Optometrists are the frontline of eye care. By carrying out detailed examinations, they are helping to improve eye health across the country.

As an optometrist your role is to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases (diseases of the eye) or abnormality, and problems with general health.  

By making a detailed examination of the eye, optometrists may be able to identify whether a patient has conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.


Typical Duration 12 months.

Occupation Profile: An Optical Assistant requires many skills to be able to work within the Optical retail Industry. They may be working within a small practice, a large multiple practice or within the domiciliary environment. Optical Assistants have to interpret and understand a clinically issued prescription, its effects on the eye, and the customer’s vision. They need to be able to identify the appropriate spectacles to meet the customer’s needs and be able to explain the features and benefits of these, using non-technical customer friendly language. They also require technical knowledge of optical lenses and the associated measurements of these lenses to allow correct and safe customer vision. They use an extensive range of technical equipment and tools to take measurements and adjust and repair spectacles.

(This apprenticeship standard is in development and is not yet ready to use)


If you are the kind of learner who prefers a more hands on approach, then an apprenticeship could be for you. This route into optometry is a great for people who might not have considered it in the past.

For more information about apprenticeship, see this page.