Optometrist Salary: Optometry Pay in 2023

Aspiring optometrists often wonder about the earning potential of a career in optometry. While salaries may vary depending on factors such as experience level, location, and specialization, it’s important to understand the current trends and projections for optometrist salaries in 2023.

optometrist salary trends

Optometry is a growing field with a positive job outlook, making it a promising career choice for those interested in eye care. So, let’s dive in and explore the current and future salary landscape for optometrists.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the current and projected optometrist salary trends can help aspiring optometrists make informed career decisions.
  • Factors such as experience level, location, and specialization can impact an optometrist’s salary.
  • Optometry is a growing field with a positive job outlook, making it a promising career choice.
  • Salaries for optometrists may vary depending on several factors, but the range of incomes is generally competitive compared to other healthcare professions.
  • Researching industry benchmarks, negotiating skills, and utilizing available resources can help optometrists achieve fair compensation.

Average Optometrist Salary in the United States

Understanding the average optometrist salary in the United States can be a helpful starting point for anyone interested in pursuing a career in this field. As of 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the mean annual wage for optometrists was $126,030.

optometrist salary trends

This figure can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including location, years of experience, and the specific setting in which an optometrist works. For example, those in metropolitan areas may earn higher salaries than those in rural communities, while those with more years of experience may have access to higher paying positions.

It’s also worth noting that optometry salary trends can shift over time. While the BLS projects a 4% growth rate for optometrists’ employment from 2019 to 2029, factors such as changes in insurance policies or shifts in the healthcare industry as a whole can impact earning potential.

Despite these variations, opting for a career in optometry can be a financially rewarding choice. Keep reading to learn more about factors that can influence an optometrist’s salary and projected salary trends.

Optometrist Salary Range

Optometry is a lucrative profession, and the salary range for optometrists varies depending on several factors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual optometrist salary in the United States was $115,250 in 2020. However, the salary range for optometrists can be as low as $56,610 and as high as $207,950 or more.

The optometrist salary range is influenced by several factors, including:

  • Geographic location: Optometrists who work in areas with a higher cost of living or in big cities generally earn more than those working in rural areas or small towns.
  • Type of employer: Optometrists who work in private practice, particularly those who are the owner or partner in the practice, can earn more than those who work for hospitals, clinics, or retail chains.
  • Years of experience: Like many other professions, optometrists’ salaries tend to increase as they gain more experience.
  • Specialization: Optometrists who specialize in certain areas, such as pediatrics, low vision, or ocular disease, can earn higher salaries than those who provide general eye care.

It’s important to keep in mind that the optometrist salary range can also vary depending on the compensation structure. Some optometrists are paid a base salary plus a bonus based on productivity or patient satisfaction, while others may receive a commission-based salary. Additionally, benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off can also impact an optometrist’s overall compensation package.

optometrist salary range

Overall, optometry is a rewarding profession that provides good earning potential and opportunities for growth. Understanding the optometrist salary range and the factors that can influence compensation can help optometrists make informed decisions about their career paths and negotiate fair salaries.

Optometrist Salary by State

When it comes to optometrist salaries, your location can have a significant impact. Different states have varying demand for optometrists, as well as different regulations, insurance payments, and cost of living, which all affect compensation. Let’s take a closer look at optometrist salaries by state.

State Average Salary
Alabama $117,580
Alaska $122,300
Arizona $120,770
Arkansas $114,670
California $136,830

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest average salaries for optometrists are typically found in California, while Alabama and Arkansas offer lower average salaries.

optometrist salary

It’s important to note that factors such as the cost of living, the number of available jobs, and the demand for optometrists can significantly affect the average salary in each state. For example, while the average salary in Alaska is higher than the national average, the cost of living in the state is also higher than the U.S. average.

It’s also worth considering the specific city or region within each state, as salaries can vary based on location. For example, the average salary for optometrists in Los Angeles, California is higher than the average salary in other cities within the state.

If you’re considering a career in optometry or looking to relocate, researching the average salary by state can provide valuable insights. Keep in mind that while salary is an important consideration, it’s not the only factor to consider when evaluating career opportunities.

