The average optometrist salary is approximately $107,000. Densely populated areas and areas in which optometrists are in short supply pay more while other areas pay less. According to the Doctor’s Exchange of Washington, a fresh Optometrist starts at a salary of $90,000/year but other surveys indicate that fresh graduates also start their career at $50,000/year in areas where the supply of optometrists outpaces their demand. Louisiana pays the highest rate per hour while Puerto Rico hourly pays are the lowest.
Defining The Optometrist’s Career
A Doctor of Optometry is referred to as an optometrist. He is a healthcare professional who specializes in treating conditions related to the eye, the visual system, and everything connected to it. An optometrist can examine, diagnose and treat eye diseases, injuries, conditions and disorders.
Once upon a time an optometrist was considered as a professional who prescribed and fitted glasses and lenses. Today, all that has changed. Today’s optometrist is a primary care provider for visual care. He treats corneal injuries, ulcers, infections and any other eye diseases that can be treated by pharmaceutical means, visual problems, and poor vision conditions. He can provide pre- and post-surgical care and administer laser treatment. Optometrists also refer the patient to surgeons and order tests. They can even manage diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
The eyes are our windows to the world. A life without eyesight is joyless. Eyes are delicate, sensitive and important to every human. And, eyes require skilled care. This is why the optometrist salary is so high.
Optometrist Job Outlook
Human eyes are all over the place. When they are not working on the computer, they are watching the TV; when they are not viewing TV, they are playing games on their mobile or portables, or reading, or whatever. Humans want to eyeball everything except when they sleep and dream in Technicolor. All this eye exposure is not healthy and that is why our nation’s eyesight is weakening. Plus, Americans are aging and the life expectancy is going up. As people age, their eyesight weakens and they need care. Moreover, employers are now sponsoring eye care as well. Medicare also covers optometry. States are also busy expanding the optometrist’s scope of practice. These factors will continue to maintain and spur a robust demand for optometrists in the next decade.
Optometrists are the only type of healthcare professionals who do not have to work overtime or in graveyard shifts. Their working conditions are neat and hygienic and they don’t have to rush to attend many emergency calls.
The biggest problem with the profession is that the number of optometry schools is sparse and these schools feature a heavily-restricted class size. According to federal data, the demand for optometrists will grow at 24% till 2018. The optometrist salary will rise in proportion depending on skill-level and experience.
Optometrists do not retire easily. Many optometrists practice on a part-time basis even after retirement. This is evidence enough that the profession is very satisfying, rewarding and easy.
The Practicing Optometrist
An optometrist can start his private practice and choose to specialize in pediatrics, contact lenses, vision therapy or geriatrics. He can enter into a partnership or start a group practice. Group practice is very popular – an optometrist joins hands with other optometrists specializing in different areas and the group gets together and offers their all-inclusive vision health services under one roof. Such group practices are typically contracted by Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO).
An optometrist can also rent space in a retail outlet and practice independently. He can join hands with an ophthalmologist, practice in a hospital, act as a consultant to a corporate, and more. The practicing optometrist earns much more than the average optometrist salary. Practicing optometrists with more than 15 years of experience can easily make $175,000/year. A startup optometrist typically earns $105,000/year while working at his own pace.
Optometrists and Technology
One of the reasons why the optometrist salary is high is because an optometrist now works on very sophisticated equipment and caters to a very huge market. More and more people are switching over to contact lenses and lenses technology is getting better by the day. Optometrists use lasers to treat eye diseases and to correct conditions like near-sightedness and far-sightedness. Once upon a time, these conditions could only be rectified by wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Areas of Specialization
An optometrist can choose to specialize in treating infants (0-4 years), children, elderly (geriatrics), contact lenses, cornea conditions, vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, head trauma, binocular vision, ocular testing or occupational vision.
The optometrist salary is high, the profession’s work hours are regular, and the work is soul satisfying. This is why even retired optometrists choose to continue practice even after retirement. Optometrists enjoy a comfortable lifestyle as they go around making America a breathtakingly visual feast. Remember, optometrists are for your eyes only.
