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High school internship/jobs in optometry?

PlumeriaPlumeria Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
I'm a high school junior interested in studying optometry in the (quite far) future and I was thinking about getting an internship or a job (paid or unpaid, either works) during the summer. I am 16 years old, 17 in October.

Do optometrists offer this, or do you mainly have to be in college already? And if they would let me, what would I do and how would I go about asking or finding them? I want to see if I would at least like the field before I begin college so I have a focus.

Thanks in advance for any input!
Post edited by Plumeria on

Replies to: High school internship/jobs in optometry?

  • worried_momworried_mom Posts: 2,205Registered User Senior Member
    I doubt that a high school student could get any kind of meaningful internship -- paid or unpaid -- in this field. Optometry is a medical profession that requires significant training/licensing, even for technicians and assistants. At most, they might let you answer the phone or do general office work -- which is certainly not going to give you any insight into whether or not you would like a career in this field.

    What might be more helpful to you at this point (as well as more likely to arrange) is a shadowing opportunity -- i.e., simply following an optometrist around to see what a typical day might be like. You should start by going to your own eye doctor, telling them of your interest, and asking them if you could just shadow them for a day or two.

    Good luck!
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    You might call a few local optometrists office to see if you can get front office work. These folks do reception work checking people in, scheduling appointments, calling when glasses or contacts arrive. It's a job that's related to what you're interested in and you will at least see some of the business side.
  • xopattiecakeoxxopattiecakeox Posts: 92Registered User Junior Member
    I am currently a pre-optometry student at UCLA and I actually work at an optometry office as the optometric assistant. I had no prior training in anything optometry related, no certification or anything. I do a lot of billing and reception like work but by all means is that not good insight to the field. In fact, I think its much better insight to the field than shadowing because you are more exposed to the field and thrusted into the practice.

    Try to get a job as a part time optometric assistant or part time receptionist at your local optometry office. You will be around the environment of optometry a lot and get a feel of the practice. The doctor may even teach you how to pre-test (not hard at all) and is rather fun!

    Shadowing is definitely a great alternative. You just ask your local optometrist to come in for a few hours on any day that works for them to shadow their practice and watch the general office procedures. Shadowing different optometrists is a good idea as well since all optometrists are different - (vision therapy, contact lens specialists, etc.)

    Getting a part time job at a nice optometry office is like shadowing an optometrist except for you get paid. (Even better, right?)
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