A common misconception these days is that optometrists and ophthalmologists do the same thing, when these positions are actually radically different. Simply put, optometrists receive an optometry degree, which is focused on the eye care, as opposed to ophthalmologists who are medical doctors who specialize in the treatment of different eye problems. The salary range is also different for these two eye health care providers, and the average yearly salary of an optometrist in the United States of America revolves around the sum of $99,000-$100,000 a year, although it depends a lot on the geographical location.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America
The highest paying state for optometrists is the state of Texas, where the maximum yearly salary for these professionals can reach $149,000. On the second place, there is the state of California where optometrists make around $144,000 a year, followed by New York with around $139,000 a year, the state of Pennsylvania with $127,000 a year and the state of Florida, where optometrists tend to make around $123,000 a year. In all of these states, optometry professionals can get a salary that is higher than the national average.
Optometrist Job Description
As mentioned above, optometrists closely examine the eye of the patients and put accurate diagnosis – if they identify a serious condition of the eyes, then it is the duty of the optometrist to come up with a tailored plan of action that addresses the visual problem. Optometrists can prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses, and two of the most commonly treated problems by optometry professionals are cataract and glaucoma. However, it often happens that these professionals also work with patients who suffer from diabetes and other serious chronic conditions that can affect the vision in the long run.
Amongst the most notable duties and responsibilities of optometrists, these professionals examine the health histories of their patients, check the eyes for diseases or injuries, check the general health status of the patient and also issue prescriptions. These professionals also educate patients on different vision problems, they write referrals, they offer help and they work closely with other medical practitioners. Some of these professionals may also perform administrative tasks as well, such as managing the retail aspect of eyeglasses, managing the staff and such.
How To Become An Optometrist?
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Becoming an optometrist can take several years of training, although the salary is directly proportional to all the hard work. In order to enroll in a specialized optometry training program, you will need to have either a high school diploma or a GED, and only after that you can enroll in a special optometry school and get a Bachelor’s Degree provided by an accredited four-year institution.
After studying optometry for four years, it is highly recommended to enroll in a four year doctor of optometry program that will help you get a deeper insight into this area. Moreover, this will also help you sharpen your set of skills and enrich your general knowledge, overall. After getting your Doctoral degree in Optometry, you can consider completing a residency program in the field, which allows you to practice under the guidance and surveillance of a certified optometrist.
Throughout the residency training program you will get all the experience and the skills you so much need. Only after finishing the residency program you can get licensed, as all the 50 states of the United States of America require their optometrists to be licensed in order to be able to work legally in the USA. The license examination consists of two parts, just like the certification examination: a written and a clinical examination that aim to test your skills and knowledge. The renewal and re-licensing rules and regulations can vary greatly from one US state to another.
If you want to make the best of your career as an optometrist in the United States of America, then it is highly recommended to pursue board certification provided by the well-known American Board of Optometry. Not only does the American Board of Optometry help you get certified, but it will also help you maintain your certification active throughout your years of practice.
Optometry Salary In Canada, Australia And The UK
In Canada, the median wage of an optometrist is of Ca$80,000, while in Australia these professionals make as much as Au$81,000 a year. In the United Kingdom, these eye care professionals are paid with 34,000 pounds a year.
Verdict On Optometry Salary
To summarize, optometrists are amongst the best paid professionals in the eye care industry.