starz
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Can anyone who is doing/has done the BSc in Orthoptics tell me how they found the course? What do you like most about it?
If you are now qualified and working, what are the working hours like? Are they more or less 9-5 monday to friday? is the work varied? what's the salary like and is it increasing?
Thanks for your help
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foundintransmission
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(Original post by starz)
Can anyone who is doing/has done the BSc in Orthoptics tell me how they found the course? What do you like most about it?
If you are now qualified and working, what are the working hours like? Are they more or less 9-5 monday to friday? is the work varied? what's the salary like and is it increasing?
Thanks for your help
exactly what starz said! salary isn't as high as being an optom though, just so you know, but because there are alot more optoms than orthoptists, i think it's harder to get a job as an optom these days. Or so thats what the like 7 optoms in work said xD
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moonlite22
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Hi, I'm a qualified Orthoptist for 4 years now and I've just come across this thread so I thought I'd reply to your queries. I trained at Liverpool Uni and absolutely loved it! I think the best way to describe to you what being an Orthoptist is like is to weigh out what I think the main pros and cons of the prosfession are, although I have hardly anything bad to say about my career in Orthoptics!

First of all for those who don't know, an Orthoptist is an eye-care professional who treats people who experience problems or abnormalities with their vision, mostly concerned with eye movement. We are there to ensure your eyes are working properly together (binocular vision). A lot of our patients are young children who may have squints or lazy eye and our role is to correct the misallignment. Our role however also includes treating patients who have double vision, cataracts or eye diseases such as glaucoma. We also see alot of people who have had strokes or who have neurological disorders and thus their vision is affected. We also carry out vision screening in primary schools on children aged 4-5. visit this informative site for more information: http://careersadvice.direct.gov.uk/h...les/profile51/


Pros:
- Varied work, so many different cases are treated each day
- Hospital based
- Interesting and rewarding work
- Ability to make a difference & help people by restoring their vision
- Working with people of all ages, but mostly children, as well as young adults and the elderly.
- Nice working conditions and little stress
- It is never physically demanding work and no 'dirty' work is involved - you never have to deal with blood/bodily fluids!
- No anti-social working hours, weekends off
- Very good salary, 36 hr working week, 6 weeks paid holidays a year & excellent pension. Promotional opportunities. (I was upgraded to Senior Orthoptist 3 years after starting at my current job. I hope to become Head Orthoptist sometime in the near future if the opportunity arises).
- Job flexibility
- When work finishes, it finishes. You never have to bring your work home with you.
- You get to make your own diagnosises. You can also made an independent decision to refer a patient on for surgery.
- You are an autonomous individual.
- Orthoptists are in demand
- It is a profession that is continuously developing and advancing, thus has great prospects for the future.

Cons:
- Small profession, unknown by many.
- Always having to explain what your job is to people!
- While the salary is indeed good, it could be better. Orthoptists are paid the same as other health professions such as physios and occupational therapists. Our level of responsibility does not reflect our salaries. However, there are talks for increased pay. e.g. there will be an increase in our pay by approx 2.5% each year.
- Some (but not all) optometrists have superior attitude towards you. When I was at uni, I met some student optometrists who thought that the only reason I was studying Orthoptics was because I didnt get into Optometry. This was never the case. Orthoptics was my first choice because I wanted a hospital based career that also involves community work. I wanted my work to be varied and interesting. I could never have seen myself repetitively prescribing glasses all day every day for the rest of my life.

As you can see, the pros for me far outway the cons! I am completely satisfied with my career choice and couldn't see myself doing anything else. If you have any more questions please ask.

I often think of Orthoptics in a way being a 'hidden gem' because not many people know about the career and the rewards that it offers. I hope it will gain more recognition as time goes on, although I believe in the last few years it has become more known. Good Luck in your decision!
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asad1lion
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Hi! sorry to be popping up out of nowhere 7 years after your post about your career as an orthoptist! But as a student who is interested in the world of optics I found your post very helpful. I have wanted to be an optometrist for the bast 4/5 years and now looking at university courses i cant help but to feel really interested in orthoptics. It sounds like a really respectable and rewarding job but the only thing stopping me from applying for it is the salary..how is the situation today. 7 years on from your post are you satisfied with your salary or is it not something that bothers you.

