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How much do Optometrists make ?




An optometrist’s salary is determined by the healthcare facility where they work, their level of skill, and their geographic region. Here are the average salaries for optometrists in the United States: In the United States, an optometrist earns an average of $120,000 a year. 


Who is an optometrist? 

An optometrist, often known as a doctor of optometry, is a trained health practitioner who examines, diagnoses, treats, and prevents diseases and disorders of the eyes and visual system. When it comes to eye care, a Doctor of Optometry should be your first choice because they specialize in managing all aspects of your eye health. 



An undergraduate degree from an approved institution is the minimum qualification for optometry school. Individuals interested in optometry school should first get a bachelor’s degree in pre-med or related biological study. Chemistry, physics, biology, English, and mathematics are all mandatory courses. 

Passing the optometry admission test and completing a Doctor of Optometry degree program are the next steps in your education. Hands-on clinical practice and fundamental classroom education are included in this program. Anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, visual science, and optics are among the topics covered in the courses. 



After earning your O.D., you can enroll in a residency program to gain more specialized training in optometry. Under the direction of a trained optometrist, you will obtain classroom and clinical experience. Family practice, pediatric or geriatric optometry, low vision rehabilitation, and ocular illness are some of the specializations available in residency programs. 

If you do not choose to participate in a residency program, an internship can be beneficial during or after your schooling. This will help you gain the experience and abilities you’ll need while applying for optometry positions following graduation. 



Optometrists must be licensed in every state before they can practice. Every state will have its own set of rules. Before you apply for a license, make sure you verify these prerequisites. An O.D. degree from an accredited school is necessary in all states, as well as completion and passing of all portions of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam. 

You may be required to take a clinical exam or an exam on optometry laws in some states. 



Optometrists who want to be recognized for their expertise and knowledge in the field of optometry can apply to the American Board of Optometry for board certification.


What’s the difference between a doctor of optometry and a doctor of ophthalmology? 

Optometrists and ophthalmologists are not the same thing because optometrists aren’t medical professionals as ophthalmologists are. What an optometrist can diagnose and treat is restricted. Ophthalmologists are healthcare specialists who specialize in visual care and surgery and have completed additional years of medical school.


What qualifications do optometrists require to be successful in their jobs? 

To be successful in their careers, optometrists must possess the following abilities: 


Pay close attention to the details. 

Optometrists must pay close attention to and carefully record patient symptoms. They must also keep track of patient papers and information. They will most likely receive adequate therapy and accurate meds and prescriptions if they pay attention to detail. 

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Optometrists must assess patient data and then determine the appropriate course of treatment for each patient in order to provide the best possible care. 


Personality traits 

An optometrist spends the most of his or her time examining and communicating with patients. When talking with patients, they should be at ease and make them feel at ease during the examination or therapy. 



Optometrists must interact with their patients and coworkers in a clear and open manner. Patients frequently require optometrists to explain treatment and at-home care.


Where can an Optometrist work ?

The majority of optometrists work full-time and on weekends. They frequently work weekends or evenings to meet the demands of their patients. The majority of optometrists work in a separate office that is not affiliated with a healthcare facility. They can, however, work at optical stores, doctor’s offices, or run their own practices if they are self-employed. 

What is the average time it takes to become an optometrist? 

An optometry education typically takes seven to nine years to complete. Three to four years for an undergraduate degree, and four years for optometry school. It will take an additional year for an optometrist to begin practicing optometry if they choose to specialize.


Factors that influence an optometrist’s salary 


The first step in negotiating salary as a fresh grad optometrist is to learn about market value in your target region or state. For example, optometrists indicated that the average annual beginning pay in Montana is only $78,000, whereas new grad optometrists in Wyoming earn an average of $105,000 per year. 


The location of an optometrist’s office has a considerable impact on the average optometrist pay; typical optometrist salaries differ significantly by state, region, and even city. The outcomes, on the other hand, may surprise you. The top and bottom of our lists were both made up of states from the same region. Furthermore, a larger city does not always imply a higher salary, as metropolitan locations are typically more desirable and hence may afford to pay less. 


Rural optometrists frequently discover that their patients are ready to pay more to ensure that their community’s eye care needs are satisfied. 

At the same time, factors such as cost of living, housing availability, transit alternatives, and overall accessibility of a specific place should be considered, as these will affect how your wage translates to your daily life. 


More experience equals more cash. 

When it comes to pay, the length of time spent working in the field of optometry matters a lot. As one may imagine, as one’s experience grows, so does the average optometrist pay. A new grad, for example, will earn $109,000 in a median market, whereas an OD with 4-6 years of experience will earn $123,600, and someone with 10+ years of experience will earn $166,800. 


Salary levels for optometrists are similarly influenced by gender. 

Despite the fact that starting salaries were not expressly examined, our 2021 Eyes On Eyecare Optometrist Report showed a large wage gap between male and female ODs—even in 2021. When incomes are averaged by gender, male optometrists earn around $41,699 more per year than female counterparts, according to salary data from all optometrists questioned (both hired optometrists and practice owners). Male optometrists reported an annual pay of $189,260, compared to $165,447 for female ODs, according to the Review of Optometry’s 2021 Income Survey. However, this is a move in the right direction; by 2021, the gender gap will have shrunk to a new low of 14%.

