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Optometrist


Optometrist Salary

Optometrist earnings will vary due to basic factors like cost of living in the area, type of work environment, experience, and plenty of other variables as well. Many optometrists are self-employed with their own office, but others can work for hospitals, physicians, outpatient care centers, HMO's, surgical centers and other facilities, as all these will affect their earnings. Those with more experience or specialize in certain areas such as vision therapy or sports vision, may earn more due to a lack of other experienced personnel.



Optometry Salary by the Numbers

According to the BLS, the average annual pay for salaried optometrists for May of 2009 was $106,960, which is an increase of almost $1,000 from the average annual pay for salaried optometrists for May of 2008, which was $105,200. Although some optometrists are on salary, the hourly value for the mean wage is $51.42 per hour.

Of course, the numbers for different states and cities will vary accordingly with optometrists in some smaller metro areas making more than some larger ones. For example, Amarillo, TX with a population slightly over 135,000 has a mean annual wage of $167,560 while Jacksonville, FL with a population over 700,000 has a mean annual wage of $100,220. The difference in salary is due to a smaller amount of optometrists who are making more money, which increases the average salary, so it is not safe to assume that an optometrist’s salary in a larger city will be more than a smaller one.

The industry also makes a difference in optometrists salaries and employment services like many other jobs make a higher salary. Other top paying industries for optometrists are physician offices, outpatient care centers, and surgical offices. Self employed optometrists who have a private optometry practice tend to make more, but there is a lot more work involved. Those that also run a retail store along with their practice can make much more as well.

Annual Optometrist Salary by State

Data from May 2009

State

Employment(1)

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage(2)

Alabama

270 $45.13 $93,870

Alaska

60 $54.87 $114,120

Arizona

800 $57.40 $119,380

Arkansas

300 $36.06 $75,000

California

2620 $48.92 $101,750

Colorado

740 $41.65 $86,640

Connecticut

150 $51.65 $107,430

Delaware

110 $35.71 $74,270

D.C.

70 $46.74 $97,220

Florida

1100 $53.97 $112,260

Georgia

600 $43.14 $89,730

Hawaii

290 $44.29 $92,120

Idaho

170 $33.74 $70,170

Illinois

1800 $48.70 $101,300

Indiana

610 $47.93 $99,690

Iowa

360 $45.81 $95,270

Kansas

380 $62.22 $129,420

Kentucky

320 $56.67 $117,880

Louisiana

250 $68.53 $142,550

Maine

120 $52.13 $108,430

Maryland

420 $50.60 $105,250

Massachusetts

650 $53.21 $110,670

Michigan

900 $54.61 $113,580

Minnesota

540 $58.57 $121,830

Mississippi

280 $42.98 $89,390

Missouri

630 $47.51 $98,810

Montana

90 $29.51 $61,380

Nebraska

230 $49.22 $102,370

Nevada

140 $43.81 $91,130

New Hampshire

110 $56.47 $117,460

New Jersey

510 $53.46 $111,210

New Mexico

170 $48.05 $99,940

New York

1790 $54.43 $113,220

North Carolina

700 $60.33 $125,490

North Dakota

110 $54.14 $112,610

Ohio

890 $61.08 $127,040

Oklahoma

490 $44.76 $93,110

Oregon

500 $36.63 $76,190

Pennsylvania

1560 $49.63 $103,230

Puerto Rico

130 $27.16 $56,490

Rhode Island

80 $51.92 $108,000

South Carolina

370 $46.87 $97,480

South Dakota

120 $53.77 $111,830

Tennessee

330 $65.97 $137,220

Texas

1680 $56.88 $118,300

Utah

200 $48.55 $100,980

Vermont

50 $46.34 $96,390

Virginia

600 $53.57 $111,430

Washington

440 $61.96 $128,880

West Virginia

130 $55.81 $116,070

Wisconsin

570 $49.85 $103,680

Wyoming

80 $35.24 $73,310

Footnotes:
(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by 2,080 hours; where an hourly mean wage is not published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

 

 
 

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