Healthcare professionals play an important role in our lives, and not many play a bigger role than optometrists. If you are thinking about becoming an optometrist, you have made an excellent career choice. Optometrists are responsible for a number of aspects related to eye care, especially vision correction. According to recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual optometrist salary is approximately $104,000. If you end up becoming a self-employed optometrist, you could earn as much as $175,000 a year after a short while. Optometrists that are part of a group of practitioners earn close to $180,000 on average each year.
When choosing a career, it is important that you think about what you really want to do, rather than just thinking about how much money you would like to make. When it comes to optometry though, you don’t have to worry about not earning enough, as it is quite evident that the job is rewarding. It’s not often that you get a chance to do something that you want and earn a healthy amount at the same time. Earning the average optometrist salary is not very difficult either. Before you can analyze vision problems, potential diseases and other abnormalities that patients experience, you need to qualify as an optometrist of course. A bachelor’s degree is a must, followed by accreditation from an optometry school. On completion of clinical examinations administered by the state board, you can start working in optometry and gather experience as you progress.
With population growth and an ageing population to care for in many areas, the demand for optometrists is expected to increase considerably. The need for optometrists is likely to be more than most other occupations by 2018. As a result, there will not only be plenty of good job opportunities available nationwide but also a better than average optometrist salary in most places. The percentage of growth in employment is expected to be around 20% over the next 7 years. Many health insurance plans now include optical care, making it more affordable for the masses. One of the main reasons why people either stayed away from visiting the optometrist or seeking vision correction was the astronomical cost involved. But with insurance plans offering coverage, people can recoup a large part of their optical care expenses, if not all. This increases the number of customers that visit the optometrist of course and the bigger stores are more inclined to hire more than one optometrist.
A popular belief only a few years ago was that laser corrective surgery would lead to a decrease in revenue for optometrists, thus reducing the jobs available and also the average optometrist salary. However, laser vision correction and all such procedures still require pre-operative as well as post-operative care. More often than not, it is only after a visit to the optometrist that one is convinced to opt for laser correction. They still need to get a check-up every few months after surgery and hence, optometrists still play a key role in vision care for all.
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