How Long Does It Take To Become An Eye Doctor?

If you’re thinking about becoming an eye doctor, it is quite interesting to ask how long it takes to become an eye doctor.

Depending on the area of specialization, optometrists initially complete four years of undergraduate study, four years of optometry school, and one year of residency. 

Although residency pays a salary, the eight years of school demand a large financial commitment, which typically necessitates students taking out sizable student debts. 

Finding out the precise cost of this professional route before deciding to pursue it is a smart idea.

This article contains detailed information on the question, “How long does it take to become an eye doctor?”

Check this out: How Long Does It Take To Become An EMT?

What is Eye Doctor School like?

Optometrists are medical professionals who treat patients’ eyes. They are qualified to detect and treat various visual injuries, illnesses, diseases, and other problems in addition to doing routine eye exams. 

Optometrists’ duties may include, but are not restricted to, recommending corrective eyewear (glasses or contacts), performing simple procedures on the eyes, examining the eyes of patients and administering vision tests, patient education on eye care

providing other therapies, such as vision therapy.

How long does it take to become an Eye Doctor? The whole process usually takes more than 9 years.

A person must attend Optometry school, fulfill additional criteria, finish residency, and obtain a license before becoming an Eye Doctor.

However, before that, Optometry school can be quite stressful due to the debt and stress you accrue at the beginning of your profession.

Due to the outrageously high cost of optometry school tuition, books, bank fees, living expenses, application-related costs in your final year of medical school, and travel-related costs throughout your degree, most medical students find themselves with a sizable amount of debt upon graduation.

They will enter their residences fearing that interest on their loans would start to accrue (pre-med and med).

Some Eye Doctor aspirants may wonder whether it is worthwhile to pursue their goal given the demands of residency and the necessity to “penny-pinch” and carefully plan their finances for the first few years.

As if the financial burden of obtaining an Optometry degree weren’t enough, the pressure to match and obtain one’s desired residency (in their desired specialty, and even in their desired/close to desired institution/location) as well as the life of a medical resident itself is enough for some hopeful Eye Doctor to give up on the field altogether.

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become An X-ray Technician?

Is Attending Eye Doctor School Worth it?

Let’s begin by detailing some of the main advantages of selecting an Eye Doctor as your medical school major.

First and foremost, Optometrics are held in the highest regard and regard by the general public.

Second, Eye Doctor humbly acknowledges that they can start and end each day with the knowledge that they are actively and favorably enhancing their communities’ general health, well-being, development, and improvement. The medical field also provides excellent financial security.

There are several other advantages to attending medical college.

Is Eye Doctor school worthwhile? This ultimately comes down to your priorities, the reasons you want to become an Eye Doctor, and your ability to handle the challenges of this particular career choice.

Although the advantages and benefits of pursuing a medical career vastly exceed the drawbacks and disadvantages, it is foolish to think that an Eye Doctor’s life is unicorns and rainbows.

Optometrist jobs and medical school education are unquestionably valuable and desirable.

Because it makes it possible to live the most genuine and contented life. But because each person’s path, desires, objectives, and pursuits of happiness are distinct.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Sonographer?

What Schooling Do you need to Become an Eye Doctor

Here are some of the schools that help in becoming an Eye Doctor:

1.  Southern College of Optometry

On our ranking of the top optometry schools in the country, the renowned Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, comes in. 

Although established in 1932, the Southern College of Optometry is still operating today. 

In a recent $ 9.4 million upgrade, the school’s buildings received the addition of cutting-edge equipment. 

On the school’s campus is The Eye Center, which offers students practical clinical training while seeing 60,000 patients.

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Paramedic?

2. Arizona College of Optometry

Not only do 98 percent of Arizona College of Optometry students succeed on their tests, but also 92.7 percent and 100 percent of students pass parts I and II of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exams, respectively. 

The average GPA and OAT scores of the students in this special category are 3.53 and 624, respectively. 

However, these students do not succeed independently; they benefit from the esteemed staff and state-of-the-art research facilities at ACO.

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Therapist?

3. The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry (Birmingham, AL)

More than $325 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health was given to UAB last year, most of which went to the School of Optometry. 

