In a world where eye care is one of the largest industries, the importance of optometry cannot be overstated. With over 80% of the global population relying on glasses for clear vision, the optometry industry is pivotal in ensuring optimal eye health and visual acuity.
The scope for optometrists is indeed worldwide, offering a promising career that transcends geographical boundaries.
Imagine a career move that not only propels your optometry practice to new heights but also enriches your life in ways you've never imagined.
If exploring new frontiers and vibrant career possibilities sounds intriguing, buckle up because we are about to delve into the world of optometry beyond borders!
Let’s talk about becoming optometrists in Australia and New Zealand, with a spotlight on the OCANZ COE exam and the unique opportunities awaiting aspiring optometrists in these regions.
Becoming an optometrist in Australia and New Zealand involves successfully passing the OCANZ Competency in Optometry Examination (COE), a crucial step for individuals holding qualifications from institutions outside these regions.
Administered by the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ), the COE exam assesses the competency of aspiring optometrists to ensure they meet the standards required for practice in these countries.
Candidates completing the COE exam will receive a certificate. This certificate, recognised by optometry registration boards in Australia and New Zealand, attests to achieving an entry-level standard of competence in optometry (excluding ocular therapeutics).
However, it does not automatically grant registration rights.
The COE certificate allows applicants to seek limited registration in Australia or apply for the Provisional Optometrist Scope of Practice in New Zealand.
To meet the conditions for general registration, additional training/examination in ocular therapeutics is required, as stipulated by the Optometry Board of Australia (OBA) and the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board (ODOB) in New Zealand.
Additionally, the Assessment of Competence in Ocular Therapeutics (ACOT) examination is designed for optometrists with overseas qualifications in ocular therapeutics, providing a pathway to general registration.
Becoming an Optometrist in Australia and New Zealand offers numerous advantages-
Australia and New Zealand maintain rigorous healthcare standards, placing optometrists at the forefront of eye care. This ensures a commitment to providing quality services and staying abreast of advancements in the field.
Obtaining optometry registration in Australia or New Zealand provides global recognition of professional competence, enhancing career prospects internationally.
The demand for optometrists is rising in both countries, offering diverse career paths in private practices, healthcare institutions, and optical retail settings.
Optometrists in Australia and New Zealand receive competitive compensation, reflecting the value placed on eye health within their healthcare systems.
Both countries consistently rank high in global quality of life indices, offering an exceptional standard of living, access to world-class healthcare, and diverse cultural experiences.
Optometry education and research in Australia and New Zealand are well-regarded globally, providing opportunities for continuous learning and involvement in cutting-edge advancements.
Both countries embrace cultural diversity, offering a welcoming environment for professionals from various backgrounds to contribute to the local healthcare landscape.
Australia and New Zealand prioritise work-life balance, allowing optometrists to enjoy fulfilling personal lives alongside their professional commitments.
To embark on optometry registration, individuals must fulfil specific eligibility criteria.
This includes providing evidence of completing a comprehensive optometry course, either a 4-year full-time study or a 3-year study, followed by one year of supervised clinical practice and successful completion of a professional examination.
The COE exam comprises five parts categorised into two written, two clinical examinations, and one online cultural safety training for optometrists.
The Written Examination allows remote participation and can be taken online from the comfort of your home country.
On the other hand, the Clinical Examination is held at the Australian College of Optometry in Melbourne.
First Series - Online (remote proctored examination)
Monday 4th & Tuesday 5th March 2024
Second Series - Online (remote proctored examination):
Monday 5th & Tuesday 6th August 2024
Session One: Week of 17 June 2024
Session Two: Week of 24 June 2024
Session One: Week of 18 November 2024
Session Two: Week of 25 November 2024
The OCANZ Competency in Optometry Examination (COE) is a pivotal step for optometrists aspiring to practise in Australia and New Zealand.
Through a comprehensive assessment of theoretical knowledge and practical skills, the COE exam ensures that registered optometrists meet the high standards required for patient care.
Aspiring optometrists must demonstrate their commitment to excellence in optometric practice and contribute to the healthcare landscape of these countries by clearing the OCANZ Competency in Optometry Examination.
You can navigate your OCANZ COE journey through Academically to make your dream career in Australia.
Ans: To work as an optometrist in Australia, you must complete the Competency in Optometry Examination (COE) conducted by the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ). Upon successful completion, you can apply for registration with the Optometry Board of Australia, allowing you to practice as a qualified optometrist in the country.
Ans: Yes, optometry is in demand in Australia. The profession is highly valued, and there is a consistent demand for optometrists due to the country's focus on eye health and the increasing need for vision care services.
Ans: In Australia, the typical annual salary for optometrists averages AUD 116,584 or INR 60,00,000. Starting salaries for entry-level positions begin around AUD 106,000 per year or INR 54,70,000, while highly experienced optometrists can earn up to AUD 148,200 or INR 73,30,000 annually.
Ans: An Indian Optometry degree is generally recognised in New Zealand but needs to be assessed by the authority. However, individuals must typically pass the Competency in Optometry Examination (COE) conducted by the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ) to meet the registration requirements for practising as an optometrist in New Zealand.
Ans: Yes, optometrists are in demand in New Zealand, as the country places a high value on eye health, and the demand for vision care services continues to grow. The profession offers favourable opportunities for those seeking a career as an optometrist in New Zealand.
Dr. Indu K is a dentist with one year of clinical experience. She seamlessly transitioned into content writing three years ago. Her passion lies in making complex medical information accessible to everyone. She uses her unique blend of medical knowledge and exceptional writing skills to bridge the gap between healthcare and the general audience.