Optometry ranked No. 10 among 20 best-paying jobs for women
Optometry is a great career choice for many reasons—including work-life balance, the ability to help others and opportunities for growth. But it turns out that for women, it may also pay to be in optometry.
A new report from PayScale, a company that maintains databases of individual compensation profiles, ranked the 20 best-paying jobs for women—and "optometrist" landed in the No. 10 spot.
An important note: PayScale only analyzed positions where females make up at least 40% of the workforce. The median pay was calculated using the Total Cash Compensation for female workers with 5 to 8 years of experience.
According to data used for this report, the optometric workforce is split evenly among men and women, and female doctors of optometry earn median pay of $95,900. Topping the list are obstetricians/gynecologists, who earn median pay of $195,600 annually.
Relative earnings outlooks for optometry
The report found that the top five best-paying jobs for women are in the health care industry. Although the gender wage gap is narrowing, however, the Pew Research Center estimates that overall women still earn only 84% of what men earn.
According to the PayScale report, optometry is a relatively lucrative career for women. But other reports have noted optometry's lower average salary compared to practitioners such as medical doctors, as well.
Business Insider recently gathered data on the salaries of full-time civilian workers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to compile a list of prestigious jobs with surprisingly low pay. On that unranked list, BLS data determined the average annual earnings for doctors of optometry is $111,640.
However, the AOA's 2012 Income from Optometry report found that the average net income for AOA-member doctors is $139,110, compared to non-AOA-member doctors, who average a net income of $117,257.
Given the doors that were once closed and are now open to women and people of color in society, it might be expected that the faces of optometry would reflect the changing demographics of the nation. And with the nation’s reckoning over social injustice in 2020 stirring anew concerns over diversity and inclusiveness, the profession is asking whether optometry reflects the nation’s changing demographics—and why should that matter?
After two years apart, Optometry’s Meeting welcomes back friends and colleagues June 24-26 with a new location and revamped experience that puts attendees’ health and safety first.