The optometrist salary is a lucrative one. How much do optometrists make? We’ll take a closer look at the average optometrist salary, job description and more information about this fascinating profession.
If you’ve ever wondered what an optometrist does or how much they make, then this article is for you. We’ll take a look at tasks description, optometrist salary, and other important aspects of the job.
Optometrist Salary in the United States: Average, Median and More
As an optometrist, you can expect to earn a good salary. The average optometrist salary is $125,440 per year ($60.31 per hour). The median salary is $118,050 ($56.76 per hour), meaning that half of all optometrists earn more than this and half earn less.
The salary you can expect to earn as an optometrist will depend on a number of factors, including your experience, the type of practice you work in, and the location of your practice. In general, optometrists who work in private practices or in large metropolitan areas tend to earn higher salaries than those who work in smaller towns or rural areas.
If you are just starting out as an optometrist, your salary will likely be on the lower end of the spectrum. However, with experience, you can expect to see your salary increase. The most experienced optometrists can earn salaries in the six-figure range.
Average Annual Optometrist Salary by State
There are many factors that can affect an optometrist’s salary, including their experience, the state they work in, and the type of practice they work for.
In general, optometrists earn a higher salary in states with a higher cost of living. This disparity can be also partially attributed to the fact that some states have more restrictive licensing requirements than others.
Here is a breakdown of the average annual optometrist salary in the highest paying states (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics):
- District of Columbia – $189,750,
- Connecticut – $178,530,
- North Dakota – $172,430,
- Alaska – $146,680,
- Kentucky – $144,320.
What Does an Optometrist Do?
An optometrist is a healthcare professional who diagnoses and treats vision problems. They may prescribe glasses, contact lenses, and other corrective eyewear. Optometrists also teach patients about how to take care of their eyes and protect their vision.
Some optometrists may choose to specialize in a particular area of eye care, such as pediatric optometry or glaucoma treatment.
How to Become an Optometrist?
To become an optometrist, you will need to complete an accredited four-year Doctor of Optometry (OD) program.
In order to be eligible to apply to an accredited OD program, you will need to have completed a minimum of two years of undergraduate study, although most applicants have completed at least three years. During your undergraduate studies, you will need to have completed coursework in the sciences, including biology, chemistry, and physics.
Once you have been accepted into an accredited OD program, you will complete four years of study, which includes both didactic (classroom) and clinical training. Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded the Doctor of Optometry degree and will be eligible to take the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam.
To work as an optometrist, you will need to become licensed in the state in which you wish to practice. The requirements for licensure vary from state to state, but typically include passing an exam administered by the NBEO.
Optometrist: Job Opportunities
With an aging population and an increased emphasis on vision care, the demand for optometrists is expected to grow in the coming years. Job opportunities should be favorable, especially in rural and underserved areas.
Some optometrists open their own practices, while others work in partnership with ophthalmologists or other medical professionals. Many optometrists are also employed by retail chains or health care organizations. Positions can be found in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and corporate offices.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for optometrists will grow by 28 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be especially good for those who are willing to work in underserved areas, such as rural communities or inner-city neighborhoods.
So you want to be an optometrist? Now you have all the information on what it takes to become one and what to expect from a career in optometric industry.
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