$106k $106k
40k 40k
27.0% 27.0%
2.8/5 2.8/5
Ph.D. Doctorate

Optometrist Job Outlook

There are currently an estimated 40,600 Optometrists in the United States. The Optometrist job market is expected to grow by 27.0% between 2014 and 2024.

Optometrist Employability Rating

B- Sokanu rates Optometrists with a B- employability rating, meaning this career should provide good employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 25,500 Optometrists. That number is based on 11,000 additional Optometrists, and the retirement of 14,500 existing Optometrists.

Demand for Optometrists

Currently, only 23 American educational institutions offer Doctor of Optometry Degrees. This relatively small number of schools results in a limited number of graduates. The demand for preventative and corrective eye care, created by a growing population and an increasing number of health insurance plans covering vision care, is expected to outpace the supply of optometrists. As the population ages, there will be more incidences of cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, vision problems commonly associated with the elderly. Occurrences of diabetes and hypertension, both of which often affect eyesight, will also generate greater demand for optometric services. In addition, as the nearly one quarter of practicing optometrists who are approaching retirement age leave the profession, significant opportunities for entrants to the field will arise. While laser surgery to correct defective vision may minimally reduce demand, optometrists will still be required to provide pre- and post- operative care for laser surgery patients.

Supply of Optometrists

The Optometrist industry is concentrated in California, New York, and Illinois.

Optometrist Job Market by State

State name Employed Optometrists
California 3,750
New York 2,690
Illinois 2,490
Texas 2,410
Florida 1,940
Pennsylvania 1,610
Virginia 1,240
Michigan 1,240
Ohio 1,130
New Jersey 1,060
Massachusetts 1,020
Georgia 950
North Carolina 930
Colorado 930
Missouri 800
Indiana 730
Minnesota 700
Arizona 670
Washington 660
Oklahoma 660
Tennessee 640
Maryland 600
Oregon 570
Alabama 550
Kansas 500
South Carolina 500
Kentucky 490
Wisconsin 450
Utah 420
Iowa 360
Nebraska 350
Arkansas 320
Nevada 280
Idaho 240
Connecticut 220
Mississippi 200
Hawaii 200
North Dakota 190
Louisiana 190
Rhode Island 180
New Hampshire 160
West Virginia 150
Maine 140
Montana 130
Delaware 120
South Dakota 120
District of Columbia 100
Wyoming 90
Alaska 70

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