Thanks.
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Eyeball69
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Salaries for Orthoptist's and Optometrists are very similar
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chibibotto
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Hello! I'm considering this career but there isn't much info out there! The info in this thread has been very helpful though.

I know this thread is old now but are there any optometrists who could tell me what working hours are like? Is it like a 9-5 working day?

Thanks
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University of Sheffield Students
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(Original post by chibibotto)
Hello! I'm considering this career but there isn't much info out there! The info in this thread has been very helpful though.

I know this thread is old now but are there any optometrists who could tell me what working hours are like? Is it like a 9-5 working day?

Thanks
Hi!

I'm not an Optom but I am a current Orthoptics student at the Uni of Sheffield. With optometry as you can work either private or through the NHS there is a bit more variance in the working hours. Typically you would be working a 40 hour week, similar to an Orthoptist. In hospitals I would expect a 9-5 working day whereas if working privately in retailers such as Boots/Specsavers this may differ depending on how many Optoms work there.

I've linked a thread here, it is mainly discussing Orthoptics but there may be some useful information in there for you about Optometry and you may also want to consider Orthoptics if you haven't already as they are similar careers.

Hope this helps you out, feel free to ask anymore questions!

Alisha
2nd Year
BMedSci Orthoptics
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chibibotto
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(Original post by University of Sheffield Students)
Hi!

I'm not an Optom but I am a current Orthoptics student at the Uni of Sheffield. With optometry as you can work either private or through the NHS there is a bit more variance in the working hours. Typically you would be working a 40 hour week, similar to an Orthoptist. In hospitals I would expect a 9-5 working day whereas if working privately in retailers such as Boots/Specsavers this may differ depending on how many Optoms work there.

I've linked a thread here, it is mainly discussing Orthoptics but there may be some useful information in there for you about Optometry and you may also want to consider Orthoptics if you haven't already as they are similar careers.

Hope this helps you out, feel free to ask anymore questions!

Alisha
2nd Year
BMedSci Orthoptics
Hi Alisha,

Thanks for your response! It is orthoptics which I have been considering. How are you finding the course? And what were the interviews like?
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University of Sheffield Students
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(Original post by chibibotto)
Hi Alisha,

Thanks for your response! It is orthoptics which I have been considering. How are you finding the course? And what were the interviews like?
Hi!

Glad to hear you are considering Orthoptics! My experience of the course so far has been really positive. I love all the content we learn as we have such a variety of skills involved in the different modules including Biology, physics and ethics (plus more). For me I enjoy the course because everything we learn has a purpose, and we get to apply it in clinical practice and placements which helps to consolidate everything we learn. The only negative I can say is due to Covid we have missed a lot of placements so far which is disappointing but are hoping to be back out on placements in 2021 (fingers crossed). The course is really small so you get to know your peers and the lecturers really well, this is good for when going on placements as you go with another person chosen at random, so its likely you will atleast know the person you are with and its a nice way to make closer friends too! The interviews are a pretty standard interview, for mine in person they had 3 stations and each was ran by a lecturer and they are looking for a certain skill. They like to cover questions about you and your academics (personal statement based) aswell as mainly why you want to do the course. They focus a lot on NHS values as these are really key in the role of an Orthoptist and they just want to see that you are passionate for the career and can demonstrate that you appreciate and apply the NHS values in your work.

Hope this helps you out! Feel free to ask anymore questions

Alisha
2nd Year
BMedSci Orthoptics
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Kingo08
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what are the career opportunities after university. Can you transfer to medicine or can you work straight into the NHS
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University of Sheffield Students
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(Original post by Kingo08)
what are the career opportunities after university. Can you transfer to medicine or can you work straight into the NHS
Hi !

There are tons of career opportunities with Orthoptics! The most obvious work opportunity would to start working as an Orthoptist for the NHS, you can do this as soon as you finish your degree and register with the HCPC ( you do need to get honors in your degree to do this, a standard pass/3rd will not allow for HCPC registration). This is the most common career option for graduated Orthoptists as there is a demand for Orthoptists meaning its fairly easy to get a job! Further education is also a great option and its definitely something I am considering, there are various masters linked to Orthoptics and Ophthalmology which can give a good basis for a PHD. Vision research is in much higher demand than it was before so there are many opportunities to go into further research surrounding Orthoptics! Working as an Orthoptist you can also become a clinical tutor alongside your work to help train future Orthoptists at uni during their placements. There is also opportunities in lecturing as you progress in your career As far as I am aware you cannot transfer to Medicine on the Orthoptics degree, a course like Biomed might be more suitable if this is what your aim is. You can study Medicine postgraduate and may only need to complete a 4 year course rather than 5 years. If you are interested in becoming an Ophthalmologist, you would need to do Medicine and then specialise in training to be an Ophthalmologist, doing Orthoptics would benefit this but isn't a requirement as specific training is needed for this career.