With such backing, it should be no surprise that UAB’s School of Optometry is one of the best in the industry. 

The School of Optometry equips aspiring eye care professionals with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to serve their community by offering practical clinical training at the renowned UAB Eye Care center. 

The fact that the school graduates 97.87 percent of program participants is wonderful news for folks in the Birmingham area and beyond.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become An MRI Tech?

4.  Nova Southeastern University

Another prestigious optometry program in the country. 

The College of Optometry at Nova Southeastern University requires its students to complete two years of science coursework and two years of clinical training. 

Regardless of their subject of study, all participants receive first-rate support from the university, which ranges from sponsoring international mission trips to providing participants with access to cutting-edge technology. 

The school’s faculty includes members of the American Academy of Optometry and specialists in eye exams.

5. The University of Missouri  

With a 31 percent admittance rate and a 95.65 percent pass rate, the UMiss-SL College of Optometry is doing something right. 

They actively seek out and assist aspiring optometrists around the nation, ensuring that the vast majority of their pupils finish the course of study. 

The school’s basic principles of growth, responsibility, discovery, and community are a testament to its dedication to its pupils. 

To improve vision care for those who need it most, students and teachers have actively participated in low-cost optical kits, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and programs that improve accessibility for the city’s low-income population.

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Commercial Pilot?

How Long Does it Take to Become a Licensed Eye Doctor in 2023?

The total years required to become an eye doctor may be nine. 

You must finish your undergraduate studies, attend optometry school, and complete a residency to obtain a full license.

Before starting as a surgeon, you must complete several courses, exams, and training programs. 

How long does it take to become an Eye Doctor? 

Step 1: Graduate from High School or Obtain a GED (Four Years)

How long does it take to become an Eye Doctor? The first requirement to become a surgeon is a high school diploma or GED. 

Step 2: Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Program (Four Years)

How long does it take to become an eye doctor? Most medical schools only accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree. 

Numerous majors are available to students, including biology, biochemistry, pre-medicine, public health, and even psychology. 

Students should be aware that many medical schools have prerequisite curriculum requirements, so they should ensure they enroll in the right courses for the institutions they intend to attend.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Cop?

Step 3: Take the MCAT (Timeline Varies)

How long does it take to become an optometrist? Many medical schools require applicants to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), a standardized test. To get the results in time to apply to medical school, students should take this exam in the spring of their junior year.

Step 4: Apply for Medical School (Timeline Varies)

Medical school applications are normally due in the late fall or early winter of a student’s senior year of a bachelor’s degree. 

Students should ensure they have the best letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and applications because applications are quite competitive.

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer?

Step 5: Attend Medical School (Four Years)

How long does it take to become an eye doctor? Medical school takes four years to complete. 

Students will take part in lectures, labs, and clinical rotations throughout this period. 

To increase their chances of being accepted into a surgical residency, aspiring surgeons should work to complete one or more surgical rotations.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Judge?

Step 6: Apply for an Optometrics Residency (During Medical School)

How long does it take to become an eye doctor? It is essential that before becoming an Optometrist you apply for  residency to gather experience in the career path you have chosen

Students will submit their residency applications during their final year of medical school. 

This is more education in the selected specialty. In order to increase their prospects, aspiring surgeons must apply to and attend interviews at numerous surgical residency programs.

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Vet Tech?

Step 7: Fulfill Residency Requirements

Doctors will acquire all the abilities required to become optometrists during their residency. The first year is a general residency.

Step 8: Sit for the National Licensing Exams (Timelines Vary)

To practice medicine, doctors must pass a national examination. 

The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States is required of students who have finished a DO, whereas those who have completed an MD will take the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) (COMPLEX-USA). 

These tests assess knowledge and abilities from both medical school and residency programs.

Step 9: Obtain State Licensure (Timelines Vary)

How long does it take to become an eye doctor?

Doctors who wish to practice medicine in their state must first apply for and be granted a license there before taking the national licensure exam. 

The section on certification and licensure provides more information.

Step 10: Become Board Certified (Timelines Vary)

The American Board of Surgery requires board certification for all eye doctors. The section on certification and licensure provides more information.

Read more: How Long Does It Take To Become A Realtor?

