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Optometrist Salary in 2018 | Health Worker Salary 2018

Optometrist Salary in 2018

Medical Specialties Salaries

The Average Salary 

The average salary of optometrist in US is $101,410.

Optometrists are commonly referred to as “eye doctors”. They provide visual eye exams to patients for corrective eyewear, and also exam other parts of the visual system. An optometrist’s primary responsibilities include the diagnosing, treatment and management of vision-related issues, diseases, injuries and disorders. When necessary, they prescribe contact lenses or eyeglasses. Those who are considering entering this occupation will be happy to learn that the median optometrist salary is above the national average.

  • Median Optometrist Salary
  • Lowest and Highest Salary
  • Salary Range for Middle 50%





Average $101,410


$132,580 ($63.74/h)

Average $101,410







The middle 50% salary range for optometrists does not take into account the top and bottom 25% of earners. When this data is removed, prospective optometrists are left with a more accurate picture of the salary range they can expect to earn after working in the field for a year.

The Total Salary Package

  1. Base Salary represents 63% : 

Benefits and bonuses includes : 

Retirement Accounts

Health Insurance

Time Off

Social Security

Other Perks


An optometrist’s compensation includes more than just a base salary. Bonuses and benefits can boost this occupation’s annual earnings. Benefits may include health insurance, paid time off, retirement benefits, pension plans, Social Security and disability. The total salary package for an optometrist is approximately $161,408 per year.

Cities with the highest paying optometrists

CitiesAnnual Salary
Optometrist Salary in Palm Bay, Florida Salisbury, Maryland$241,570
Optometrist Salary in$203,980
Optometrist Salary in Harford, Connecticut$201,230
Optometrist Salary in Anchorage, Alaska$187,310

States with the highest paying optometrists

StatesAnnual Salary
Optometrist Salary in Alaska$178,640
Optometrist Salary in Connecticut $169,380
Optometrist Salary in Oklahoma$146,330
Optometrist Salary in New Mexico$142,900
Optometrist Salary in North Dakota$130,380

Factors affecting optometrist salaries

How is an optometrist’s salary calculated? Experience, location and industry are just a few of the many factors that will determine how much an optometrist earns.

1. Experience

Generally, the more experience an optometrist has, the more he or she will earn. Those who have 10 years or more of experience will see the highest earnings.

2. Location

Location is another factor that affects an optometrist’s earnings. Interestingly, the highest paying states don’t necessarily have the highest cost of living, which is often the case with most occupations. The highest paid optometrists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, work in Alaska, Connecticut, Oklahoma, New Mexico and North Dakota.

3. Industry

Generally, optometrists either run their own practice, or are employed in a health or personal care store. These are the highest paying industries, and the industries with the highest level of employment. The Federal Executive Branch is also a major employer of optometrists, but those who enter this industry will earn a salary that is significantly below average.

Training and Certification Requirements

Optometrists must complete many years of training before they can start practicing. A doctoral degree must be earned, and a state license must be obtained.

The optometry career begins with an undergraduate degree; preferably in a field related to optometry. Next, a post-graduate program must be completed, and a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree must be earned.

There are 17 accredited Doctor of Optometry programs in the U.S. These programs typically take 4 years to complete. Applicants must have completed at least 3 years of postsecondary education, which includes physics, biology, chemistry, math and English. The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) must also be taken in order to apply. The OAT exam tests applicants in four key areas: reading comprehension, science, quantitative reasoning and physics.

O.D. programs provide a combination of supervised clinical experience and classroom learning. Classes will include biochemistry, anatomy, visual science, physiology and optics, among others.

Once a student has completed an O.D. program, they may go on to complete a one-year residency program to obtain advanced clinical training in certain areas, such as low vision care, family practice, ocular disease, and pediatric or geriatric care to name a few.

The final step is to obtain a state license. To be eligible for a license, prospective optometrists must have completed an O.D. program and completed all sections of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

License requirements will vary by state. Some states will also require the completion of a clinical or law exam. All states will require licensed optometrists to take continuing education courses and renew their license from time to time. Optometrists can also become certified by the American Board of Optometry, although it is not required for licensing.

International Optometrist Salaries

CountriesAnnual Salary
Optometry Salary in the UK£25,000 – £60,000
Optometry Salary in CanadaC$80,000 – C$140,000
Optometry Salary in AustraliaAU$49,701 – AU$108,469


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