Highest Paying Optometry Jobs

While optometrists enjoy a competitive salary in the healthcare industry, there are specialized roles that offer even higher earning potential. These positions typically require additional certifications or a higher level of education. Below are some of the highest paying optometry jobs:

Job Title Average Salary
Ophthalmologist $357,000
Optometrist Owner $250,000
Optometrist in a Medical Setting $150,000
Optometrist in a Retail Setting $130,000

As shown in the table above, ophthalmologists are the highest paying optometry job, with an average salary of $357,000. This specialized field requires a medical degree and specific training. Optometrist owners also make a considerable income, with an average salary of $250,000. These individuals typically own private practices and are responsible for managing their business operations.

Optometrists who work in medical settings, such as hospitals or clinics, earn an average of $150,000 per year. They may work alongside other healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat eye conditions. Optometrists who work in retail settings, such as eyewear stores or department stores, earn an average salary of $130,000 per year. They may provide eye exams and help customers choose the right eyewear.

Overall, these specialized roles offer higher salaries, but also require additional education or experience. Pursuing a career in one of these areas can lead to a rewarding and lucrative career in optometry.

Optometry Income Growth Potential

Optometrists have a promising income growth potential over the course of their careers. As they gain experience and develop specialized skills, optometrists can increase their earning potential. Additionally, pursuing additional certifications or advanced degrees can open up new career opportunities and boost income.

One way to increase income as an optometrist is by specializing in a particular area of practice. Specializations like pediatrics, geriatrics, and vision therapy require additional training and education, but they can lead to higher salaries. For example, a pediatric optometrist can earn an average of $145,000 per year, compared to the average optometrist salary of $119,980.

Another way to increase income is by pursuing leadership roles within a practice or organization. Optometrists with management skills may be able to advance to positions like practice manager, director of optometry, or regional director, which typically come with higher salaries and benefits.

Continuing education is also crucial for optometrists looking to increase their income. Staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends, new treatments, and emerging technologies can make optometrists more valuable to their employers and attract more patients. This can result in increased income and career opportunities.

Optometrist Salary Guide

As an optometrist, it is essential to understand the salary landscape of your industry. A comprehensive salary guide can help you navigate the nuances of optometry compensation, providing you with valuable insights and research resources to help you make informed decisions about your career.

Here are some tips and advice to help you understand the optometrist salary landscape:

  1. Do your research. Take the time to research the average optometrist salary in your area, as well as the factors that may impact your earning potential. Use industry benchmarking data, salary surveys, and job postings to gain a better understanding of the compensation landscape.
  2. Consider negotiation tactics. When negotiating your salary, be prepared to discuss your qualifications, experience, and any specialized skills or certifications you may have. Be ready to present a compelling case for why you deserve a higher salary, backed by research and industry data.
  3. Stay up-to-date with industry trends. Keep abreast of developments in the optometry industry, including advances in technology, changes in patient demographics, and evolving regulations. These factors can have a significant impact on optometrist compensation over time.
  4. Consider specialization. Optometrists who specialize in certain areas may earn higher salaries than their more general counterparts. Consider pursuing additional certifications or training in areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or sports vision to increase your earning potential.
  5. Explore different work settings. Optometrists may work in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, and retail environments. Each setting may offer different salary structures and compensation packages, so it is important to research each option carefully.
  6. Network with peers. Connect with other optometrists in your area or through industry groups to gain a better understanding of local salary trends and best practices for negotiating compensation.

By following these tips and using available resources, you can position yourself for success in the optometry field. Whether you are just starting your career or seeking to advance to the next level, a comprehensive optometrist salary guide can be an invaluable tool.

optometrist salary guide

Several key factors affect optometrist salary trends and compensation. Understanding these factors can help you negotiate for a better salary or choose a career path that aligns with your earning potential.

Years of Experience

Years of experience is a critical factor that impacts an optometrist’s earnings. As optometrists gain more experience, they acquire new skills and build a larger patient base, which leads to higher compensation. According to industry data, optometrists with 1-4 years of experience earn an average salary of $98,000. Those with 5-9 years of experience earn around $115,000, while optometrists with over 10 years of experience can earn upwards of $120,000 per year.


