Optometrist Salary in United States

Optometrist Salary
Optometrist Salary in United States


Optometrist Salary in United States is likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 13% every 15 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months. Optometrist Salary in United States Optometrist salaries varies widely depending on the state, setting, experience, and even gender. Use this calculator and the information from our most recent surveys to learn more about the factors influencing how much you make, and see where your salary ranks.

Optometrist Average base salary: 

The Eyes On Eyecare Optometrist Salary Calculator uses data from surveys conducted in 2020 and 2021 along with supplemental data to provide accuracy. This data will be continuously updated as new information is collected and published.

To use this tool, first identify the filters you wish to use:

  • US State
  • Years of experience
  • Practice setting

Then, identify the pay period to display averages by hourly wage, per diem, or annual salary. The calculator automatically displays the average annual salary, along with the median, and mode, of all optometrists in the whole US within this data set. Optometrist Salary in United States A keen interest in the eye coupled with the desire to help others and make a positive impact on the world are the reasons most optometrists will give for choosing the field. However, as with any profession, compensation is a key consideration.

Optometrist image
(Image Source: thebalancecareers.com)

How Much Does an Optometrist Make? 

Optometrists made a median salary of $118,050 in 2020. The best-paid 25  percent made $145,720 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made  $91,180.

  • In the United States, the average optometrist earns $141,400 per year.
  • Employed optometrists in 2021 received an average salary of $132,524. For practice owners, this number rose to $174,106.
  • Over the last decade, the average Optometrist Salary in United States has increased from $86,875 in 2000 to $109,000 in 2020.

Optometrist Average salary change by experience: 

Our surveys revealed one of the most accurate indicators of salary is practice setting, with academia yielding the lowest salary at 104,000 and multidisciplinary practices employing both MDs and ODs coming in at the top with $155,000.

When it comes to salary, time spent in the optometry field plays a significant role. As one would expect, as experience increases, typically, Optometrist Salary in United States so does the average optometrist’s salary. For example, in a median market, a new grad will start out at $109,000 while an OD with 4-6 years experience will garner $123,600, and an individual will 10+ years experience will earn $166,800.

Optometrist Salaries by years of experience: 

First, the good news. Optometry salary seems to be on a steady incline. From 2020 to 2021, the average optometry salary went up 17% from $113,396 to $132,534. Out of our respondents, 70.9% expect their salary to increase again this year. For 2022, 49.7% are focused on growing their current business, and 19.7% plan to add an associate OD.

Optometrists also feel more confident in 2021 that they will be able to pay off their student loan debt, which has dropped from $127,943 in 2020 to $93,943 in 2021 among employed optometrists. The areas optometrists are most optimistic about are dry eye, myopia management, presbyopia, and early detection through imaging advancements.

Even with all of these seeming positives, there seems to be a general malaise. Despite salary increases, only a slight majority expressed salary satisfaction. Optometrist Salary in United States Average attention to advocacy efforts shrank by 12.32% with AOA membership following suit; only 53.1% reported joining, as opposed to last year’s 64.8%. This seems to signal less overall enthusiasm.

But perhaps most disconcerting is the fact that, since 2020, the number of optometrists who say they would still choose optometry if they had the chance to do it all over again has shrunk from 78% to 72%, a small but concerning drop. Optometrist Salary in United States However, with exciting treatment innovations, more accessible technologies, progressive legislation, and the world’s continuing return to “normal,” we expect 2022 to yield a renewed excitement within the field.

Optometrist Salary image
(Image Source: reviewofoptometry.com)

Optometrist Salary Comparison by Gender: 

Male Optometrist employees in the United States earn 6% more than their female counterparts on average. Current salaries from our respondents ranged from below $60,000 to more than $250,000, which leaves a wide gap between earners. Optometrist Salary in the United States After looking at all the data, we found a number of factors that play into how much an optometrist can expect to make. Among the most significant were location, practice setting, experience, education, and, unfortunately, gender.

Specifically, among employed optometrists, male ODs are earning about $32,000 more (25.6%). Amongst practice owners, Optometrist Salary in United States males are earning about $34,000 (22.4%) more. This echoes the findings of the Review of Optometry’s 2020 Income Survey, which showed an even greater inequity with the average salary for male optometrists of $194,460, compared with just $124,337 for females ODs.

Optometrist Salary gender image
(Image Source: linkedin.com)

Highest paying optometrist salary by state:

StateMedian Salary
District of Columbia$189,750
New Hampshire$185,000
North Dakota$172,430
North Carolina$159,000
West Virginia$143,330

Average Optometrist Salary by State:

StateMedian SalaryRank
District of Columbia$189,7501

Lowest paying optometrist salary by state:

StateMedian Salary
South Dakota$97,600

FAQs about Optometrist Salary in United States:

How much does an Optometrist in the United States make? 

The national average salary for an Optometrist is $1,21,895 per year in the United States. Filter by location to see an Optometrist’s salary in your area. Salaries estimates are based on 767 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Optometrist employees. 

What is the highest salary for an Optometrist in the United States?

The highest salary for an Optometrist in the United States is $1,78,074 per year.

What is the lowest salary for an Optometrist in the United States?

The lowest salary for an Optometrist in the United States is $83,440 per year. 

Where do optometrists get paid the most?

Alaska. Alaska comes in as the top-paying state for optometrists, where the mean hourly wage is a whopping $85.55, adding up to an annual mean wage of $178,640. Alaska has only 50 optometrists for a state that is home to more than 736,000 people. Alaska also ranked in the top 10 on the list of best places to practice.

Can optometrists become rich?

The key is to get involved as the owner of or a partner in a large, multi-doctor practice. You may not make a million dollars a year as, Optometrist Salary in the United States but you can easily become a millionaire an optometrist. It’s just going to be much much harder as long as you’re working for someone else.

Does optometry have a good future?

Optometry, on the other hand, is really not going away anywhere anytime in the near future. Certainly, in the future year, optometrists will be in higher demand than it has ever been before. By 2025, our present demographic of 315 million will have swelled to over 350 million.

Are our optometrists in demand in the US?

Employment of optometrists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 1,700 openings for optometrists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Which state is best for optometry?

Our research found that West Virginia is the best state for optometrists, while Alaska and North Dakota are ranked highest in terms of median salary. Optometrist Salary in the United States West Virginia has a median salary of $191,206 and Alaska has the highest median salary among all 50 states for optometrists.


Optometrist Salary in United States provides primary care and medical treatment to patients with visual system disorders and diseases. Examines the patient’s eyes to detect and diagnose vision problems, diseases, and other conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension. Being an Optometrist develops treatment plans and prescribes eyeglasses, contact lenses, and/or medication to treat eye disorders. Educates patients on proper eye care and treatment plans.

Sai Sandhya

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