YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Dr. Brad Bloomberg got started in archaeology before seeing an opportunity in optometry. Twenty-eight years later, his eyes continue to be opened by the number of people needing to see an eye doctor.
Optometry is growing because the population is aging, and the fastest-growing segment is the Baby Boomers.
“All of a sudden, we’re going to have thousands upon thousands of people every day that require eye care who perhaps never needed it in their younger years,” Bloomberg said.
The number of optometrists is severely lagging, however. An optometrist requires an undergraduate degree and then another four years of graduate school.
The Ohio State University has one of the best optometry schools in the nation. Four new optometry schools have opened in recent years, but there are less than two dozen across the U.S.
“I think you have to be comfortable talking to people. You have to be like a people-person. You have to have a desire to want to help people,” Dr. Bloomberg said. “So I think if you have those two skills, and you like the sciences, and you like keeping up with technology… it’s a good career choice for many people.”
Employment in optometry is projected to grow almost 30 percent over the next seven years — much faster than average.
Whether you’re young or old, everyone needs to have good vision. Bloomberg said with the explosive growth in devices that make us constantly connected, the need for optometrists and healthy eyes will always be around.
“They’re talking about contact lenses these days that have built-in screens on them, so you can see your device as you’re wearing it on your eye,” he said. “I’m sure that will create a few problems that we’ll all have to solve as well.”
For jobs in optometry and more information on the career field, go to OhioMeansJobs.com.