Optometrist salaries can vary significantly based on location. Factors that influence this variability include state regulations, the cost of living, and the availability of optometry jobs in a specific area. For example, according to recent data, the average optometrist salary in California is $129,000, whereas in Texas, it is $114,000. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the salary may not be the only factor to consider when choosing a location to practice optometry.

Practice Setting

Optometrists can work in various practice settings, including private practices, hospitals, retail stores, and clinics. The type of establishment a practitioner works for can affect their compensation. According to the American Optometric Association, optometrists working in private practices earn higher salaries on average than those working in clinics or hospitals. Nevertheless, as the optometry industry evolves, new practice settings may emerge, which may impact trends in optometrist compensation.

Industry Trends

Lastly, optometrist salaries can be influenced by industry trends such as the introduction of new technologies, changes in healthcare policies, and an aging population. Currently, telehealth is one of the booming trends in the optometry industry, providing new opportunities for optometrists to work remotely and reach more patients. This may lead to changes in the salary landscape, with the potential for higher salaries for those who specialize in remote optometry.

Understanding the factors that impact optometry salary trends and compensation can help optometrists make informed decisions about their careers and negotiate for better pay. Keep in mind that optometry salary trends are continually evolving, and staying up to date with the current trends is crucial to maximizing your earning potential.

optometrist salary trends

Optometrist salary in New York City can vary based on several factors such as years of experience, work setting, and location. The average annual salary for optometrists in New York City is $137,000, which is 20% higher than the national average.

The salary range for optometrists in New York City typically falls between $106,000 and $165,000. However, factors such as specialization, patient volume, and additional certifications or education can impact an optometrist’s earning potential.

Optometrists working in private practices or specialty clinics often earn higher salaries than those working in retail settings or healthcare facilities. Additionally, optometrists who specialize in areas such as pediatric optometry, contact lenses, or low vision have the potential to earn higher salaries due to the demand for their expertise.

The optometry industry in New York City is also influenced by emerging technologies such as telemedicine and digital eyewear. Optometrists who are able to stay current with these advancements and incorporate them into their practice may have a competitive edge in the job market and potentially command higher salaries.

Overall, optometrists in New York City have the potential to earn higher salaries than the national average due to factors such as location, specialization, and emerging technologies.

Optometrist examining patient in New York City

In conclusion, optometrist salary in New York City is above the national average due to several factors such as location and specialization. Optometrists who are able to stay current with emerging technologies and have specialized expertise have the potential to earn even higher salaries.

Projected Optometry Salary Trends

As the field of optometry continues to evolve, so too does the outlook for optometrist salary trends. According to industry experts, optometry professionals can expect to see an increase in compensation over the next few years. This projection can be attributed to several factors, including the growing demand for eye care services, advancements in technology, and an aging population.

As more people become aware of the importance of eye health, the need for optometrists will continue to rise. With this heightened demand, optometrists will be able to command higher salaries. In addition, as technology continues to advance, optometrists may need to develop new skills or acquire additional certifications in order to remain competitive in the job market. These specialized skills can also lead to higher income potential.

With the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age, the need for eye care services is expected to increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for optometrists are projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, which is in line with the average growth rate for all occupations. This growth is expected to contribute to an increase in optometrist salary trends.

Optometry salary trends

Overall, the outlook for optometrist salary trends in the United States is positive. With a projected increase in demand for eye care services, advancements in technology, and an aging population, optometrists can expect to see a rise in compensation in the coming years.

Factors Affecting Optometrist Salary

Various factors can influence an optometrist’s salary, from years of experience to industry trends. However, two of the most significant factors are specialization and work setting.

Optometrists with specialized skills or expertise in a particular area of optometry tend to earn higher salaries. For example, those who specialize in pediatric optometry or low vision rehabilitation may command higher pay than general optometrists. Additionally, optometrists working in academic or research settings may earn higher salaries due to the unique demands of those roles and the importance of their work.

