What are typical optometrist salaries?

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Host

Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

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Michael

73 months ago

The average salary for an optometrist depemds on your motivation. Still you can't make money if you have no patients. So the average salary is 0 to 100,000. That may be vague, but it depends on the location of your office and how many cash patients you can attract. Times are tough now.

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Michael

73 months ago

Host said: Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

Most companies pay about the same: 60,000 to 80,000. You have to give up weekends, Saturdays, and holidays to keep that kind of job. As an employee, if you make sales and comissions, maybe 100,000 before taxes. Skills include being a good listener and a good salesman.

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Chris Brogan in Lansing, Michigan

70 months ago

What are some common pay arrangements for P/T ODs?

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Chris Brogan in Lansing, Michigan

70 months ago

ODs looking for p/t position - brogansvision@gmail.com.

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chitsaznegar in Iran, Iran

68 months ago

Hi
What are optometrist salaries in Madrid,Spain?
Thanks

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A Arora in Surrey, British Columbia

68 months ago

Anyone have any idea about the average salary for and OD in Canada?

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OD3 in Memphis, Tennessee

52 months ago

alliedtr2006@yahoo.com in Kansas City, Missouri said: It is unrealistic to get your hopes up thinking you are going to make $100k plus as a new grad, I say keep your feet on the ground and head out of the clouds, expect to make $38k and just maybe if you are lucky $80k for fulltime work. Keep in mind Optometry is very entrepreneurial, the pay is more of a reflection of business skills (sales + number of patients). It's not like graduating with an MD behind name, newly graduated MD's do not have sell to make that kind of money they only need to show up for work and the $80 to $90k as a new grad just falls in there lap.

Lets clear this up...If an optometrist puts in a 40hr work week...no matter the experience...his salary will @ BARE minimum double 38k. Even with ZERO sales ability, an OD new grad can expect 80-100k. If said OD completes a residency...speaking from experience...1st year out can expect upwards of 200k. These jobs aren't rare...its just the way it is. ODs aren't just walking around selling specs anymore...and pay is a reflection of knowledge and skill.

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Kay Renninger in Reading, Pennsylvania

50 months ago

alliedtr2006@yahoo.com in Kansas City, Missouri said: It is unrealistic to get your hopes up thinking you are going to make $100k plus as a new grad, I say keep your feet on the ground and head out of the clouds, expect to make $38k and just maybe if you are lucky $80k for fulltime work. Keep in mind Optometry is very entrepreneurial, the pay is more of a reflection of business skills (sales + number of patients). It's not like graduating with an MD behind name, newly graduated MD's do not have sell to make that kind of money they only need to show up for work and the $80 to $90k as a new grad just falls in there lap.

wrong...wrong....I know for an absolute fact that many retail chains start at 95-110

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Dr.A.Warren,M.D. in Montreal, Quebec

50 months ago

I know plenty of O.D. graduates who signed for about 90k/year starting salaries here.
It REALLY depends on your experience,to the uninformed posters above saying they avg 38k and don't go past 80k,they are DEFINITELY wrong.I bet they are just some O.D. pre-med haters that want to feel superior because they are attending a medical school.

Optometrists are not the old guy selling glasses all day long anymore,they are now part of a large healthcare system,ready to provide care for lots of eye diseases,most of you people think that Optometrists are Ophtalmologist's slaves,it's false,once again,an ophtalmo just treats more complexe problems and can practice surgery(there may be a new chart allowing optometrists practice surgery under certain conditions,additional training required.).
Optometrists do most of the job nowadays.

From my own experience,new grads can expect to make anywhere from 70k-95k/year,which is not bad,you will never starve as an Optometrist/Dentist/Veterinary/Podiatrist/Physician.
If you take time to do residency,starting salaries will be A LOT higher.
After a few years,with enough experience "under" your belt,you can make well over 150k/year.If you have communication/business skills and if patients really like you as their Optometrist,you may reach the 500k/mark in no time(i work with an Optometrist that has his own clinic and makes 650k/year net income,which is awesome.)

I know that in west part of Canada,there is a large shortage of Optometrists and starting salaries can reach 150k-200k/year in some areas.
In the U.S.,salaries are the same as i said about new grads and residents.

Don't trust those people that say they are Optometrists themselves and claim that their job pays nuts,they just suck at the job and don't have the ability to gain skills and adapt,instead,they just cry like babies in the Internet about how everything is hard.

I hope it helped.

Dr.A.Warren,M.D.,Ophtalmology resident.

