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Optometrists salaries?

HM-boss

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2016
42
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  1. Pre-Optometry
I know this topic has been beaten to death but i have a question. Most people on SDN make it seem you would be lucky to find a 100k job while others are saying we should realistically expect 70-90k. But i was just reading a 2019 income surveys and the numbers are SIGNIFICANTLY higher. The average income in 2019 was 170k and average starting was 144k!! im so confused! What am i missing here? And whose right? Here is a link to the article 2019 Income Survey: An Up and Down Year

Thanks!


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docforeye

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7+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2011
11
7
161
  1. Optometrist
Graduated last year. I had multiple job offers when I graduated, 85K-120K inside the city, 120-140K to go further out.
Benefits, workloads, and practice setting are also things to consider besides salary.

Some female friends of mine referred to have a part-time job instead of a full-time due to family; a few got married after school or are having young children.
 
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anonnnnnnnnn123

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2+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2018
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Graduated last year. I had multiple job offers when I graduated, 85K-120K inside the city, 120-140K to go further out.
Benefits, workloads, and practice setting are also things to consider besides salary.

Some female friends of mine referred to have a part-time job instead of a full-time due to family; a few got married after school or are having young children.

What state/province? Thanks :) that sounds pretty good
 
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iridologist

Full Member
Oct 20, 2019
15
3
26
  1. Optometry Student
Graduated last year. I had multiple job offers when I graduated, 85K-120K inside the city, 120-140K to go further out.
Benefits, workloads, and practice setting are also things to consider besides salary.

Some female friends of mine referred to have a part-time job instead of a full-time due to family; a few got married after school or are having young children.
what school did you go to?
 

AcademicEyes

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2016
199
77
81
  1. Optometrist
$144K starting sounds very high. A lot of it will be dependent on where you live, and whether or not you manage to find a full-time position. For reference, I live in California.

I would agree in populated areas starting is closer to $85K, and may not include any benefits. In more rural areas you can definitely make $120+.
 
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hellok111

Full Member
May 10, 2019
45
37
46
  1. Pre-Optometry
A doctor I shadow said she was offered 165k by America's Best right out of her board exam in NC (plus loan benefits), but this may be because their boards are notoriously harder to pass. It all depends on the mode, state, amount of years in the field, how much you want to vacation, etc. she explained to me this is why it is kind of hard to find an average salary for the whole country.
 
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DoctorOD

Full Member
Jun 2, 2019
59
30
46
  1. Optometrist
Another doc here. Just wanted to piggy back off of what others have said. Many students I graduated with years ago have similar varying salaries, and that’s the benefit (and curse) of optometry.

A guy I went to school with works in North Carolina in a suburban area. He owns the practice and makes well over $200k. He won’t go into details, but his whole mantra is that he will not sacrifice the quality of his education for a cheaper exam cost. He also only sells designer frames, and he bills a lot of medical visits (as we all should).

I also know several docs who work in federally-qualified healthcare centers. They are both women. One works part time (~3 days a week) and makes $60k. She has two kids, and she likes the flexibility. The other works full-time and makes ~$100k. Again, these are just docs I was close with at graduation.

Lastly, compensation rarely includes additional benefits. Is CE included? Licensing? Malpractice? Vacation? Hidden costs of private practice ownership? Productivity-based? Hourly-based?

To be honest, I don’t know of any full-time OD making less than $100k unless they’re working academic, and even then, all non-profit workers can get loan forgiveness. Otherwise, I’d argue you’re being underpaid.

Hope that helps!
 
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