Careers that Require Excellent Vision

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Most people don’t have perfect vision, but it’s no big deal.  We have many options to improve our eyesight including contact lenses, glasses, and laser eye surgery.   There are, however, certain occupations that only accept applicants who have perfect vision.  Here are a few of those professions that require good, if not flawless, eyesight.

Public Service Professions

Fire Fighters Must-Have 20/20 Vision This elite group ranges from law enforcement to firefighters.  Since a police officer’s job requires the use of firearms and constant vigilance, good eyesight is understandably crucial. While they do not have to have naturally perfect vision, they do need to possess 20/20 sight or better.  Firefighters have to be in great physical shape and have the ability to see in compromised situations such as smoky rooms devoid of adequate oxygen.   The specific requirements for fire and rescue workers can differ between countries, districts, and the like. While soft contact lenses may be permitted in certain cases, it’s often discouraged; as contact lenses and other corrective eyewear cause hindrance in dangerous situations like the type faced by public servants on a routine basis.

Armed Forces

Specific sight requirements for armed forces differ based upon the branch of the military, and the position you seek within that branch. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll be rejected for weak eyesight.   In the late ’90s, fighter pilots were finally given permission to obtain LASIK laser eye surgery to reach 20/20.  Further, there are many administrative positions within the armed forces that are lenient on vision requirements. Inquire about vision requirements directly with the institution you hope to pursue before you submit your application.

Commercial Airline Pilots

Nowadays, commercial pilots are allowed to wear contact lenses as long as the water content in the lenses is low enough that they won’t be compromised by the low humidity in the plane’s cabin. For the most part, eyeglasses are never allowed as they can become lost or damaged, a risk that no airline will be willing to take.

All of the sight tests required to become a pilot are quite extensive in order to ensure that each applicant has the requisite 20/20 vision. While these tests may seem excessive, this precaution is understandable when you consider the enormous responsibility of a pilot. After all, over the course of their career, pilots are responsible for the lives of thousands, if not millions, of passengers.


Astronauts Can't Wear Glasses or Contacts
The vision requirements of the astronaut are similar to that of the pilot.  Kids dream of traveling in space, though its actuality is slim. Unlike pilots, astronauts are strictly prohibited from wearing corrective eyewear. The change in atmospheric pressure and being in a zero-gravity state can cause significant problems for both contact and eyeglass wearers.


Fashion designers, interior designers, tailors, and related visual mediums rely heavily on their eyes to create their products. While there are no vision requirements per se, poor vision is going to stifle your ability to distinguish color, depth, or needlepoint.

Well, there you have it.  If you dream of pursuing a career in public service, the military, the sky, or fashion remember that your vision is crucial.  Most of the aforementioned allow patients to undergo LASIK in order to meet the vision requirements.  If you’ve been considering LASIK for a while to improve your job performance or meet an occupational requirement, find out if you are a candidate.  Contact our office for a free LASIK consultation today.