The profession of optometry is a wonderfully rewarding one. People who love the sciences and are also great with people should consider becoming one. Optometrist are the main providers of vision care. The do examinations of peoples eye’s, diagnose vision issues, and may also prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses. They also do much more in terms of figuring out what is wrong with someones vision. In order to become an optometrist people have to go to optometry school which can take up to eight years to get a doctorate in optometry.
Most optometrist work within a general practice and are private practitioners who also handle the business end of things. While others work with partners or in the retail setting. Government jobs and corporate jobs are also available within the profession. Lets take a closer look at an optometrist salary and what to expect for income.
Job outlook within the profession is very good. However with only about 20 schools providing optometry as a profession the field is very competitive. The BLS expects good to very good growth going into 2017. With more and more baby boomers retiring, eye care professionals are needed. The average optometrist salary in the United States according in a 2009 survey and Salary.com is about $104,000-$114,000 dollars.
An optometrists salary will of course vary from state to state and will fluctuate based on the overall economic conditions and what type of employment one decides on. For example, an optometrist who opens a private practice and is self employed can expect to make for more then someone who works in a franchise. Top incomes for self employed optometrist can exceed $200,000 a year once they have been in practice for over 5 years. While someone that opts to become part of a franchise can expect to cap out at about $115,000 a year. Type of employment does matter!
Where in the United States an optometrist decides to practice will also play a big roll in their salary. An optometrist salary is not the same state to state. According to the BLS the highest paying states in the United States are Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Alaska, and Virginia. Cost of living is an other major factor to consider when it comes to overall salary as well as the cost of doing business within a state. All these factors should play into someones choices a an optometrist. Its a very rewarding profession with a lot of competition. Making the most out of ones time with the least effort will keep stress levels down and make things much more enjoyable. An optometrists salary is very much influenced by the individuals overall long term goals. You can expect to make as little or as much as you want in the profession.