It is a fact that there are a number of eye doctors and experts that one can locate around, These professionals may focus their attention towards the eye, but there is no doubt about how differently they perform their respective functions. However, there are people who get increasingly confused between their differences. For this, a discussion about opthamologist vs optometrist is in order.
Some people may not feel the need to actually know the line that divides these two professions thinking that the assistance of any of them should do. However, they have to understand that there is a great deal of difference on the services that such practitioners offer. Hence, it is recommended that people will actually pay proper attention on how these two providers differ.
Optometrists are considered doctors of optometry or D. O., whereas an ophthalmologist is considered a doctor of medicine, hence, the MD extension added after their names. The former is tasked towards diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the vision such as in the case of nearsightedness, astigmatism, farsightedness, and are also able to prescribe prescription glasses lenses or contact lenses.
Meanwhile, the latter are professionals that have to graduate from a medical school after they have finished an undergraduate course. They also have to perform a one year internship before they will be accorded a doctorate degree. In addition, the jobs that they perform has something to do with performing eye examinations, refractions, and lens prescription.
In determining the difference between ophthalmologist vs optometrist, is that optometrists tend to focus their attention more towards getting visions corrected. They are also most likely to perform refractions services. Although ophthalmologists are trained to perform such procedures, these people often prefer to leave these tasks to the Dos since they tend to earn more by actually performing surgeries and other eye operations.
Thus, one must understand that as far as eye diseases are concerned, the best professional to refer to is the ophthalmologist. These providers have the necessary education and training that are required for them to carry out surgeries and eye operations to get such issue corrected. On the other hand, if they require correction of their vision, optometrists are their best choice.
People may also notice too, that are far as eye wear and such other appliances that people wear to correct their vision are concerned, the optometrists tend to have more of them in supply when compared to the ones that an ophthalmologist has. This is the reason why, cases that have something to do with vision care on the primary level are often carried out by optometrists.
Aside from getting to know the differences in the services offered by opthamologist vs optometrist, people are advised to always ensure that they are being attended to by the right professionals. They have to be sure that they are getting attended to by the right people by checking their backgrounds, their expertise, their experience, and their overall qualifications so they can be sure that such providers are going to do a good job attending to their needs.
The optometrist assistant may sometimes be referred to as optometric technician. They support the doctors who look after a person’s eye and vision care. The job of the assistants may differ depending on the field and the optometrists one is working for. Some of them do administrative jobs, while the others have simpler workloads.
Before becoming a licensed optometric technician, one needs to take a course certified by the Professional Optometry Association and pass the examinations. During the training, the students are taught the different optometric techniques and applications. This will prepare them for the number of opportunities that are available before them. However, most of the most important lessons are usually learned in experience as an assistant.
There are endless opportunities for a paraoptometric technician. He may work in health care facilities, private companies or governmental agencies. He can work for an eye doctor in a private office where the assistant mans the office most of the time. He can perform office jobs like answering the phone, writing receipts, setting up appointment or general bookkeeping.
When there are patients, he can also assist the doctors in the procedure. He also shows the patients to the examination room, instills the eye drops prior to the operation and counsels the patients. He will educate the patients about the proper eye care after the surgery and teach them the proper way of wearing lenses.
He can also work in private companies that sell some eye care products. Since he has the knowledge about the trade, he can provide sound advice to the customers and help them make an informed choice. He can help the patients to choose and purchase the best pair of eyeglasses or other eye care materials. He can also assist them in adjusting the items when necessary.
Some of them may also specialize in the preparation or distribution of items that are used to support the patient’s eye health instead of focusing on patient care. Some work in a lab where they produce, repair or coordinate eyeglasses or contact lenses. They can also coordinate with the delivery of the frames, lenses and other items.
