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Kaimātai Whatu

Optometrists examine clients' eyes to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases. They provide correction and other treatment when required.

Contact us

Call us on 0800 222 733

What are the chances of getting a job?


Chances of getting a job as an optometrist are good due to a shortage of people in the role.

According to the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board, the number of registered, practising optometrists remained stable between 2010 and 2012. However, there are not enough optometrists to fill all vacancies, and demand for optometrists is strong.

Range of factors contribute to rising demand for optometrists

The high demand for optometrists is due to:

  • growing demand from an ageing population, as people's eyesight tends to get worse as they age
  • increasing short-sightedness in the general population, possibly due to increasing use of computers
  • fewer people training to be optometrists
  • some qualified New Zealand optometrists moving overseas, where they often get better pay.

Most optometrists work in private businesses

Optometrists mainly work in private businesses. They can set up their own practice or become partners at existing practices.


  • Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board, ‘Annual Report 2011-12', 2013, (www.opticiansboard.org.nz).
  • Riley, L, registrar, Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board, Careers New Zealand interview, November 2013.

Current vacancies

Optometric Clinical assistant Listed: 18 Dec 2014 Hawke's Bay

Other vacancy websites

Progression and specialisations

Optometrists can progress into management positions or set up their own practices. They can also take up academic positions in teaching or research, or work in the optical industry as suppliers of optical equipment.

Optometrists can specialise in a range of areas including contact lenses, diabetic screening, geriatric vision and children's eye care.

How many people are doing this job?

Year 2012
Year 2011
Year 2010
Source: Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board.

Marama Lambert selecting a pair of glasses from the shop range on display.

Most optometrists work in private businesses and may set up their own practice

Updated 16 Apr 2014