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Castorncage in Queens, New York

50 months ago

Thought I could contribute a bit...
I'm a 4th year Optometry student graduating in June and have been actively job hunting for the last month or so.

Big retail companies such as National Vision, Luxottica, and US Vision hire ODs as employees in many states. I'm looking to practice in NY and some retail jobs I've found start off at 100k-120k plus full benefits. You work 40hours a week/5 days a week (4 weekdays and Saturday). A big factor is location. These companies are looking to expand in more rural settings so there are willing to pay more to bring optometrists out there. The market can pretty saturated in big cities. With that said, a recent job posting yesterday offered 100k to an area a few minutes from NYC, it'll probably go fast and jobs are always randomly opening up.

Private Practice
Depends on so many things: whether you're working for another doctor OD or MD, location, patient base, hours, etc. Anybody that works hard is going to make well above 38k. There are many successful private practices that can net 250k+ and well beyond. When done right, the most lucrative potential is private.

Residency
I'm not convinced doing a residency will bring you in more money. In Optometry, residencies only enable you to do a few extra things: work at a Veterans' hospital and teach/work at an Optometry school. Optometry school pay for starting optometrists is not nearly as high as retail (I hear 55-65k, not too sure but definitely not 6 figures). I can't say for sure about the hospital pay either. Other than that, your degree is no better than your colleague's who chose not to do residency, it's just a nice thing to add on your resume. Although if you did a Vision Therapy Residency, applying for an Ocular Disease practice position may work against you. And let's not forget you're working for peanuts as a resident (you're still being supervised) about 20-30k a year.

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Dr.A.Warren,M.D. in Montreal, Quebec

50 months ago

Well,to make a simple difference,an optometrist that has a decent/great patient base working 80 hours/week can make the same income as the dude in General Surgery(they work above 70 hours a week.).

Yes,residency can be a good thing to add to your curriculum,making it a lot easier to find great spots in great areas.As an optometry resident,you may touch around 30-45k/year,but you work less than Medical Residents.
Here in Ophtalmology,we get paid around 55-60k/year but we have to work like 60-70 hours/week at the hospital like zombies...NeuroSurgery/Gen.Surge residents make the same salary as us but they work 90 hours a week and they have 1/5 night call...
Consider the "relax life" of the Optometrist a plus,since you're able to start a family,have fun.
The market is not "that" satured in big cities,remember that big cities also mean big population=Bigger demand.
You may feel a bit on your own starting straight out Optometry school but if you manage your time,think positively,it won't be so hard to find a great spot or even start your own practice with your friends.

Situation for us(ophtalmologists) is not near easier,first there is no OR time anywhere in a decent city,so less money for us,we are expected to run offices for the established guys,work saturdays/sundays most of the time to "supplement" the established guy's income.
We need to live a crappy life till we get enough experience to start our own practice.
To those who work at Hospitals,you bill the Government,so even in a shortage of patients,you still make a decent pay,both for Ophtalmos and Optos.

Share your thoughts guys,

Dr.A.Warren,M.D.,Ophtalmology resident.

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dcc

50 months ago

chitsaznegar in Iran, Iran said: Hi
What are optometrist salaries in Madrid,Spain?
Thanks

Do they have optometrists in Spain?

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Michelle Sanders in Surrey, British Columbia

50 months ago

I am a OD currently practicing in Canada, and I can tell you that I am not making nearly as much as I thought.

I work 6 days a week for 9 hours in a private practice. My gross income is around $75,000 but after taxes that is reduced to high $50,000's.

If I had a chance to do it over again, I would have gone with dentistry. Work 4 days a week and take home a six figure salary beats examining rude patients for peanuts. Most of my college friends are making as much as me, if not more, and they only have 4 years of education.

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nallysl in Cincinnati, Ohio

50 months ago

If a new grad goes for an employment situation under another OD, they tyoically pay new grads considerably less. If you do an independent practice and take on a lease at a corporate optical location, there is more opportunity to make money. Most situations require very little start up costs and you get to set and keep all exam fees. You can definitely start off making well over $150,000 for full time and even $100,000 for part time. It all depends on how many pateints you get in the door, how many you see an hour, and whne you set your exam hours. If you work an 8 hour day and see 2 patients an hour, you're almost guaranteed in an independent retail setting to see 16 people- multiplied times an average fee of $70- well you can do the math!

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Dr.A.Warren,M.D. in Montreal, Quebec

50 months ago

I can tell you that even if you don't work hard,you will STILL be making more money than 70% of the population.

