JinTaek

5+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2011
17
0
Status
Hello all,

As you see my account, I tried to go into optometry school few years ago (about 5 years ago?). Due to family/financial issue, I had to pause my dream for a while.

I have been working right after I took my first/last OAT. Some stuffs happened during the time I was studying for OAT so obviously I didn't get a great score on it.

I started my job as Quality Control and made around $30k for a year. Then I got into IT company and now I'm making around $60k+bonus salary which is not bad at all. Currently I am 28 years old and I have 0 loans(except my car), $4000 savings, and about $10k in 401k.

I do not have any stress working right now. I'm basically happy. However I'm not feeling comfortable about the future. I know the fact that I do not want to do my job for my entire life. Family/financial issue has been resolved so I have decided that I am going to try Optometry once again in my life. So here is my current background/experience:

Graduated in 2011 with Zoology Degree 2.955 overall GPA.
(Missing 1 pre-req: Biochemistry. *2 pre-reqs if animal anatomy physiology doesn't count as Physiology)
~100 hours of shadowing experience in 2011~2012
2 year work experience in Service (Restaurant Server/cashier)
1 year work experience in Quality Control (Foil Company)
2+ year work experience in IT Consulting (IT Quality Assurance/IT Business Analyst)

Took OAT once - Was not impressing score. Most like will take it again.

I would be stupid to quit my current job and go for optometry. So I decided to maybe take night classes or study for OAT after work. However, I'm not sure what else I would need to get into optometry school.

My current plan is study OAT after work every day for 3 month and take one end of this year and see how good I can do. But I feel like great OAT score would not be enough. I would appreciate it if you guys have any advices I can take to prepare for optometry school.

Thank you very much.
Jin
 
Last edited:
Apr 24, 2016
13
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
In my opinion, I think your GPA is a little low so it may be difficult for admissions to look passed that. Also, since you have been out of school for a while, they might question your ability to handle the course load in optometry school. If I was in your situation, I might consider doing a Masters program? If not, maybe consider doing more shadowing just to reaffirm to yourself and schools that you know what the profession entails?

I wish you best of luck!! :)
 
Aug 13, 2016
14
2
Status
Pre-Optometry
I think some will take the Animal A&P...saw it on one website but not sure. You have to retake OAT anyway since they're only good for 2 (maybe 3) years.

Best of luck!
 
Last edited:

Weirdy

2+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2016
2,077
2,502
Status
Podiatry Student
cGPA is a little low.

You would need to retake pre-reqs at community college and get all As or consider post-bac. A masters may help but will cost more than a post-bac and take more time.

Retake OAT for sure.

Your finances are in order right now, but you need to consider a few things at your current age:

Do you have a family? Opto school will require you to go to class from 8am-7pm (on days with labs). You are looking at 20-21 credit hrs per semester. You will also be on rotations your 3rd/4th year that could be in completely different cities than where you are now. You will study as if it was your full time job. Your spouse will have to be on board with this, not factoring if you have kids.

Are you ready to take on loans? You will come out of Opto school with appx 140-160k+ in debt, not factoring interest and opportunity cost. Yes, it is possible to work it off after opto school. But you should know of the financial responsibilities you are taking on while you're in opto school.

If you are going to consider it, you need to fully commit. There is no going in half-heartedly or on a whim. You will have to work hard during and after you graduate opto school.

Hello all,

As you see my account, I tried to go into optometry school few years ago (about 5 years ago?). Due to family/financial issue, I had to pause my dream for a while.

I have been working right after I took my first/last OAT. Some stuffs happened during the time I was studying for OAT so obviously I didn't get a great score on it.

I started my job as Quality Control and made around $30k for a year. Then I got into IT company and now I'm making around $60k+bonus salary which is not bad at all. Currently I am 28 years old and I have 0 loans(except my car), $4000 savings, and about $10k in 401k.

