Dismiss Notice
SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

$100k salary a correct figure for optometrists ?

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by Apple_Pie, May 9, 2007.

  1. Apple_Pie

    Apple_Pie Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
    Optometrist SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    295
    Status:
    Optometrist
    In general, the average practice owning doctor makes a lot MORE than 100k. The average employed doctor makes a lot less.
     
  4. alferec

    alferec Future Army OD

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Optometry Student
    Remember that there are several factors that influence the salary. I'd say the two big factors are work setting (as implied by KHE) and location.
     
  5. fjpod

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Optometrist
    I believe the AOA states an "average" of $130-$140K...but it's only an average. Some group practices report well over $200k per OD. Starting commercial salaries might be $85K.
     
  6. orangezero

    orangezero Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have been offered a full time job with a salary of $65k at a commercial location. no benefits.

    There are so many variables...

    Most employers are more than happy to take advantage of you financially, and most newer ODs are more than willing to do it because they think thats what expected or need the job.
     
  7. Ryan_eyeball

    Ryan_eyeball Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Optometrist
    Are you self-employed for this sixty-five thousand? If so, that is a steep price for a yearly pay, by the time you figure in your taxes for being an independent contractor. Plus, very few deductions for being an IC, and you have to get savy for taxable deductions at the end of the year.

    If your making sixty five thousand at a corporate office with no benefits and your salaried you're going to get hosed. If your in a state that allows you to be employed by a corporation you are going to be worked to death for that sixty five.
     
  8. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
    Optometrist SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    295
    Status:
    Optometrist
    Everyone gets so hot and bothered over deductions as an indendent contractor or not, but the reality of it is is that the vast majority of "deductions" that you "write off" as a business expense when you're an IC can be written off as well if you are an employee as unreimbursed work expenses. (such as your CE, your malpractice etc. etc)

    The only "deduction" that contractors take that employees do not is their car mileage which you are not supposed to take technically because car mileage is only supposed to be deducted for travel between offices, not between your home and the one commercial dump or private practice you work at. Most people take this deduction anyways but technically its not correct.

    So at the end of the day, if you have the choice to be paid $500 per day as an IC or as an employee, take the employee route every time.

    Some doctors will pay slightly higher as an IC than as an employee and in that case it MAY make sense. You should consult your tax advisor for that but my experience has been that most employers try to pay as little as possible and most of them, just for that extra little kick in the pants tries to pay you as an IC as well.
     
  9. Ryan_eyeball

    Ryan_eyeball Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Optometrist

    You're correct on all fronts. I have more than one office, so my mileage is tax deductible b/w offices. You must have business at one office, and travel to the next. I've even heard doctors that will set up PO boxes near there home for their business. Travel to get the mail, and then head to the office. Although, I think that's stretching it a little far. Meals are also around 50% tax deductible but must be business related with receipts, who was with you at the meal, and be a business client.

    I'm really thinking about buying a digital retinal camera since I'm going to be so high in taxes this year. At least this way I can take it with me when i open private.
     
  10. Opii

    Opii Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0

    Gosh, I didn't realize optometrists were such "tight wads." If I were making the big bucks I wouldn't be counting the trips from home to the po box to the office... I would have to write it down everyday to remember all this, does the time to write it down turn out to be tax deductable too?:laugh:
     
  11. Opii

    Opii Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, I was lying, I do realize optometrists are tight wads.
     
  12. 4Eyes

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Optometrist
    When you're a new grad, you'll be a tightwad too. :p
     
  13. orangezero

    orangezero Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    1
    Offered, laughed at, and then declined. The strange thing was that I had been at the same place for a year as an IC and made quite a bit more. THe optical owners thought I was making too much and wanted me to be on salary.

    My point is that although you can make a lot, there are many, many places where they want you to make less. And there are silly people who will accept.

    I just saw some statements as I was filling in. The other store has a full time employee doc and has made about $31,000 year to date, with a $50 bonus. What an idiot, but these types of people bring down the whole profession, imo. Thats about 65-70 a year, full time. Not so good.

    Always demand more and act shocked they offer so little, thats my rule.
     
  14. RUNNEROD

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Optometry Student
    $31,000 year to date, so in the past four months he's made $31,000? That is $7,500 a month and $93,000 a year. Doesn't sound too awful to me.
     
  15. broadway

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    In my area most employed ods make about 100k. Most self employed ods make more. My friends make b/t 130k to 250k.
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. orangezero

    orangezero Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    1
  18. RUNNEROD

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Optometry Student
    No it would be 4.5 months.
     
  19. odforme

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    I think you are kidding yourself if you believe you will receive benefits in the future. In my past 10 yrs of working, the benefits situation has gotten worse and worse. It's a fantastic thing to have, don't get me wrong, but the trend is to eliminate them everywhere.
     
  20. Ryan_eyeball

    Ryan_eyeball Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Optometrist
    Yeah, that's the only thing that bites as an IC is no benefits. So if you don't work ....... no pay =(.
     
  21. orangezero

    orangezero Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    1
    everyone, everyone, please....

    you're missing the point. I'm talking about MY reality, not everyone's, but lets not sugar coat things. I was personally offered $65k, which was quite spelled out in my offer. I turned it down, obviously. From others I've talked with this is much more common than netting over $100k in my area working as an employee. Sure, people can make a lot more. Sure, its stupid to "settle" for this kind of cash. Sure, there may be one person online who thinks $65k is great money.

