Number and rate of optometrists

Measure 4.1: The number of employed optometrists, full-time equivalent (FTE) per 100,000 Australian population.

The size and location of the eye health workforce provides a broad indication of access to eye health services. FTE is a measure calculated by dividing an estimate of the total hours worked by employees in an occupation in a week by an estimate of the standard hours worked for optometrists (38 hours per week). The number of FTE is then compared with the size of relevant population to get the FTE per 100,000 population.

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  • In 2017, there were 4,832 optometrists employed in Australia (18 FTE per 100,000).
  • In 2017, Major cities had the highest number (3,812) and rate (20 FTE per 100,000) of employed optometrists. This was followed by Inner regional areas (751, or 16 FTE per 100,000) and Outer regional areas (236, or 11 FTE per 100,000). The numbers and rates of optometrists were lowest in Remote and Very remote areas.