Optometrist Job Outlook

There are currently an estimated 40,200 Optometrists in the United States. The Optometrist job market is expected to grow by 17.9% between 2016 and 2026.

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 8,500 Optometrists. That number is based on 7,200 additional Optometrists, and the retirement of 1,300 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 not particularly concentrated in any state.

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