I do not have any stress working right now. I'm basically happy. However I'm not feeling comfortable about the future. I know the fact that I do not want to do my job for my entire life. Family/financial issue has been resolved so I have decided that I am going to try Optometry once again in my life. So here is my current background/experience:

Graduated in 2011 with Zoology Degree 2.955 overall GPA.
(Missing 1 pre-req: Biochemistry. *2 pre-reqs if animal anatomy physiology doesn't count as Physiology)
~100 hours of shadowing experience in 2011~2012
2 year work experience in Service (Restaurant Server/cashier)
1 year work experience in Quality Control (Foil Company)
2+ year work experience in IT Consulting (IT Quality Assurance/IT Business Analyst)

Took OAT once - Was not impressing score. Most like will take it again.

I would be stupid to quit my current job and go for optometry. So I decided to maybe take night classes or study for OAT after work. However, I'm not sure what else I would need to get into optometry school.

My current plan is study OAT after work every day for 3 month and take one end of this year and see how good I can do. But I feel like great OAT score would not be enough. I would appreciate it if you guys have any advices I can take to prepare for optometry school.

Thank you very much.
Jin
 

mssvbn5

2+ Year Member
Sep 27, 2016
6
4
Status
Optometrist
Hello all,

As you see my account, I tried to go into optometry school few years ago (about 5 years ago?). Due to family/financial issue, I had to pause my dream for a while.

I have been working right after I took my first/last OAT. Some stuffs happened during the time I was studying for OAT so obviously I didn't get a great score on it.

I started my job as Quality Control and made around $30k for a year. Then I got into IT company and now I'm making around $60k+bonus salary which is not bad at all. Currently I am 28 years old and I have 0 loans(except my car), $4000 savings, and about $10k in 401k.

I do not have any stress working right now. I'm basically happy. However I'm not feeling comfortable about the future. I know the fact that I do not want to do my job for my entire life. Family/financial issue has been resolved so I have decided that I am going to try Optometry once again in my life. So here is my current background/experience:

Graduated in 2011 with Zoology Degree 2.955 overall GPA.
(Missing 1 pre-req: Biochemistry. *2 pre-reqs if animal anatomy physiology doesn't count as Physiology)
~100 hours of shadowing experience in 2011~2012
2 year work experience in Service (Restaurant Server/cashier)
1 year work experience in Quality Control (Foil Company)
2+ year work experience in IT Consulting (IT Quality Assurance/IT Business Analyst)

Took OAT once - Was not impressing score. Most like will take it again.

I would be stupid to quit my current job and go for optometry. So I decided to maybe take night classes or study for OAT after work. However, I'm not sure what else I would need to get into optometry school.

My current plan is study OAT after work every day for 3 month and take one end of this year and see how good I can do. But I feel like great OAT score would not be enough. I would appreciate it if you guys have any advices I can take to prepare for optometry school.

Thank you very much.
Jin

Hi Jin,

Optometry may not be the best way to achieve financial security or the way to be happy in the future. My advice would be to continue with your current job and climb the ladder in the IT world.

If you were to take on $280K-300K of student loans to attend optometry school
At a 6.5% interest rate, earnings of 100K/year, and a 15 year repayment plan, your finances would look something like this:

100K - 28% federal and ~8% state income tax = 64K annual net income

This means you will earn $5300 monthly

Your budget:
$2500 monthly loan payment
$1500/month rent or mortgage and living expenses
$200/month car insurance, gas and car maintenance
$1000/month savings or investments
$100/month entertainment

At the end of 15 years, your student loan will have cost you $455K
Your savings/investments will be $180K
_____________________________________________
In comparison, if you choose not go to school, given your current annual income-
60K + bonus, say 70K annually

70K - 25% federal and ~8% state income tax = 47K annual net income

You will earn ~$3910 monthly

If we use a similar budget, but allow you to save twice as much and spend twice as much on entertainment:
$1500/month rent or mortgage and living expenses
$200/month car insurance, gas and car maintenance
$2000/month savings or investments
$200/month entertainment
At the end of 15 years, you will have taken out 0 in student loans
Your savings/investments will be $360K

Neither of these calculations take into account wage increases over time or compounding interest from investments. It is important to understand that with tuition and interest today even despite optometrist's good quality of life and generally enjoyable line of work, choosing school over a decent job is not necessarily a financially viable decision.

Enjoy your life, be grateful for what you have, and good luck with your choice