For Optometrists, higher-than-average salaries can be found at Self-Employed, where the average employee brings in around $176K relative to the national average of $100K per year for those in this line of work. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Optometrist
Optometrists examine patients' eyes, conducting vision tests and diagnosing and treating sight problems. The main responsibilities of an optometrist include examining patients of all ages to detect vision defects, diseases or injuries; producing reports that detail patients' visual exam histories to supply the best care; providing advice to patients who may need lenses or frames; and writing referrals to other vision specialists when appropriate. Additionally, optometrists may have monthly sales goals designated by his or her employer. Higher-level optometrists may manage staff, as well as communicate with sales representatives from various vision product suppliers to maintain product supply for the company. Optometrist generally work in private practice, such as in eye offices and vision centers; they may also teach at the university level.Read More...
To become an optometrist, prospective employees must obtain an undergraduate degree in anatomy, biology, chemistry or another relevant field. Then, they must complete optometry school. Some employers may require prospective applicants to obtain a doctorate of optometry, which requires an additional four years of education. Upon completion of the optometry program, applicants must obtain a license in the state in which they wish to practice. To gain a license, applicants must pass a clinical and written examination administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.
- Examine, diagnose and treat patients.
- Prescribe eye glasses, contact lenses, vision therapy and low vision aids for the correction of visual disorders.
- Conduct tests to identify and evaluate eye defects and disease.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Optometrist
Popular Skills for Optometrist
Survey results suggest that Optometrists put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in contact lens, Glaucoma, Optometry, and Pediatrics are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include ocular disease and Contact Lenses. For most people, competency in Optometry indicates knowledge of Contact Lenses.
Pay by Experience Level for Optometrist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Optometrists — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Individuals with less than five years' experience take home around $99K. In contrast, though, people who have been on the job for five to 10 years report a six-figure median of $108K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Optometrists make a median salary of $112K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $118K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Optometrists that is 14 percent greater than the national average, Minneapolis offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Optometrists will also find cushy salaries in Charlotte (+13 percent), Phoenix (+12 percent), New York (+7 percent), and Chicago (+1 percent). Trailing the national average by 10 percent, Houston is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers in Dallas and Los Angeles also lean toward paying below-median salaries (8 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).
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Key Stats for Optometrist
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