Ophthalmologists receive generous compensation in the United States — earning an average of $201K per year, their standard salaries shoot well into the six-figure range. Geography and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most people who answered the questionnaire are men; 67 percent of Ophthalmologists are male. For the most part, Ophthalmologists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. While around one in five report receiving no health benefits, a fair number do receive medical coverage, and about two-fifths have dental, as well. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Job Description for Ophthalmologist
While the similar professional names of optometrists can cause confusion for laymen, an ophthalmologist is an actual eye doctor. Ophthalmologists are not only certified to perform medical exams, but they also diagnose diseases, write prescriptions, and perform surgery. Many ophthalmologists are also familiar with laser vision-correction procedures, such as LASIK, and offer these services to patients.Read More...
Ophthalmologists are primarily responsible for performing routine eye examinations. In addition to testing visual acuity, they also check for signs of diseases, such as glaucoma or cataracts, and diagnose a variety of related conditions. For instance, they may take note early signs of jaundice that signify liver problems or lipid rings which indicate serious cholesterol problems.
Ophthalmologists also typically offer surgical care for patients. While the most well-known of these are laser corrections to the lens of the eye, these doctors also help correct corneal problems and even clear developing cataracts in patients. They may also be consulted about eye injuries and either serve as primary care providers for those who require care or refer them to sub-specialists who work specifically in areas such as retinal re-attachment.
As ophthalmologists are licensed medical doctors, they must undertake the same rigorous educational training as many other doctors. Due to their specialty, ophthalmologists typically choose and commit to their discipline early on in the education process. Most in this position work in dedicated eye care clinics, some of which may be attached to larger optical facilities that sell glasses and contact lenses.
- Administer routine eye exams.
- Prescribe eye care and surgeries as needed.
- Diagnose and medically treat any eye disorders and diseases.
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Pay by Experience Level for Ophthalmologist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Ophthalmologists with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Large paychecks, which sit comfortably in the six-figure range, are handed out almost immediately; professionals who have less than five years' experience report earning a median of $193K per year. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $251K. Ophthalmologists who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $259K on average.