to dealing with aspects of the eye and its disorders and their diagnosis and treatment.

After you complete your optometry program, some countries might require you to go for an internship. You have to go for a practicing optometrist and get yourself into an internship with him. Once you complete your internship, your license may be approved in some countries. Whilst some countries might ask you to go for a four-year Hospital Residency Program in Ophthalmology.

Why Does It Take So Long To Become An Optometrist?

The basic reason why it takes so long to become an optometrist is the serious nature of the job and public duty a person is about to enter into. Becoming a doctor is seen as one of the highest kinds of public service. It calls for respect and public appreciation. You would be in a position to liberate people from their miseries. To reach that position, you need unhinged devotion to your studies. You must learn everything and know how to practically implement them.

Becoming an optometrist would cost you your hard work, more than any financial amount. You need to have a lot of hard work and dedication to go through the process. Patience and diligence are the stepping stones in the 8-year journey to become an optometrist.

Optometry is not an easy course. You need to gather a plethora of knowledge. You need to be thorough with every aspect of the topic. You need to know how to deal with anxious people and calm down. Dealing with people is a complex issue as every human being acts differently.

An optometrist is different from an optician. An optometrist has more advanced knowledge than an optician. Although both require a legal license, an optician works as an associate to an optometrist or as a separate optics retailer.


Optometry is a very rigorous course to pursue as a career. It may take at least 9 years of preparation to become a licensed practician. Additionally, the student may sometimes require a three years hospital residency program at ophthalmology.

The course to become an optometrist is long and hard. You will be given both theoretical knowledge and vocational training. Overall, if you want to be a certified optometrist, you need to go through roughly 11 years of dedicated theoretical and practical study.



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