Is optometry worth it financially anymore?? Sure, there are always going to be people who by luck, family, or hard work are successful, but what about the majority of students who now graduate with 100-200+K in debt. Average starting salaries for private practice are roughly 65-85k, with corporate a bit higher at 90K. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median ODs salary at ~98K. If you plan to practice in heavily saturated markets like So. Cal. (where isn't a heavily saturated OD market these days?!) then the numbers are lower, and you will probably end up an IC, without benefits. Those loan payments, especially at the higher interest rate of 6.8% are going to take a big chunk of your income for many years. Medicine and dentistry have similar debt loads, but will start at significantly higher salaries and have greater earning potential in the long run, thanks to their reliance on service rather than materials for income and smart control of practitioner supply. IN GENERAL, does the cost of a professional education in optometry, in terms of money and time, now outweigh the possible payoff down the road? I believe the top two things driving down OD incomes are oversupply and the inability to get on many insurance panels.