How Much Does it Cost to become a licensed Eye Doctor

Getting an undergraduate degree is the first step needed to become a surgeon. In the United States, a bachelor’s degree typically requires four years of full-time study. 

Whether you’re attending a public or private institution will affect how much the degree will cost you.

Half of all full-time undergraduate students at both public and private universities pay annual tuition and fees of $11,814 or less, according to College Board’s released figures from 2018. 

For in-state students attending public four-year colleges, the average annual tuition is $9,410; for out-of-state students, it is $23,890. 

An average of $32,410 is what private institutions charge for one academic year. 

As a result, the total cost to earn a bachelor’s degree can be anywhere from $37,640 and $129,640. 

Obviously, these numbers do not account for housing and board or expenses for books, supplies, and other necessary fees.

You must pass the Medical College Admissions Test before continuing on to medical school after receiving your undergraduate degree. 

The MCAT has a $315 base registration fee, although there may be additional costs for late enrollment or testing abroad.

The completion of four years of medical school is the second stage necessary to become a surgeon. 

Similar to undergraduate studies, attending a public medical school is far less expensive than doing so in a private institution. 

The Association of American Medical Colleges keeps information on the average cost of public and private medical colleges even though exact tuition fees vary greatly from institution to university. 

According to data from 2016–2017, the average public in-state tuition was $53,327 per year, while the average for out-of-state students was $92,808. 

For the same academic year, private medical colleges charged an annual tuition of $61,428.

Remember that tuition increases at colleges and universities are commonplace to cover growing labor and other costs. 

For instance, the AAMC reports that the average public in-state tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year was $44,470. 

Thus, the average cost has increased by almost $9,000 per year for in-state students.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become An Esthetician?

Salary and Job Outlook for Eye Doctor After Study

Job Outlook

private practice, academic medicine, institutional practice, hospitals, government service programs, and uniformed services.


Eye Doctors make an average annual salary of $251,650, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020). 

In the US, there are now 37,900 surgeons employed. The wage percentiles are as follows:

  • 10th percentile: $77,240
  • 25th percentile: $188,170
  • 50th percentile (median): >$208,000 per year
  • 75th percentile: >$208,000 per year
  • 90th percentile: >$208,000 per year


Refractive errors (nearsightedness or farsightedness), astigmatism, cataracts, glaucoma, eye injuries from accidents or illness, age-related macular degeneration, and other degenerative eye diseases are all diagnosed and treated by optometrists.

How long does it take to become an Eye Doctor? Shouldn’t be the question that should discourage you in that career because the time is really worth it.

Then, it is crucial to follow the right procedures, make a goal-setting strategy, and be committed to realizing your ambition of being an Eye Doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Becoming an Eye Doctor hard?

How long does it take to become an Eye Doctor? Optometry school can be challenging, particularly for first-year students in a new city and setting. 
Here are some suggestions for getting through. The study of optometry is difficult enough. 
Being a first-year student in an unfamiliar setting, in a new city may be very challenging.

Do Eye Doctor Do Surgery?

Optometrists assess, identify, monitor, and treat a wide range of ailments affecting the visual system and related structures, including diseases, injuries, and disorders. 
How long does it take to become an Eye Doctor? During those 9 years of studying, optometrists can also be taught slight surgical skills.
 They can also give medical advice, recommend corrective lenses, and execute specific surgical operations.

Is Eye Doctor a good Career

Eye doctor is one of the medical disciplines with the quickest rate of growth, and there are now many openings for qualified ophthalmologists. 
Ophthalmologists also frequently have high levels of job security, which makes them a fantastic choice if you’re searching for a long-term career path.

Do Eye Doctor makes A Lot of Money

How long does it take to become an Eye Doctor? The average pay for an ophthalmologist is $202,315, according to Indeed. 
Experience and other elements, such as location, will play a role in this. 
An ophthalmologist can earn up to $60k as their beginning pay.



Leave a Comment

Scholarsly is an educational blog which aggregates study abroad, scholarships update, VISA application and and other important info for our readers. We do not offer direct employment, scholarship, VISA procurement or offer physical travel assistance. We also do not charge you or request money and would not refer you to any agent either. Find more info on our Privacy policy page below and kindly contact us if you need further information.