Depending on the skills and specialties, the assistants may also have different rates. Some may have higher rates than the others. This is pretty much similar with how a nurse is rated as they work with physicians in a hospital setup. This may also be the basis of most doctors or companies in hiring an optometric technician.
The assistant must also be well groomed and equipped with good people relations and communication skills. They must be able to think analytically given the complications in this job. They must also be friendly with the customers. They can work in part time or full time, depending on the needs of the office and the hours of operation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the opportunities for an optometrist assistant and technicians are among the fastest growing industries between 2008 and 2018. As the aging population increases, the demands for eye and vision care also grows opening more posts for this job.
It can be really worthwhile to become an optometrist. This is a good career path that you can take. When you choose this, you would have to face the dilemma of deciding where to get your education and doctorate. If you are on your way to an optometrist school already, you have to be careful with the choice of institution that you make. There are various colleges and universities offering such a program, so you need to know what areas you should look into when making your comparison.
The first things you would have to check would of course be the institution’s various credentials. You should check out the basics like their experience and their faculty as well as their curriculum. You should also make sure that you are choosing one that is accredited. They must possess an accreditation from the Accreditation Council On Optometric Education or ACOE. This will ensure that they provide education that is up to standards. It would also be wise to check out how well their graduates perform in the board exam.
It is also important to check out the kind of clinical experience that they give. Make sure that they have a state of the art eye clinic that is large enough to cater to a lot of patients. You would need a large practicing ground for your training, so it would be important that you choose one with a well-established clinic. The clinical experience is more important than the lectures and theoretical background. All schools will have the same foundational courses on anatomy and optometry, but the kind of clinical experience you would get would vary.
You should also check out the various facilities being featured by the institution. Make sure that they have updated facilities and equipments that will help you train yourself with knowledge and experience in eye care. The classroom facilities must also be good as you would be spending the next four years in them as well.
You must also check out their residency program. Again, their residency program must be accredited. It should also have strong points in the area that you want to specialize in. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of their program and rate it accordingly.
The tuition would also be a huge factor in your decision. The least expensive way to obtain your degree is through public in institutions in your own state. If you go for public institutions out of state, the difference in tuition rates can be big. Private institutions in different states does not have huge differences, but they are all more expensive than public institutions.
You should also consider the living expenses you have to make. Cost of living in different areas can vary. Make sure you can deal with the costs before you would be making your decision.
It is also recommended that you choose an institution in the area you want to practice in the future. In this way, you would already be comfortable with the area and would start to create professional connections. It will allow you to plot your career even while still a student.
It is really crucial that you pick the right optometrist school. With these tips, you can be aided in making this crucial choice.
Optometrist salary has been increasing over the years as demand for optometrists increase. Optometrists help people to improve their vision by providing eye care services. This is a challenging job and the training is intensive. You will have to receive a degree in optometry in order to become an optometrist. The salary of an optometrist is decent also like salary in most medical fields. The salary can vary depending on skills, experience, working hours, work setting and location. Check out some facts about the salary range of an optometrist.
It is important for you to understand the job description of an optometrist if you are planning to pursue a course in optometrist. Optometrists deal with people with eye problems. They are known to take care of patients before and after an eye surgery. In addition, they can recommend eye lenses and medications to prevent eye infections. They use special equipments to make a diagnosis. They usually work in clinics and hospitals while others set up private settings. So what is the optometrist salary?
This is a question that every student will ask before joining a profession. The salary of an optometrist can vary because there are a number of factors that affect it. Years of experience play a key role in determining how much an optometrist earns. Optometrist starting salary is very low as compared to that of an optometrist who has been practicing for years. The annual salary as well as the hourly salary is also different with those with years of experience earning more.
If you compare the optometrist salary of a professional working in a federal government or clinic, it is different from that of self-employed professional. This is why the number of private clinics is ever on the rise. However, self-employed optometrists earn more once their business has been established and this can take years depending on your skills.
