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Summary Report for:
29-1069.06 - Ophthalmologists

Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries of the eyes and related structures.

Sample of reported job titles: Comprehensive Ophthalmologist; Director, Emergency Ophthalmology Services; General Ophthalmologist; Ophthalmologist; Ophthalmologist-Retina Specialist; Pediatric Ophthalmologist; Physician; Retina Subspecialist; Retinal Surgeon; Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Perform ophthalmic surgeries such as cataract, glaucoma, refractive, corneal, vitro-retinal, eye muscle, and oculoplastic surgeries.
  • Perform comprehensive examinations of the visual system to determine the nature or extent of ocular disorders.
  • Diagnose or treat injuries, disorders, or diseases of the eye and eye structures including the cornea, sclera, conjunctiva, or eyelids.
  • Document or evaluate patients' medical histories.
  • Provide or direct the provision of postoperative care.
  • Perform, order, or interpret the results of diagnostic or clinical tests.
  • Develop treatment plans based on patients' histories and goals, the nature and severity of disorders, and treatment risks and benefits.
  • Prescribe or administer topical or systemic medications to treat ophthalmic conditions and to manage pain.
  • Perform laser surgeries to alter, remove, reshape, or replace ocular tissue.
  • Provide ophthalmic consultation to other medical professionals.
  • Educate patients about maintenance and promotion of healthy vision.
  • Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams of health professionals to provide optimal patient care.
  • Refer patients for more specialized treatments when conditions exceed the experience, expertise, or scope of practice of practitioner.
  • Develop or implement plans and procedures for ophthalmologic services.
  • Instruct interns, residents, or others in ophthalmologic procedures and techniques.
  • Prescribe ophthalmologic treatments or therapies such as chemotherapy, cryotherapy, and low vision therapy.
  • Prescribe corrective lenses such as glasses and contact lenses.
  • Conduct clinical or laboratory-based research in ophthalmology.

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Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — Ophthalmic imaging software
  • Electronic mail software — Email software
  • Medical software — Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR; EyeMD EMR Healthcare Systems EyeMD EMR; Greenway Medical Technologies PrimeSUITE; WRSHealth EMR (see all 22 examples)
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles — Automated external defibrillators AED
  • Combination refractor keratometers — Autorefractors
  • Corneal topographers — Optical coherence tomography equipment
  • Digital cameras — Digital still cameras
  • Electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment — Electrosurgical coagulation units
  • Exophthalmometers — Diagnostic exophthalmometers
  • Eye charts or vision cards — Vision testing displays
  • Eye occluders — Occluders
  • Keratoscopes — Keratometers
  • Lachrymal dilators or sets — Lacrimal probes
  • Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory — Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical exam penlights — Medical examination penlights
  • Medical ultrasound ophthalmic scanners — Ophthalmic ultrasound imaging scanners
  • Mercury blood pressure units — Sphygmomanometers
  • Multiparameter vital sign unit or accessories — Vital signs monitors
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Ophthalmic eye test lenses or accessories — Eye test lens sets
  • Ophthalmic laser lens — Eye surgery lasers
  • Ophthalmic lensometers — Lensmeters
  • Ophthalmic medical instrument sets — Iris forceps; Lens expressors; Lid retractors; Ophthalmic needle holders
  • Ophthalmic needle irrigating or aspirating tips — Irrigation-extraction cannulas
  • Ophthalmic perimeters
  • Ophthalmic prisms — Ophthalmic prism sets
  • Ophthalmic retinoscopes — Retinometers
  • Ophthalmic retractors — Ophthalmic surgery retractors
  • Ophthalmic slit lamps
  • Ophthalmic specula — Eye speculums
  • Ophthalmic spoons or curettes — Evisceration scoops
  • Ophthalmic surgical knives or blades or scissors or accessories — Conjunctival sac scissors; Corneal scissors; Ophthalmic surgery forceps; Ophthalmic surgical scalpels
  • Ophthalmic tonometers or accessories — Handheld tonometers
  • Ophthalmic transilluminators
  • Ophthalmic visual function analyzers — Matrix visual field instruments; Nerve fiber analyzers; Ophthalmic digital imaging systems
  • Ophthalmodynamometers — Venous ophthalnodynanometers
  • Ophthalmoscopes or otoscopes or scope sets — Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopes; Diagnostic ophthalmoscope sets; Otoscopes; Scanning laser ophthalmoscopes
  • Personal computers
  • Phoropter units — Phoropters
  • Surgical microscopes or loops or magnifiers or accessories — Surgical loupes; Surgical microscopes
  • Tablet computers

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Knowledge

  • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

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Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

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Abilities

  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

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Work Activities

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Operate on patients to treat conditions.
  • Test patient vision.
  • Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Treat chronic diseases or disorders.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Order medical diagnostic or clinical tests.
  • Develop medical treatment plans.
  • Administer non-intravenous medications.
  • Prescribe medications.
  • Advise medical personnel regarding healthcare issues.
  • Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Prescribe treatments or therapies.
  • Prescribe assistive medical devices or related treatments.
  • Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.

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Work Context

  • Contact With Others — 100% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 97% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 97% responded “Very important results.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 92% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Letters and Memos — 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 92% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 90% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 85% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Electronic Mail
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 73% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 77% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 65% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 75% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 75% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Consequence of Error — 64% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Time Pressure — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week
  • Level of Competition
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 43% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 13% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 44% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Public Speaking — 36% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, surgeons, and veterinarians.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
75   Post-doctoral training
21   Doctoral degree
4   High school diploma or equivalent Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: ISR

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Physicians and Surgeons, All Other.
Employment data collected from Physicians and Surgeons, All Other.
Industry data collected from Physicians and Surgeons, All Other.

Median wages (2016) $99.48 hourly, $206,920 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 347,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Much faster than average (14% or higher) Much faster than average (14% or higher)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 145,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Physicians and surgeons external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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