Optometry Salary Information
Optometry Salary in the United States, there is a great demand for optometrists. Optometrists are doctors who specialize in eye care, particularly in treating vision problems. They prescribe various grades of lenses in eye glasses, eye contacts, and even perform visual therapy and eye rehabilitation services. They are sometimes authorized to prescribe eye medicines to people who contract eye diseases.
How Much is the Optometry Salary? A Comprehensive Look
When you become an optometrist, you will be tasked to provide vision care to patients. You will diagnose problems in vision like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, which are three of the most common vision problems in the world. There is a simple remedy to these problems, and these are usually in the form of prescription glasses or contact lenses. There are surgical procedures to correct the vision of people, but these procedures are not risk free.
The optometrist also treats vision problems like cataracts and glaucoma. They also diagnose vision complications caused by diseases like diabetes and hypertension. There are preventive measures that are often recommended by optometrists, including proper distance from the TV or computer monitor, as well as the proper way of reading print.
Optometry Salary: What you know
The optometry salary can reach up to $88,000 a year, but this is just the national median. The optometry salary will depend on the area you work in, because the costs of living also differ from state to state.
So far, the employment outlook for optometrists in the United States is good. The state with the highest employment of optometrists is California, with over 2,600 employed optometrists, followed by New York with 1,790, Texas with 1,680, and Pennsylvania with over 1,560. These figures do not include the optometrists who are working in private practice. IN 2008, there were around 34,800 optometrists in the United States alone.
The state with the highest optometry salary in terms of the annual mean wage is Washington, where the average optometrist earns as much as $128,880 a year. The optometry salary in California in terms of annual mean wage is also moderately high at $101,750, in New York $113,220, and in Pennsylvania $103,230.
While the optometry salary is good, it could also mean that the cost of living in these particular states is high. However, the other more important factor that aspiring optometrist might want to ask is the hourly wage of the optometrists in the different areas. On the average, the hourly optometry wage across the nation is $51.42.
Optometrist Education and Training
If you want to become an optometrist, you must take a four-year course in an accredited optometric school. It is a postgraduate course. There are ideal college degrees as pre-optometry courses like medical technology and biology where you get a thorough background on human anatomy.
In the United States, there are 19 optometry colleges where you can study a degree for the Doctor of Optometry course.
You will need a thorough background on science if you decide to pursue a postgraduate course on doctor of optometry. Some people might think that it is easy to become optometrists, which is far from the truth. You do not get an optometry salary of $88,000 a year for nothing.
The optometry programs will include laboratory classes in studying health and vision sciences. You will also have clinical training to hone your skills in diagnosing and treating eye disorders. The usual courses that are included in an accredited optometry college are optics, vision science, biochemistry, pharmacology, and the study of systemic diseases.
Optometry Certification and Licensure
Before one can practice optometry, one has to be a licensed optometry. You can get your license after completing the four years of study in an optometry college. Once you complete your optometry studies, you can take the optometry license exam. Before you can take your license exam, you must first acquire a DEGREE for the Doctor of Optometry school. Take note: it is a DEGREE, not a doctor’s license. All the states require optometrists to be licensed.
Once you have your license, you have three options. The first and most uncommon option chosen by licensed optometrists is to teach the subject. The second option is to work for optometrist clinics, and the third option is to work as a private optometrist. Your optometry salary will also depend on these three choices.
The third option seems to be the most popular choice for most people because this is the option where they make a decent optometry salary. However, the advantage of the optometry clinics is that you tend to have more exposure because you will serve more people. Exposure also leads to a bigger optometry salary, especially if you are based in a highly urbanized city like New York or LA.
It is also advantageous for optometrists to practice in groups. The optometry salary tends to be larger if the group of optometrists working together is larger. On the average, the optometry salary for a group of six optometrists is $159,000.
If you are practicing with a partner, the optometry salary on the average is at $179,000 every year. In smaller groups, especially individual practitioners, they tend to have a better chance of having a bigger optometry salary but there are also compensations like benefits; you have to provide these on your own. There is also the case of appointments and clients; you need to find time to accommodate all of them at a time that is convenient for both the doctor and the patient. Your optometry salary as an individual practitioner will also be directly proportional to the number of your patients.
Additional income that you can add to your optometry salary is the sales you earn from the prescriptive glasses and contact lenses you sell to your patients.
Overall, the optometry salary is based on the location in which you are working, the type of group you are working with whether this is a clinic or a group of optometrists working together, or if you are working as a private optometrist. The number of your patients and your popularity will also play an important role in the size of your optometry salary.