Optometry is a separate healthcare profession, which focuses on the health of eyes and related structures. To be more specific, optometrist career includes diagnosis, management and treatment of eye disorders. Many students choose a career path of optometrist these days. Education to become this specialist is not so long as compared to ophthalmologist training. Earnings are lower, however,
is still quite attractive.
Let us be more specific about optometrist salary in the USA. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (research of May, 2011), average earnings in this occupation are around $107,720 per year, which means hourly rate of $51,79.
As well as in other occupations, optometrist salary is influenced by several factors, main are work setting, location, years of experience. If you are a fresh optometrist, you cannot expect to earn as much as experienced professional in the field. Optometrist salary will increase gradually, together with a number of patients that visit you.
Optometrist career promises increase of employment up to 2020, states US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most specialists in this field work in independent optometry offices, smaller number is employed by outpatient care centers, hospitals, doctors\’ offices. The work is generally full-time.
Optometrist salary depends greatly on industry you choose for practicing. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals top paying industries for this occupation:
- Offices of Physicians – $123,720
- Outpatient Care Centers – $114,230
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals – $105,900
- Offices of Other Healthcare Practitioners – $105,780
- Health and Personal Care Stores – $102,440
Note that the biggest number of optometrists prefer to be self-employed. Optometrist salary in this case can be higher, but work-load increases as well.
As for location, it is no less important for your optometrist salary. If you don\’t have any preferences as to where to practice, then study statistics of top paying states for this occupation and choose the best option for you:
- South Dakota – $148,640
- Connecticut – $148,310
- North Carolina – $145,720
- Alaska – $141,220
- Virginia – $131,710
Career path of optometrist is attractive in many ways. If we compare it with ophthalmologist career, it requires 8-9 year training, while to become an ophthalmologist you will have to spend more than 10 years. Don\’t forget about money that you pay for education: the more you study, the more you pay! So weigh all pros and cons and choose a career which will best fit your ambitions and financial possibilities.
Working as optometrist right now, I enjoy my career and compensation it offers. Not long ago, after high school, I was wondering what to choose and where to go. Studying a lot of options, I started to discover how to
become an optometrist
. And now after working for a few years in the field I\’m really glad I\’ve decided on this path!