Hope this helps you out, feel free to ask anymore questions!

Alisha
2nd Year
BMedSci Orthoptics
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anonymous004r
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Hey! Just wanted to ask what is the average amount of hours orthoptics students spend studying a week. And how many days a week you need to attend university for lectures and things like that because the commute is going to be quite long because I don't plan on staying at university. Thank you!
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University of Sheffield Students
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(Original post by anonymous004r)
Hey! Just wanted to ask what is the average amount of hours orthoptics students spend studying a week. And how many days a week you need to attend university for lectures and things like that because the commute is going to be quite long because I don't plan on staying at university. Thank you!
Hello!

Thank you for your question, glad to hear you are considering Orthoptics. Orthoptics is an NHS course so the contact hours are more than most other courses but personally I found coming to uni the hours were less than I expected. In 1st year a typical week for me had usually 1 day off on average and 4 out of the 5 days I was in at Uni doing lectures. However, most days at uni were half days, so we usually had lectures in the mornings. We only had 1 or 2 days of morning and afternoon lectures and they had gaps inbetween. I would say since going into 2nd year the amount of time at uni has increased from 1st year slightly, but I cannot fully tell as this year we have been online except from practical sessions/placements. In terms of hours of studying I try to keep to a 9-5 work schedule Mon- Fri and keep my weekends free most of the time and find I have plenty of time for work. I did this in 1st year and continue to do so in 2nd year, it means you can get a good work to life balance without getting behind on work! I found using the gaps inbetween lectures useful to catch up on notes and revision as I would usually go to the libraries to spend this time, which may be helpful for you to do if you are commuting! I think it would depend how far you are commuting from also, but if you were to study the course at Sheffield I would recommend just using the libraries for your work on the days you commute to Sheffield and then once you return home you can just relax!

Hope this helps you out, feel free to ask anymore questions!

Alisha
2nd Year
BMedSci Orthoptics
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Sadia 1111
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Hello what a lovely answer! I really appreciate you providing an insight. I am worried about applying to Orthoptist due to the job market. Please help. When I searched up orthoptists on job sites or the NHS site, it states there were only 6 jobs in the whole of London. Very concerning . I am honestly soo stressed !! I don’t know what to do anymore. Also salary progression. I do want a comfortable life after being money conscious for the whole of my life. Is it true head of orthoptics get 80k? Please any advice would help
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Sadia 1111
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(Original post by University of Sheffield Students)
Hello!

Thank you for your question, glad to hear you are considering Orthoptics. Orthoptics is an NHS course so the contact hours are more than most other courses but personally I found coming to uni the hours were less than I expected. In 1st year a typical week for me had usually 1 day off on average and 4 out of the 5 days I was in at Uni doing lectures. However, most days at uni were half days, so we usually had lectures in the mornings. We only had 1 or 2 days of morning and afternoon lectures and they had gaps inbetween. I would say since going into 2nd year the amount of time at uni has increased from 1st year slightly, but I cannot fully tell as this year we have been online except from practical sessions/placements. In terms of hours of studying I try to keep to a 9-5 work schedule Mon- Fri and keep my weekends free most of the time and find I have plenty of time for work. I did this in 1st year and continue to do so in 2nd year, it means you can get a good work to life balance without getting behind on work! I found using the gaps inbetween lectures useful to catch up on notes and revision as I would usually go to the libraries to spend this time, which may be helpful for you to do if you are commuting! I think it would depend how far you are commuting from also, but if you were to study the course at Sheffield I would recommend just using the libraries for your work on the days you commute to Sheffield and then once you return home you can just relax!

Hope this helps you out, feel free to ask anymore questions!

