October 30, 2016


Optometrist Job Description

An optometrist is a medical specialist concerned the care of human vision. Though not medical doctors, optometrists are authorized to diagnose and treat diseases of the eye through various means.
The earliest attempts to correct human vision dates back some 1,000 years, but optometry did not become an established profession until the early 1900s. The approximately 34,000 optometrists employed in the U.S. today have an important role as primary eye care providers.

Optometrists in the U.S. are considered Doctors of Optometry. They are trained and licensed to check a person’s eyesight through the latest medical techniques and equipment and can offer corrective measures with eyeglasses and contact lenses. Optometrists can also administer topical medications, such as eye drops used in the treatment of glaucoma, drugs that are injected and, in most American states, can provide prescription drugs for the purpose of fighting bacterial infections or relieving pain. Some optometrists are trained in minor surgical techniques, such as the removal of foreign material from the eye or the repair of the cornea. Some are also authorized to perform laser surgery that is useful in treating certain eye disorders.

Besides having knowledge of the system of human vision, optometrists directly serve the public on a highly personalized basis. It is therefore important for them to have great decision-making capabilities. They must be able to administer tests and evaluate the needs of each of their patients. In the event that treatment is needed for a specific vision problem, they have to decide what procedure is best in each case and whether more extensive treatment is needed. Interpersonal skills are important for those in the profession because of the need to deal with the issues facing patients and to discuss the best course of action should any problems be identified.

Optometrist Salary Statistics as of 2015

Average annual salary for a Optometrist is $97191 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest salary recorded was $128671. The lowest salary was $64103. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Median hourly wage for a Optometrist is $52.23 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest hourly rate recorded was $67.87. The lowest hourly rate recorded was $36.59. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Bonuses for a Optometrist are based on the years of experience using statistics from the U.S. as of 2015. The average bonus recorded was $75 from people with 15+ years of experience. The average bonus recorded was $992 from people with under 1 year of experience.

These are the highest paying states for a Optometrist. These numbers are based of the median annual salary as of 2015.
California – $58,007 – $136,343
Florida – $46,773 – $132,217
Massachusetts – $74,497 – $110,360
New Jersey – $60,000 – $114,803
New York – $78,297 – $127,661
Pennsylvania – $51,064 – $119,814
Texas – $59,578 – $114,874

These are the highest paying cities for a Optometrist. These numbers are based of the median annual salary as of 2015.
Houston, Texas –
Los Angeles, California –
Chicago, Illinois –
Dallas, Texas –
Atlanta, Georgia –
New York, New York –
Austin, Texas –

This chart outlines the average annual salary of a Optometrist from the past 5 years. In 2015 the average annual salary was $97191 while in 2007 it was just $90133.24

Specialized Fields of Optometry

Optometrists will begin to work in their field immediately after they complete their educational and licensing obligations. However, some in the field will continue in two-year residency programs so they can work in specialized areas of optometry. These areas include:

Geriatric care

Pediatric care

Treatment of certain ocular diseases.

The Work Environment of an Optometrist

Approximately half of the optometrists in the U.S. are employed in private offices, although some work with other types of vision specialists. The rest can be found offering their services in retail stores, hospitals and outpatient clinics. Most optometrists work full-time, and some will be available to patients in the evenings or on weekends.

Educational Requirements

There are only 20 institutions of learning in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that offer accredited programs in optometry, and admission to them is competitive. After completing their undergraduate program, attendance will be required at one of the graduate programs in order to earn the Doctor of Optometry degree.

Requirements: The optometry program will include classroom study and clinical training in a number of fields, including ocular anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and vision screening. They must also pass a three-part examination that is administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

Supplemental Education and Training: There is no on-the-job training in optometry, nor any work requirements in other fields. Once they enter the profession, however, optometrists are expected to update their training and educational requirements throughout their careers. This will guarantee that they remain current in the latest developments, procedures and technology, which will in turn allow them to provide patients with best possible services available from the field of optometry.

Job Outlook

The rate of growth of the field of optometry is significantly higher than in most other areas of the medical profession. This amounts to the need for an additional 11,300 optometrists in the U.S. by 2020. The growth in optometry is related to both the increase in the nation’s overall population and the increase of its elderly population, the later of which will always experience more vision disorders.

Gender Statistics

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Based on our stats gathered across the U.S. 47% of Optometrists were males while 53% were females. These numbers are based on averages across all states combined. Some individual states may have a much different ratio however.

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