There are many non-patient care jobs in optometry.
There are many roles that exist for the non-traditional optometrist, so to speak, who is interested in non-clinical careers or non-patient care jobs. These roles are often baked into the profession and industry. There are roles that require different sorts of skill sets, but often, it comes down to picking your own path.
Some of these roles will appeal to more clinically-oriented ODs, while others might appeal to those eye care professionals who are more passionate about business and marketing. The opportunities for optometry jobs outside of patient care have become more available as technology and companies continue to grow and develop.
There have also been changes in the landscape of healthcare and the way legislation has dictated certain requirements, rules and regulations of the way doctors treat and manage patients. This has also contributed to the growing pool of non-clinical optometry pathways.
Watch more on the role of the optometrist in industry:
When it comes to finding non-patient care jobs in optometry, there are two main options.
One is the conventional method of searching, reaching out to, and networking with individuals in these spaces and companies that might be able to make introductions to opportunities for you, while the other is more entrepreneurial in nature, or simply making a role for yourself.
Often, the passion for a non-clinical career starts early on in your career—even as early as optometry school. Generally, this passion grows with these individuals and becomes a career goal for them. These individuals are most likely to turn to full-time optometry jobs outside of patient care. For those who might be on the fence about non clinical roles, one of the simplest ways to get your foot in the door is start by writing or speaking, or by doing something simple and building from there.
Optometry is very unique because there is a retail component to it as well as a diagnostic and medical component. There's a lot of opportunity out there—it's up to you to take advantage.