In addition to basic salary, optometrists receive a number of benefits also. The bonuses are depends on ones expertise and experience. Some of these benefits include pensions, security benefits as well as disability benefits. These benefits are a big part of what the professional earns.
To become an optometrist you must have a bachelor degree in optometry. Having a master or PhD can boost your career since those who have high level of education earn more. If you have a PhD and are working in the city center, you are going to earn more than a person who is working in a rural center. Optometrist salary can also vary depending on the state you are working in. On average, an optometrist working in California can earn up to $110,000 while another one working in New York earns around $130,000. Having this information can help you to make an informed decision.
Many students want to pursue a career in optometrist. Some because they have a passion for helping people with eye problems while others are attracted to the decent salary. Whatever your reason, it is important to learn the basic requirements of becoming an optometrist. You should know the optometrist salary range also.
The decision of whether or not to attend optometry school is not an easy one to make. On the one hand, optometrists can make in excess of $100,000 a year, but on the other hand, it takes years of dedicated training and hard work to become a successful optometrist capable of making anywhere close to $100,000 a year.
Ultimately though, if you compare optometry with a lot of other career choices, optometry comes out ahead. Optometrists have the opportunity to work with people each day, and they work in jobs that are mostly recession proof. After all, even during financial recessions people need to use corrective lenses.
If you decide to attend optometry school, it is best to start preparing early. Optometrists need to perform well as undergraduates and earn high grades in challenging math and science courses if they want to have a reasonable shot at being accepted to a U.S. optometry school.
There are only 21 optometry schools in the United States, and one of those is located in Puerto Rico, so prospective optometry school applicants do not have a lot of options as far as studying optometry goes.
As far as content is concerned, most optometry schools heavily emphasize studying the anatomy of the human eye, and becoming very familiar with the various pathologies that can afflict human eyes. There are a number of diseases that affect eyes, and it takes a number of years to learn their names and potential consequences.
After eye anatomy, optometry schools place strong emphasis on working with patients. Working well with patients is a learned skill, and one that a lot of people in the medical field find difficult.
However, with training it is possible to learn how to work well with people, and the cultivation of people skills is an important element of any good optometry school program.
Besides eye anatomy and people skills, optometry schools typically have their students study the latest research on treatments for eye conditions. There is a difference between studying diseases and treatments, and in recognition of this fact, most optometry schools have students learn about most eye diseases before they even broach the subject of treatments.
The information on treatments that is typically taught at optometry schools covers mostly refractive surgery treatments. LASIK surgery is a popular topic at most optometry schools, and as more and more eye treatment methods are developed, this part of the curriculum continues to grow.
Most optometry students also spend some time learning about implanted contact lenses, a relatively modern invention with the potential to revolutionize the practice of optometry.
Of course, it needs to be said that most optometry students are not fully prepared to be optometrists right after optometry school. Most optometry schools require that their graduates participate in post-schooling residency programs in order to better prepare them for the rigors of working in the real world.
Residency training is intended to shore up any optometry related gaps an optometry graduate might have, and to help all optometry students become more comfortable in the role of practicing optometrists.
The medical field is one of the most lucrative and rewarding fields that you can go into. It is also rapidly expanding and there are always many jobs available. It also offers many different types of career tracks. One such career track is an optometrist. An optometrist is a licensed medical professional that studies and cares for patients vision. They diagnose and treat diseases of the eye and also can fit patients for glasses and contact lenses.
The Optometrist Salary can vary. The salary will depend on several factors. Location, specialty that you work in and the type of place you work will effect the amount of the optometrist salary. The average salary of an optometrist in the United States is about $65,000 per year for a new graduate and about $90,000 for an optometrist with about five years of experience.
The area that you work in will also greatly effect the amount of salary that you will earn as an optometrist. Alaska, Florida and Kansas are the top paying states with pay in Alaska averaging about $130,000 per year. The worst paying states are Puerto Rico, Wyoming and Montana with the average pay in Puerto Rico $58,000 per year.