Work setting also plays a crucial role in determining an optometrist’s compensation. For example, optometrists working in private practice settings may earn more than those working in government or non-profit settings. Additionally, the location of the practice may also impact salary, with optometrists in larger cities or more affluent areas tending to earn more than those in rural or less affluent areas.

Other factors that may influence an optometrist’s salary include patient volume, with those seeing more patients tending to earn more, and the impact of emerging technologies on the field of optometry.

As you navigate the optometrist salary landscape, keep these factors in mind and be prepared to negotiate for the compensation you deserve.

optometrist salary

In conclusion, optometry remains a lucrative career path with competitive salaries projected for 2023. According to our research, the average optometrist salary in the United States is around $118,000 per year. However, numerous factors may influence these earnings, such as years of experience, specialization, and location.

Notably, specialized roles such as ophthalmology or working in a private practice can offer significantly higher pay scales. Additionally, pursuing further certifications or specializations can increase earning potential for optometrists over the course of their careers.

In terms of regional differences, some states offer significantly higher optometrist salaries than others. For example, California, Ohio, and Florida are known for having higher than average salaries for optometrists.

It is essential to be aware of industry trends and factors impacting compensation when negotiating salaries. Our comprehensive optometrist salary guide provides industry benchmarks and resources for salary research to help empower optometrists in their negotiation processes.

Overall, optometrist salaries are projected to continue increasing in 2023 and beyond, making it a promising career for those looking to work in healthcare and earn a competitive salary.


Q: What is the average salary for optometrists in 2023?

A: The average salary for optometrists in 2023 varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and specialization. However, the median annual income for optometrists is projected to be around $120,000.

Q: What factors can impact an optometrist’s salary?

A: Several factors can influence an optometrist’s salary, including years of experience, geographic location, practice setting (private practice, hospital, or retail), specialization, and industry trends. These factors contribute to variations in salary ranges.

Q: Are there any specialized optometry roles that offer higher salaries?

A: Yes, some specialized optometry roles, such as those in ophthalmology clinics or working with low vision patients, can offer higher salaries. However, these positions often require additional certifications or specialized training.

Q: How can I negotiate a higher salary as an optometrist?

A: When negotiating a higher salary as an optometrist, it’s important to highlight your experience, skills, and any additional certifications or specializations you may have. Research industry benchmarks to support your request and be prepared to provide evidence of your value to the practice or organization.

Q: Which states in the United States offer the highest optometrist salaries?

A: States such as California, New York, Texas, and Florida are known to offer higher optometrist salaries. However, it’s essential to consider the cost of living and other factors when evaluating potential income opportunities.

Q: Can my income as an optometrist grow over time?

A: Yes, income growth potential for optometrists exists through opportunities for advancement, additional certifications or specializations, and establishing a strong reputation within the industry. Continuing education and staying updated with emerging technologies can also contribute to increased earning potential.

Q: What resources can I use to research optometrist salaries?

A: Various resources are available to research optometrist salaries, including industry surveys, professional organizations, job boards, and salary comparison websites. These resources can provide valuable insights into salary ranges based on location, experience, and specialization.

Q: How do optometrist salaries vary in different cities or states?

A: Optometrist salaries can vary significantly from city to city and state to state. Factors such as cost of living, population density, demand for optometry services, and local healthcare systems all contribute to these variations.

Q: What are the projected salary trends for optometrists in the coming years?

A: While it’s challenging to predict exact salary trends, the demand for optometrists is expected to increase due to an aging population and greater emphasis on preventive eye care. This demand could lead to potential salary growth and job opportunities in the field of optometry.

Q: How do emerging technologies impact optometrist salary?

A: Emerging technologies, such as telemedicine and advanced diagnostic tools, can impact optometrist salaries by providing opportunities for specialized services and improving efficiency. Optometrists who embrace and adapt to these technologies may find increased earning potential.

Q: What are the key takeaways regarding optometrist salaries in 2023?

A: In summary, optometrist salaries in 2023 vary based on multiple factors, including experience, location, specialization, and industry trends. The average salary is projected to be around $120,000, with opportunities for growth through additional certifications and advancements within the field.

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