In the last ten years there have been nearly fifty new optometrist schools which have opened in this country, making optometry the fastest growing higher education path today. In fact, just twenty years ago there were only around 2 percent of students studying to become optometrist, and today that number has risen to a staggering 8 percent. Clearly, more people than ever are taking an interest in becoming optometrists, so we thought we would take a moment to explore the reasons why optometry is such a popular career choice today.
To begin with, the modern optometrist has a ton of options for where he or she can work after graduation. Since it has become popular for large supermarket chains to include an optometry office inside their stores, the number of optometry providers has risen by nearly twenty percent. In our small state alone there are nearly four hundred optometry offices, with another fifty offices expected to open for business during 2018. Making a visit to the eye doctor has become as common as getting a checkup from the family doctor, and perhaps even more common. The sudden rise in optometry offices can also be attributed partly to the popularity of online sites such as, www.meadowseyecare.com, which have made it easier for people to make contact with an optometry clinic in their area, and get their regular visits. The fact that there is so much easy access to professional eye care is great news for the public’s vision, and great news for newly graduated optometrists who have almost unlimited employment options.
Optometry is also a popular area to study because of the fact that students accumulate less student debt than with other fields of medical studies. It costs around thirty thousand dollars to become an eye doctor today, and while that isn’t exactly cheap, it is far less than it costs to become a general physician, which is currently at almost a hundred thousand dollars. Especially as many young people are weary of taking student loans after the banking crisis we experienced back in 2007, careers which are less expensive to study have become a much more appealing choice.
Students are also choosing to study optometry because it provides a career with a lot of freedom. Optometrists are able to work as much or as little as they like. Unlike other types of doctors who might be required to sign an exclusive contract to work in just one medical practice, it is very common for optometrist to work in several different clinics at once. Most optometry offices allow their staff to select the days and times they wish to work, and then they simply schedule the patients that come in accordance with the different doctor’s schedules. On the other hand, if an eye doctor wants to have his own practice, he can do so without taking out loans which he may be forced to pay off for the following twenty years or so. Setting up an optometry clinic is far more economic than most other medical clinics because there is less equipment needed.