Alisha
2nd Year
BMedSci Orthoptics
Hello what a lovely answer! I really appreciate you providing an insight. I am worried about applying to Orthoptist due to the job market. Please help. When I searched up orthoptists on job sites or the NHS site, it states there were only 6 jobs in the whole of London. Very concerning . I am honestly soo stressed !! I don’t know what to do anymore. Also salary progression. I do want a comfortable life after being money conscious for the whole of my life. Is it true head of orthoptics get 80k? Please any advice would help
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Lilac000
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(Original post by Sadia 1111)
Hello what a lovely answer! I really appreciate you providing an insight. I am worried about applying to Orthoptist due to the job market. Please help. When I searched up orthoptists on job sites or the NHS site, it states there were only 6 jobs in the whole of London. Very concerning . I am honestly soo stressed !! I don’t know what to do anymore. Also salary progression. I do want a comfortable life after being money conscious for the whole of my life. Is it true head of orthoptics get 80k? Please any advice would help
Omg this is literally my worry aswell, but I've already applied and have interviews for all three unis that have orthoptics......
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University of Sheffield Students
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#17
(Original post by Sadia 1111)
Hello what a lovely answer! I really appreciate you providing an insight. I am worried about applying to Orthoptist due to the job market. Please help. When I searched up orthoptists on job sites or the NHS site, it states there were only 6 jobs in the whole of London. Very concerning . I am honestly soo stressed !! I don’t know what to do anymore. Also salary progression. I do want a comfortable life after being money conscious for the whole of my life. Is it true head of orthoptics get 80k? Please any advice would help
(Original post by 8naima)
Omg this is literally my worry aswell, but I've already applied and have interviews for all three unis that have orthoptics......
Hi Both!

Honestly I would not be worried about jobs in Orthoptics, if you search Orthoptist jobs UK over 100 results come up (from the last time I looked). You may need to be more flexible in which the location you work in as it just depends what hospitals are hiring at the time you graduate but the country is in need of Orthoptists! I am not sure if you are aware but I will link here, that Orthoptics students are actually eligible for an NHS bursary that started this year, this is part of the government scheme to encourage more people to study Orthoptics and other allied healthcare professions because there is such a shortage (I believe it's £6000 per year)! There are also lots of opportunities to go into further study too as visual research is a fairly new and upcoming area and not a lot of work has been done in this subject until recent. Also with the Orthoptics degree it is internationally recognised so you can work anywhere in the world essentially (you may need to know the language though haha). So to summarise, I can't guarantee you will be able to get a job in a specific area at the end of the degree (you couldn't with any degree really!) but I don't think you would struggle finding a job after graduating, I am graduating next year and I don't have any worries about getting a job as I know from being in clinics on placement and talking to tutors and seeing the job adverts online that there are plenty available.

I hope that helps you out a bit and relieves some of your worries! If you have any more questions feel free to ask

Alisha
2nd Year
BMedSci Orthoptics
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University of Sheffield Students
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#18
(Original post by Sadia 1111)
Hello what a lovely answer! I really appreciate you providing an insight. I am worried about applying to Orthoptist due to the job market. Please help. When I searched up orthoptists on job sites or the NHS site, it states there were only 6 jobs in the whole of London. Very concerning . I am honestly soo stressed !! I don’t know what to do anymore. Also salary progression. I do want a comfortable life after being money conscious for the whole of my life. Is it true head of orthoptics get 80k? Please any advice would help
And sorry forgot to add about the Head Orthoptists. Yes they can do, you do need a lot of experience to work up to these roles but Orthoptists are paid using the NHS pay bands I will link here. Basically the longer you work the more you get paid, it increases with every year you work and as you gain more experience you can move up bands. As a graduate Orthoptist you typically start at Band 5 but can move up to Band 6 within a year or so by specialising.

Hope this helps!

Alisha
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astudentsroom
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hey i was just wondering as there is no information out there, is it difficult to get onto the main orthoptics degree after doing a foundation year? what are the grades you need?
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astudentsroom
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(Original post by University of Sheffield Students)
And sorry forgot to add about the Head Orthoptists. Yes they can do, you do need a lot of experience to work up to these roles but Orthoptists are paid using the NHS pay bands I will link here. Basically the longer you work the more you get paid, it increases with every year you work and as you gain more experience you can move up bands. As a graduate Orthoptist you typically start at Band 5 but can move up to Band 6 within a year or so by specialising.

Hope this helps!

Alisha
hey i was just wondering as there is no information out there, is it difficult to get onto the main orthoptics degree after doing a foundation year? what are the grades you need?

also is the foundation course available in clearing? thanks
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