The type of place an optometrist works will also effect the rate of pay. The highest paid optometrists either work for themselves or work within a group of optometrists. This is especially true when they are connected to an optical store that provides lenses and glasses.
The job outlook for an optometrist is increasing. By 2018, there is a projected growth in the job market for optometrists at the rate of 24 percent. Since there are only a little over one thousand optometrist graduates a year, finding a job is a simple process. There are more jobs available in states such as California and Texas due to the amount of people in these states.
Education is also important in your salary level. To become an optometrist you must first obtain a four year doctor of optometry degree at an optometry accredited school. Admission to these schools is highly competitive as there are only about 20 accredited schools in the United States. After you have graduated, you will need to complete a one year residency program. All optometrists must also be licensed. This will require either a national or statewide test. This license will need to be renewed every 1-3 years depending on your state.
A career in the optometry field can be a very lucrative and rewarding career choice. It allows you to choose what type of places that you want to work and to help people while doing it. There is a great need for optometrists in the coming years and there are many jobs that need to be filled. Remember, to get the best salary you must have both a doctorate and be licensed in your state in order to practice. This is a career field that you will constantly be learning new things and your education will never be over. Also, salaried optometrists make more than hourly employees. Keep all of these factors in mind when deciding on a career in optometry.
People who have an interest in the medical field and have also been fond of the sciences often choose to become an optometrist. Students who decide to pursue a career in optometry should keep in mind that they will have to study for a total seven years in order to obtain a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree. The seven years studying however will prove worth it because this profession proves to be quite rewarding. Before students actually proceed with pursuing a career in this profession it is important that they understand what it is all about.
Who is an Optometrist?
Typically when people need to get their eyes inspected, their sight tested, need a prescription to be able to wear suitable contact lenses or spectacles they usually go to a vision care professional known as an Optometrist. During the 7 years that students spend studying in order to become an Optometrist, students receive specific training so that a variety of eye diseases like cataract, glaucoma, etc. can be recognized by them.
How to Become an Optometrist?
To be able to professionally work in the field of Optometry, students should make up their mind that they want to enter this field while they are still in high school. Students should make sure that they take a variety of biology and science courses while in high school if they want to pursue a career in Optometry.
Before students actually begin training for this field they will have enroll in a pre-optometry course at a college that is offering one. Such a program should be available at various local colleges and consulting their guidance counselor will help students find one.
When it comes to finding the right Optometry school, students can begin searching online by visiting their websites and this will also allow them to find out their individual admission requirements. Passing the admission test happens to be a necessity that must be fulfilled by college students in order to be accepted into an Optometry school. Students should make sure that the school they are joining is accredited and credible. Once they have enrolled into an Optometry school they will spend 4 years studying before they can take a written and clinical, which they must pass in order to begin professionally working in this field.
Once students have qualified in the field of Optometry and have received their O.D. degree, they can then apply for a state license so that they can begin professional practice. The licensing process can vary from state to state. Those who want to specialize in the field of Optometry can even choose to pursue a postgraduate program after they have obtained a license.
How Much Can an Optometrist Earn?
Healthcare professionals regardless of their field are always in demand and the same is the case with Optometrists as well. These vision care professionals can easily find a job and can earn up to approximately $115,000 per year. This is indeed a substantially high income and this is among the main reasons why many students want to become an Optometrist.
An optometrist is responsible for carrying out eye check ups in order to proscribe glasses and eye contact lenses. An optometrist is also responsible for diagnosing and treating eye diseases as well. In many cases, these professionals need to take part in different eye therapies in order to treat eye abnormalities and prescribe drugs. In instances where there is no other option other than surgery, the patient is reffered to an ophthalmologist who is responsible for correcting the problem. These are professionals who play a very crucial role in society by making sure that people have the healthy eyes.
