The work and education of an optometrist

An optometrist is an uncompromising eyecare professional who specialises in the problems and solutions of vision and eyecare. An optometrist is also a health care professional bound by an obligation to take further training, for example.

The job description of an optometrist

An optometrist is a licensed optician with an education that grants them a limited right to prescribe medication and qualifications to conduct eye health examinations. An optometrist conducts eye tests and eye health examinations and writes glasses prescriptions. They select the vision correction solution suitable for the customer as well as prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses or other optical aids. An optometrist also evaluates the health of the customer’s vision system and refers the customer to an ophthalmologist if necessary.

The job title is optometrist (previously optician). People often mistakenly use the term optician when they mean an optometrist. Instead of opticians, Finland now educates optometrists whose education is more extensive.

Optometrists are employed by private opticians’ shops, eyewear chains, hospitals’ ophthalmology clinics, private eye hospitals or occupational health care, and they also work as entrepreneurs. They may also be employed by industry associations, such as the Finnish Association of Vision and Eyecare or the Finnish Professionals of Optometry (SOA).

The education of an optometrist

The scope of a degree in optometry is 210 credits, and the degree programme only contains one study option, that of an optometrist. You can study to become an optometrist in Oulu University of Applied Sciences and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki. The qualification title is Optometrist (AMK).

The four-year degree includes mathematics and physics, optics, glasses theory and technology, the basics, anatomy and physiology of vision examinations, pharmacology and the basics of medicine, studies in contact lenses and ophthalmology as well as examining eye health. The degree includes training periods in opticians’ shops. After completing the optometrist degree, one may proceed to take the master’s degree in clinical optometry. As health care professionals, opticians have a statutory obligation to maintain and develop their competence. Further training is an important part of an optometrist’s