With a median pay of $176K, Self-Employed Optometrists make much more than the national average ($99K annually) for those in this field. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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.
- Conduct tests to identify and evaluate eye defects and disease.
- Prescribe eye glasses, contact lenses, vision therapy and low vision aids for the correction of visual disorders.
- Examine, diagnose and treat patients.
Optometrist Job Listings
Search for more jobs:
Popular Employer Salaries for Optometrist
Popular Skills for Optometrist
Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Glaucoma, contact lens, Optometry, and Pediatrics are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Contact Lenses and ocular disease. Those educated in Optometry tend to be well versed in Contact Lenses.
Pay by Experience Level for Optometrist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Optometrists with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $98K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $107K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Optometrists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $112K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $118K.
Pay Difference by Location
New York is home to an above-average pay rate for Optometrists, 16 percent higher than the national average. Optometrists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Minneapolis (+15 percent), Phoenix (+7 percent), San Francisco (+7 percent), and St. Louis (+5 percent). With compensation 13 percent below the national average, Houston is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in Los Angeles (8 percent lower) and San Diego (5 percent lower).