Median annual wages of salaried optometrists were $96,320 in May 2008. The
middle 50 percent earned between $70,140 and $125,460. Median annual wages of
salaried optometrists in offices of optometrists were $92,670. Salaried
optometrists tend to earn more initially than do optometrists who set up their
own practices. In the long run, however, those in private practice usually earn
According to the American Optometric Association, average annual income for
self-employed optometrists was $175,329 in 2007.
Self-employed optometrists, including those in individual, partnerships, and
group practice, continue to earn higher income than those in other settings.
Earnings also vary by group size. For example, practitioners in large groups耀ix
or more容arn $159,300; practitioners in mid-sized groups葉hree to five
people容arn $179,205; those in small practices葉wo people容arn $176,944; and
individual practitioners earn an average of $134,094. Self-employed optometrists
must also provide their own benefits. Practitioners associated with optical
chains earn $100,704 on average. However, they typically enjoy paid vacation,
sick leave, and pension contributions.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
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Optometrist Job Outlook