Dr. Abhishek Mandal, Ph.D.
Senior Business Adviser, Vision Science Academy, London, UK.
Vision Science Academy Exclusive
Optometry elaborates the anatomy, physiology, and pathological conditions of the eye. Optometry pertains to the examination, diagnosis and treatment of the errors that are related to human vision and consequently, rectifies them with the help of optical aids. Although many describe it as a flamboyant and demanding career with the help of which an individual can attain community respect and financial stability (Kobia-Acquah, Owusu, Akuffo, Koomson, & Pascal, 2020), the scope for practice in optometry is indeed ameliorating day by day. Nonetheless, there are several unconventional career pathways that can be readily pursued by the optometrists.
The Scope of Optometry
Since a well-trained optometrist possesses a commanding expertise in the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of various visual disorders, they can showcase their clinical capabilities at a public or private clinical setting individually, or in collaboration with other colleagues. Experienced optometrists are equally engaged in research projects, and several opt the teaching field to train future optometrists.
Some Unconventional Careers
Besides the commonplace options, there are many career alternatives which can be explored by the newer generation of optometrists.
(1) Professional Blog Writing
In the present era of modern internet technology, a layman tends to follow the advanced scientific progress through technical blogs found in the online world. Every field requires an expert’s opinion to generate writings about the latest advances pertinent to their profession. An optometrist too, can keenly follow the ever-increasing bulk of knowledge in their field, and subsequently, write interesting scientific content based on various subjects related to the optometry (Chirumbolo). Moreover, they could adopt the role of a career counsellor, and write about various career pathways for an optometrist in their own country.
(2) AI in Eye Care
Artificial intelligence (AI) has displayed a tremendous potential in different walks of science and is now offering novel technological alternatives to improve the diagnostic accuracy of various optometric tools. One example is the diagnosis of refractive errors. It is being speculated that sophisticated AI tools will soon take over the role of diagnosing ophthalmic conditions such as myopia or hyperopia. Investing in the development of such diagnostic algorithms today can pave way for an advanced version of optometry in near future. This makes AI a highly fascinating as well as lucrative aspect of vision sciences (Loughman).
(3) Eyewear Designs
For those optometrists who carry a business-centred approach, eyewear design can be a profitable alternative source of income. Designing eye-catching lenses, spectacles, and sunglasses is something an optometrist can invest their abilities and financial resources into, and this can eventually prove to be an exciting career opportunity.
(4) Education Technology
Like other professional fields, there is a dire need to revolutionize clinical learning in the field of vision sciences. By investing in modern e-learning methodologies such as virtual reality, optometry professionals can substantially boost the standard of undergraduate education programs. Such information technology or IT-based learning platforms can definitely assist in provision of a comprehensive learning medium to the students of vision sciences (Gupta & Gupta, 2016).
(5) Industrial Sector
In industries based on wood, glass or leather, the workers are constantly exposed to chemicals and materials that can be traumatic to the eyes. Consequently, optometrists can work as occupational health specialists to provide first-aid care and advice for prevention against various occupational hazards that can prove to be fatal for the wellbeing of human eyes.
This is merely a glimpse of how fruitful a qualification in optometry can be. With a positive mindset and unparalleled skills, vision science professionals can indeed extend their expertise far beyond the scope of clinical optometry.
The author would like to thank Ms Mehal Rathore for suggesting the topic of this article.
Chirumbolo, A. 9 Non-Clinical Careers for Optometrists. Retrieved from
Gupta, V. K., & Gupta, V. B. (2016). Using Technology, Bioinformatics and Health Informatics Approaches to Improve Learning Experiences in Optometry Education, Research and Practice. Healthcare (Basel), 4 (4). doi:10.3390/healthcare4040086
Kobia-Acquah, E., Owusu, E., Akuffo, K. O., Koomson, N. Y., & Pascal, T. M. (2020). Career aspirations and factors influencing career choices of optometry students in Ghana. PLoS One, 15 (5), e0233862. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0233862
Loughman, J. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND OPTOMETRY. Retrieved from