One thing you may not have envisioned getting between you and your choice of career is your eyesight however there are plenty of jobs that turn away applicants because of vision and sight deficiencies. Among the top five in this category are listed as follows:

The Fire and Rescue Service

It’s a well-known fact that firefighters have to be tremendously fit – after all, the environment they have to work in is often hot, humid and low in oxygen. It’s not just their bodies that need to be in good shape, however – their eyesight and vision also needs to be able to cope with the demands of a hot and smoky atmosphere.

Different fire and rescue services around the world have different rules regarding the visual aids that their firefighters are permitted to wear, but when firefighters are permitted to wear contact lenses they must be soft contact lenses. This is because rigid (gas permeable) contact lenses can cause both discomfort and even eye sight problems as dust, dirt and smoke can become trapped beneath them and sit on the eye.

Armed Forces

If you’re interested in a career in the Royal Air Force, British Army or Royal Navy it’s very important that you can see what you’re doing – after all, national security could be at stake. The exact sight requirements differ depending on which branch you want to enlist in and the best way to find out if you are eligible is to discuss it with someone at your local careers office.

As a guide, to serve in any branch of the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force your prescription can’t be more than +/- 6 dioptres while in the British Army contact lens or glasses can’t be used to correct vision of more than -7 or +8. Similar requirements exist in the US military as well.

The eyesight requirements for military pilots is particularly strict – applicants to the Army Air Corps in the British Army for example must have visual acuity of 6/12 without glasses and 6/6 with glasses – in addition, the lens power of these glasses can be no more than -0.75 to +1.75, which excludes many people from the job. Some military pilot positions are beginning to accept candidates that have had corrective vision surgery, but those that do require that a year has passed since surgery with stable vision for at least six months.

Commercial Pilot

While the rules for commercial pilots aren’t quite as strict as military pilots, it’s still obviously important to have good eyesight if you’re going to fly a plane of any kind.

A prescription of up to +/-3 dioptres is acceptable, although with visual correction commercial pilots must have 20/20 vision. Commercial pilots can wear contact lenses, but because of the low relative humidity in the cockpit they shouldn’t be high in water content.


It’s a police officer’s job to be aware of everything that’s going on around them. And to be able to do that, they need to see properly. While contact lenses or glasses can be used to correct impaired vision, unaided sight must still be a minimum of 6/36.

Pest Control technician

These are just a few careers that require candidates to have a certain quality of vision and that’s without taking into account the colour vision requirements. A pest control worker must distinguish between safe and contaminated objects and is required to locate insect nests or spores minute in size. Other common tasks may involve spraying chemical solutions, powders, or gases into rooms, onto clothing, furnishings or wood. Setting mechanical traps and place poisonous paste or bait in sewers, burrows, and ditches. Inspecting premises to identify infestation source and extent of damage to property, wall and roof porosity, and access to infested locations. Studying preliminary reports and diagrams of infested area and determine treatment type required to eliminate and prevent recurrence of infestation.

For all of these roles an expert and keen visual focus will be absolutely paramount to both successful task completion and high performance work intensity.