What Does It Take To Become An Optometric Manager?

Optometrists are doctors who treat patients with vision problems and eye health issues. While doctors know how to treat patients, they often lack the knowledge to manage a clinic. This is where an optometric manager comes in.

Patients visiting an optometrist’s office are required to fill out paperwork. These usually include providing insurance information, contact details, and health history. A manager’s job is to store the information digitally and coordinate with the insurance company to ensure the patients’ bills are paid. Optometry managers are also responsible for keeping a tab of all the appointments and informing the doctor of them. This, of course, can also be done by an office receptionist. However, a lot of small clinics have managers who perform both back-office and front-office work. Optometric managers also need to keep stock of all the inventory. Most use the top easy inventory tracking methods to work efficiently. They keep in touch with vendors to ensure essential supplies such as lenses, eye drops, frames, and others are replenished periodically as well.

In this post, we take a look at what it takes to become an optometric manager. We will start with the educational requirement and then talk about the skills you need to possess to become successful in this field. As a point of comparison, we will include the educational requirements and salary of optometrists.

Educational Requirements

An optometrist needs to go to college to get his or her bachelor’s degree. Then, he or she will need to complete a four-year optometry program before finally working as an eye doctor. When going to college to obtain a bachelor’s degree, he or she will need to take their college course preferably in a relevant field such as biology, physiology, or chemistry. One thing they will need to keep in mind is that this type of career is very competitive.

Once they complete their college classes and graduate with a bachelor’s degree, they will then need to continue their schooling by taking a four-year optometry program. Once this four-year optometry program is finished and completed, they will also need to meet not just state licensing requirements but national licensing requirements before they can even apply to become an optometrist.

While the educational requirements for becoming an optometrist is quite demanding and requires substantial financial investments, optometric managers can get a job with a simple high school diploma. Various candidates wonder if they can be good managers without diplomas. However, most businesses require a diploma at the very minimum. Some employers require applicants to have prior experience and be GOC registered. Passing a diploma course on office management can also help secure a job as an optometric manager.

Required Skills

Optometric managers need to possess a certain set of skills to manage an optometrist’s office efficiently. The skills required for this career include business, accounting, and good management. Being an optometrist manager means running a business, keeping patient records, and managing staff who work under them. Being able to delegate, multi-task, and communicate well are three things an optometrist manager must be able to do to have a successful optometric management career.

Optometric Manager Salary

Optometrists, being practicing medical professionals make significantly more than optometric managers. However, optometrists also have huge education debts and are often required to make additional investments to launch their own clinics. Many try to start refinancing student loans as well. Fortunately, optometrists typically succeed in paying off their debt.

The median annual salary for optometrists since May of 2017 is $110,300. The economic outlook for optometrists is excellent. In fact, there is a high demand for optometrists. It’s predicted that the demand for optometrists will continue to increase.

For obvious reasons, optometry managers make far less annually than eye doctors. Mainly because they are responsible for taking care of the business side of things and daily operations. According to 2014 data, optometry office managers have a median annual salary of $40,000. While some clinics can pay newly recruited optometry managers as much as $86,000 per year, the average salary ranges from $45,000 to 50,0000. If managers choose to work for small local clinics, the scope of growth is limited. Working for large optical care chains gives them the opportunity to manage multiple branches and earn more money.

Being an optometric manager requires applicants to have basic knowledge about optometry as well as have business and management skills. This is why the profession is often favored by optometry students looking to gain an understanding of the business aspect of running a clinic. This helps them cold start their own clinics after graduating.

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