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Why Become an Optometrist? 


Opportunities for Growth

Optometry doctors are in high demand. We look after Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers who are getting older. As the population of the elderly population grows, the demand for this profession will only increase. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of optometry will grow by roughly 27%, or 11,000 new jobs, between 2014 and 2024. This is more than the predicted average job growth across all industries. 

A profession in optometry offers many benefits in addition to meeting a need. To begin, you can take part in multidisciplinary treatment with other medical professionals. Through the practice of primary optometry, you will be able to participate in a holistic treatment regimen. Then there’s the fact that you don’t only have to treat patients. 


Diverse Specialties 

You can choose your research path if you want to. This will open the door to new diagnostics, treatments, and cures for eye disorders and ailments. Continuing in the same vein, you can instruct the next generation of optometrists while conducting research or as a stand-alone job. There are 23 optometry schools and colleges in the United States and Puerto Rico. 

Finally, compared to other sorts of medical professionals, your specialized specialty has far more opportunities. Pediatric, geriatric, low vision, contact lenses, vision rehabilitation, ocular disease, impairments, and other specific populations are all options in optometry. You will almost certainly be able to find work in any environment, from cities and suburbs to rural areas and even overseas, if you fall into one of these categories. 


Satisfaction at Work 

Optometrists enjoy their employment because they are able to improve the lives of their patients while still preserving a work-life balance. When a patient puts on glasses for the first time, we can observe their immediate satisfaction. Furthermore, most optometrists can work a flexible schedule that suits their needs while only receiving a few emergency care requests.


The Best Optometry Schools in the United States

 Kentucky College of Optometry, University of Pikeville 

UPIKE is Kentucky’s only college of optometry, located in the Appalachian Mountains. The school, however, does not rely on its exclusivity. The UPIKE College of Optometry has already benefited the health of its community since its founding in 2016, by training future doctors in their state-of-the-art $60 million+ Health Professions Education Building. Furthermore, the school actively supports future students by offering a grant to assist those taking the Optometry Admissions Test with their expenditures. 

UPIKE’s optometry school has a comparatively high acceptance rate of 38 percent. Despite this large number, the school has an amazing 91.89 percent pass rate, demonstrating its commitment to providing its pupils with the necessary tools. The UPIKE College of Optometry is dedicated to educating the next generation of vision specialists, as evidenced by these figures. 

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The School of Optometry is based at the University of California, Berkeley 

The School of Optometry at UC Berkeley was established in 1923 as the country’s third university optometry department.It is interesting to note that some Presidents of the American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Optometry were formerly teachers or alumni of this institution. Despite this, the 92.54 percent pass rate demonstrates that the institution prioritizes students completing their degree, regardless of how many awards it has received. 

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When one considers the high quality of training pupils receive, that number becomes even more astonishing. Patients are introduced to optometry students during their first year, and they spend around 2500 hours with them by the end of the program. Students can also further their research goals through the award-winning Clinical Research Center and a variety of additional resources.


Illinois College of Optometry is a school of optometry in Chicago, Illinois. 

We’ve all uttered things like “the best thing since sliced bread” when it comes to a terrific breakthrough. Because the creator of the bread slicing machine, Otto Frederick Rohwedder, graduated from ICO, the Illinois College of Optometry must be even better. 

While the majority of ICO’s 160 graduates go on to practice optometry rather than revolutionize the bread industry, the school’s 92.54 percent pass record demonstrates its commitment to pupils. Students are trained at the Illinois Eye Institute, where they gain practical experience. ICO also provides residency programs in a variety of fields, including vision rehabilitation and ocular illness. 

These resources are housed on a gorgeous campus in the heart of Chicago, resulting in a supportive and challenging student body. In the end, ICO produces some of Chicago’s and the Midwest’s greatest eye doctors. 


College of Optometry, University of Missouri at St. Louis 

The UMiss-SL College of Optometry has a 31 percent admittance rate and a 95.65 percent pass rate, indicating that they’re doing something right. They recruit prospective optometrists from all around the country and provide them with ongoing support throughout the program to ensure that the vast majority of their students graduate. 

The school’s principles of growth, responsibility, discovery, and community align with its dedication to students. Students and professors have been active in programs to improve vision care for people who need it the most, such as low-cost optic kits, diversity and inclusion programs, and boosting accessibility to the city’s low-income population. 

Any student who’s interested in the College of Optometry at UMiss-SL should make plans to obtain well written letters of recommendation and many service hours, in addition to good test scores and GPA. 


College of Optometry, Ohio State University 

The Ohio State University is known as one of the greatest state universities in the country, so it’s no surprise that their College of Optometry is well-regarded. Optical technology inventors, writers to the nation’s top medical publications, and ranking members of the most prominent faculty organizations make up the college’s faculty. Major grants, such as the Prentice Medal Award for renowned scientists and the Low Vision Educational Grant, provide further support to students and professors. 

Despite its research focus, OSU’s College of Optometry does not forget about its students, with a 96.83 percent pass rate. Current students laud the program’s cutting-edge resources and friendly professors, which is an incredible success for a school that only accepts 64 students per year. These figures suggest that the school is succeeding in its mission to produce great optometrists and conduct cutting-edge research.

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