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What do I need to do to become an optometrist?
Hi. I'm a Junior in high school (almost age 17) and I am pursuing a career in optometry. I was wondering what I have to do from this point on to become an optometrist. Where do I go right after high school? After that? What classes should I be taking? At what age do you suppose I would graduate/start working? I've been doing a ton of research, but I still have plenty of unanswered questions.

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Asked by Marita Monday Feb 21st 2011 in Career Planning
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First, clam down! By knowing what you want to do in high school you are already way ahead of most. So, good job!

Now, what you need to do in high school. Take as many science and biology courses as possible. These will begin preparing you for your studies in college.

Next, you will want to do a lot of research on colleges and universities that offer pre-optometrist programs. Your best bet would be to speak with your guidance counselor about your plans. They will be able to get you the information you need - required scores, GPA, application information, and so forth.

Now, once you have been applied for and been admitted into your undergraduate program, you will want to take and complete with great success, all of your courses, especially science and pre-optometry courses. In your third year, you will want take the Optometry Admissions Test. This is a test to measure knowledge of science and biology, and will be used for applying to various schools that are accredited by the Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association.

Once you have been accepted, you will attend optometic school for about four years, and after your course of study and passing of the written and clinical state board exam, you will need to apply for your state license after having received your O.D. degree.

Other than a possible one year specialization study, that is about it. All-in-all you are looking around 8-10 years of study.

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