$103k $103k
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 Texas.

Optometrist Job Market by State

State name Employed Optometrists
California 3,990
New York 2,630
Texas 2,360
Illinois 2,260
Florida 2,090
Pennsylvania 1,540
Virginia 1,290
Ohio 1,180
Michigan 1,110
North Carolina 960
Massachusetts 860
Colorado 800
Washington 800
New Jersey 780
Missouri 780
Georgia 760
Indiana 680
Minnesota 680
Arizona 640
Oklahoma 630
Tennessee 570
Maryland 560
Wisconsin 520
Kentucky 490
South Carolina 450
Kansas 440
Oregon 420
Alabama 410
Utah 370
Arkansas 360
Iowa 350
Nevada 350
Nebraska 300
Louisiana 300
Idaho 290
Connecticut 260
Hawaii 250
Mississippi 230
Rhode Island 190
North Dakota 170
Montana 150
New Mexico 150
Maine 140
New Hampshire 130
Delaware 130
West Virginia 120
South Dakota 90
Wyoming 80
Vermont 80
Alaska 70
District of Columbia 60

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