Contrary to what many people believe, an optometrist is not a medical doctor. An optometrist is needed to be responsible for regular eye care check ups and not surgery. He is not supposed to deal with surgery. Instead, he deals with noninvasive treatment and and treatment for all types of eye diseases. Different with ophthalmologists who tend to lay a lot of emphasis on eye surgery, an optometrist exhausts all available options first before rushing to recommend surgery. When compared to ophthalmologists, these professionals are more realistic when all matters concerned to prices are concerned.
In normal circumstances, someone has to go through a few stages before becoming a fully accredited optometrist who can practice. After going through high school, anyone who wants to join this profession can join optometry school which takes four years.State exams which are clinical and written then follow. After successfully finishing this course, the optometrist can then chose to undergo a one year residency course that will enable him/her specialize on areas like ocular disease, family practice, vision therapy and pediatric optometry.
All over the world, the demand for these professionals is expected to grow at a high rate. This is fueled by the need for quality eye care. This can also by attested by the number of vision clinics that are everywhere in shopping malls. A big number of people in the world suffer from eye problems whether critical or not. According to statistics, optometrists held over 35,000 in 2008 in America alone with a majority of them holding more than one job.
These professionals also work hand in hand with other medical professionals in diagnosing diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. They are also accountable for big and minor eye problems which would otherwise fail to get the deserved professional attention if they were not around.
All said, these professionals have and will continue being on the front line when all matters concerned to being midful of the eyeneeds of the world’s population are concerned. Every person who has gone to them seeking urgent assistance and got served knows the impact they have on making lives better. On the other hand, anyone who wants to join the bandwagon as a professional needs to just look for the most appropriate school to learn. After that, he/she will also stand and be counted as amongst those people who have played a big role in making sure that the world’s population remains a healthy lot at all times.
Demand for optometrists continues to increase in the United States. Optometry is an attractive career that will only become better with time as the population ages and more people need to augment their eyesight with corrective lenses.
Becoming an optometrist is difficult, but the rewards are well worth it. Prospective optometrists would be advised to attend a well rated undergraduate school and major in biochemistry, biology, or biomedical engineering. After graduation, aspiring optometrists need to apply to optometry school.
There are 21 accredited optometry schools in the United States. Make sure that you apply to an optometry school that is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE). No other organization is qualified to issue accreditation ratings on optometry schools in the United States.
Getting admitted to optometry school is difficult. Applicants must be very familiar with math and science (particularly the life sciences). Most applicants are rejected, and this is even the case at the least demanding optometry schools.
Once admitted to optometry school, prospective graduates are required to study optometry for four years. Most optometry schools require prospective graduates to also participate in a residency program following graduation which may last from two to four years.
Students in optometry schools are expected to study the anatomy of the human eye, histology, eye pathology; and the use of corrective lenses in correcting myopia, presbyobia, and a variety of other eye conditions. Most students study over 100 hours a week, and optometry school is every bit as competitive as medical school.
After graduation, optometrists from good optometry schools have the opportunity to make up to $150,000 a year. This is, however, not a realistic salary for recent optometry school graduates. Optometrists fresh out of school can expect to make around $90,000 a year. With time and growing experience, most of them can expect to make $120,000 mid-career, and then more towards the end of their career.
There is no doubt that optometry is a well paying profession. In some ways optometrists even come out ahead of medical doctors, because they tend to have far less debt after graduation. Although optometrists do not make as much as medical doctors, the relatively small debt burden of optometry school means that many optometrists can start spending serious money on more than bills much earlier than most medical doctors.
Recent advances in technology are only going to increase the salary of optometrists. If someone wants to get the popular LASIK eye treatment, they must first consult with an optometrist. It is the same situation with the implantation of artificial contact lenses. Before any major surgical work is done on the eye, the prospective patient must be seen first by an optometrist.
Optometrists are also fortunate in that they are in no danger of having their work outsourced. Optometry is a hands-on profession in the literal sense of the word, and there is no danger that optometrists in the United States will one day find their jobs shipped out to China or India. What they do is impossible to outsource and impossible to imitate without serious training. As such, they are ideally positioned to weather negative changes in the national economy.