OFO No: 226701





Other names for Optometrist:

  • Oculist


Youtube clip – All about the career of an Optometrist

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is an Optometrist?

An eye-catching career!

Optometrists are primary health care specialists who examine eyes, diagnoses and treats vision ailments.

Eye examinations are conducted to measure how well one can see and if there are any signs of sight deterioration.

Optometrists make recommendations how to improve or prevent sight loss.

Optometrists may prescribe glasses or contact lenses, or may refer a patient to a general practitioner if visual deterioration is related to general health condition, such as diabetes.

For severe eye problems they will refer patients to ophthalmic surgeons.

What does an Optometrist do?

  • consults with patients
  • evaluates vision
  • prescribse medication and lenses/glasses.
  • fits contact lenses
  • orders supplies and taking stock
  • writes referral letters

Are you … ?

  • interested in eye-care?
  • people orientated?
  • gentle?
  • friendly?
  • detail-oriented?
  • someone who strives for accuracy in their work?
  • someone who likes to learn about new technologies?
  • keeping records up to date
  • bookkeeping

How do I become an Optometrist?

You need a 4 year Bachelors Degree in Optometry.

  • University of Johannesburg
  • University of Kwazulu Natal

Minimum requirements:  NSC with English, Mathematics, Life Sciences or Physical Science

Recommended subjects:  Chemistry or Biology

Students who do not meet the above requirements can do a first year BSc degree and re-apply.

Courses to be taken in the first year are Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Students who have completed a BSc degree.


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 




OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Optical Mechanic or Glass Maker 

Is becoming an Optometrist the right career choice for me?