    The other guy who left went down to texas to work at a lasik mill and was probably expecting to make quite a bit of cash. I just heard the other day he's back in town looking for a job again.

    Here is a better number. $42 an hour? How does that sound? Thats what I was offered from another well known place. And another place had an employee at $43.75. My sister almost makes that as an OT and has paid time off, excellent benefits, 2x overtime, etc.

    To answer the original question, nope, it doesn't make sense (to me) to go to school for 8 years to make $42 an hour with almost no chance of promotion. IF you have the business skills to start your own place, the world is your oyster (assuming you can make it).

    Still, contrast this with my friend who works for a large corporation and gets to travel with a business credit card, build up large amounts of points on his credit card, actually has PAID time off, a real retirement fund, etc. etc. etc. the list goes on and on. Lots of crap there too, but he is not too far off from a major boost in income with the next pay upgrade. Do employed optometrists ever get a 10-20K bonus one year, or a salary upgrade for showing up 5 years in a row? doubt it.

    sorry, it was late, you are correct 4.5 months. oops. its crappy either way. I don't see how you can swing this in to a good thing. I'm not buying it. ESPECIALLY when you start to see how much money the optical is making because of your prescription writing.

    I'm not quite sure some of you students realize the extra couple thousand a year that gets thrown out the window for CE, malpractice (although low compared to some), not to mention the loans. If I had a 7-8% loan now instead of a 2.75% repayment plan, I'd be worried...

    sorry to cause this much confusion. Just trying to share some reality

    good luck
     
  22. IDr10

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Orangezero,

    I appreciate your post. I was recently admitted to Ohio State and have been considering these issues. I have heard many students advise that borrowing the maximum is "no problem," even though they haven't begun repayment. I've made it my goal to limit my SL debt as much as possible, but I was wondering what everyone else thought about this? What's a reasonable figure of total SL debt? By the way, in what state does your sister work? My husband is an OT and he does NOT make $43/hour... maybe we should move.
     
  23. hfpepperbean47

    hfpepperbean47 You wish you were me

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Optometry Student
    So what are you going to make after 4 years of school? 18-20 dollars an hour with a science degree?
     
  24. rpames

    rpames Optometrist

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Optometrist
    I would agree with you to keep the debt down as much as possible. I was lucky enough to have a spouse who could support us at home and then I took out loans to just cover tuition. If I pay off my loans over 30 years it will be about $450 a month or about $800 over 10 years. My friends repayment will be about $1100 over 30 yrs or $2000 over 10yrs. Mine doesn't seem so bad anymore.

    If your husband can cover your expenses at home and you just get enough for the schooling, you will be much better off. The extra income I have that will not be going to loans will qualify me of a much better home or business loan. Having an extra $600 to $1200 a month will make a huge difference once you get out. You may think it will be great while in school b/c you can get all this "FREE" money, but even at a very low rate, you still have to pay it back. No matter what anyone says, having student debt is still debt, and debt sucks!

    In a nut shell...take as few loans as possible, even if the interests is low.
     
  25. luckyfool

    luckyfool SUNY Opt

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Optometrist
    How much loan did you take out for optometry school now that you are graduating? Just curious.
     
  26. Ryan_eyeball

    Ryan_eyeball Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Optometrist
    I borrowed around $110,000 (only 5k in undergrad) and a lot of that went to living expenses, and tuition. My payments right now are around $520 a month over 30 years. I went the long term, just in case I wanted to stretch the loan out more and free up more money. I worked all the time in school, and had my own apartment. I probably would have saved more living with room mates but I really just wanted my own place.

    No money is free money....
     
  27. luckyfool

    luckyfool SUNY Opt

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Optometrist
    Can't live you thriftily for a few years, and pay them all back so you don't have to worry for the long term interest accruement?
     
  28. orangezero

    orangezero Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    1
    sure, you could. BUT, you really need to carefully consider the rates of interest you are paining OVERALL.

    Its crazy to pay down a student loan (of which you can defer and generally have much more flexibility with) if you have an interest rate of 3% and then turn around and buy a house with a 7% mortgage and 10% second mortgage. Its all relative, and taxes should be considered along with. Think how much more you'll pay on that 10% loan than you would have saved by paying off the 3% student loan early.

    I'm certainly not one who wants to acquire massive amounts of debt, but its for a reason and its ok to take advantage of the incentives of student loan repayment, especially if they let you do it over decades of time.

    Now, all this may be a bit more difficult to figure out as the student loan rates go up.

    There is no easy answer, you have to sit down and do the math. Its a pet peeve of mine to hear people automatically say they will pay off their loans as quick as possible... because sometimes it doesn't make sense to do so, financially.
     
  29. doofy

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Optometrist
    With that said, has anyone ever considered taking out more student loans per year than needed and putting them into some low risk investments only to liquidate them until you actually need them (starting practice, buying house, car, etc.). Granted you may or may not lose money due to taxes, etc (in the short run), I figure it might actually be financially smarter in the long run.

    This idea probably applies more to loans that were taken out at 3%, but still could be applied if you're a saavy invester.

    Any thoughts anyone?
     
  30. eyestrain

    eyestrain Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Optometrist
    I don't know a lot about investing and I remember having that same thought back when student loans were 3%. Too bad I never really had any sitting around to invest, but I suppose a person could do it. I wouldn't want to try it with the 6.8% loans they have now though.
     

Share This Page