If people had a chance to drop out what ever they are doing to join either

Law,Med,Pharm,Dent,Opto,MedVet,they would drop without ANY hesitation.

Yes Opto is a bit challenging,but i can tell you that it's 100x more of a pain for Dentists or Pharmacists to manage their practice.

Even Medical Doctors don't have it easy,most of them(including me) work over 70 hours/week,spend their days at Hospital,no relationships,no life,can't see my friends and my dog,i get yelled at by angry patients because they waited HOURS...I'm not complaining about it because i love my job,if they cut our salaries by half,i'll see my colleagues leave the field while i'll be one of the few staying to help my patients.

Find it hard to be an optometrist?Try doing an Ophtalmology residency...
Sometimes i'm even thinking about switching to Opto...lol
But hey,i'm happy here,you'll be happy in Opto if you like the field.

Hope it helped,never give up,money will eventually come if you're good at the job.

Dr.A.Warren,M.D.,Ophtalmology resident.

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Stewart Scott in Mission, British Columbia

50 months ago

Excellent post Dr. Warren. Good luck with your residency!

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Dr.A.Warren,M.D. in Montreal, Quebec

50 months ago

Stewart Scott in Mission, British Columbia said: Excellent post Dr. Warren. Good luck with your residency!

Thank you,good luck to what ever you wish to pursue,remember,sky is the limit!

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britbits in Los Angeles, California

48 months ago

In California, you have to find work first, then take whatever you can get since there are no jobs here.
Optometry degree was a total waste of time and money.

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Dr.A.Warren,M.D. in Montreal, Quebec

48 months ago

britbits in Los Angeles, California said: In California, you have to find work first, then take whatever you can get since there are no jobs here.
Optometry degree was a total waste of time and money.

It's not the job,it's you.
There are jobs,learn how to search.
The fact that ono ne wants to hire you doesn't mean it's the same for others,also,Optometry is known to be a Liberal job,which means you have to open your own practice if you want to make the big bucks.

Take management,business courses and come back crying to me that you haven't found a job where you live.

You think optometry is a waste of time and money ?Try entering Law,consider yourself lucky that your job isn't getting outsourced to India and that you can STILL FIND pretty decent jobs.

Like i said before,it's not the job,it's you.

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Frank Abbot in Surrey, British Columbia

47 months ago

Well, if optometry wasn't bad in Canada, it has gotten worse. A new legislation allows Opticians to give rx's to patients - by use of an eyelogic computer system.

For those of you who don't know, an RX, is basically a prescription, which tells the patient what types of glasses he or she needs. Funny thing is, if opticians are allowed to do this, with a 6-month course, whats the point of going to school for 8 years and doing virtually the same thing?

I am not sure it would be wise to practice in Canada. The salary may be good, in some parts of Canada, however, a salary just as high or even higher, can be found in the USA, where you can actually practice fulls scope optometry.

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george in Las Vegas, Nevada

45 months ago

im a licensed optician in las vegas and would love to go on and get a optometry degree but i can't afford that right now and i'm 47 years old. i work with a great od who has a practice that nets her 10 to 15 k a week/she works hard and takes walk ins all day long. it dosn't hurt that she is a smoking hot asian cougar with a nice personality.

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Weyburn! in Weyburn, Saskatchewan

44 months ago

Is the only schools in Canada the one in Waterloo and Quebec?

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Weyburn! in Weyburn, Saskatchewan

44 months ago

Is the only schools in Canada the one in Waterloo and Quebec?

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Dr.A.Warren,M.D. in Montreal, Quebec

44 months ago

Weyburn! in Weyburn, Saskatchewan said: Is the only schools in Canada the one in Waterloo and Quebec?

To my experience,yes,both are competitive.

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Weyburn! in Weyburn, Saskatchewan

44 months ago

Dr.A.Warren,M.D. in Montreal, Quebec said: To my experience,yes,both are competitive.

Do you have to be really smart? I'm in high school still I'm an average student, I just want to know my options.

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C in London, United Kingdom

44 months ago

Jeri in Perth, Australia said: Hi I'm an optometrist in Australia (qualified in the UK). Has anyone here done the 2 year conversion course in The New England School of Optometry to allow them to work in the US? I am considering it but it is expensive as an international student. If anyone has done it, maybe you could tell me how difficult it was to get a job/visa afterwards? Many thanks for your help

Hi Jeri, I'm currently in my third year in the UK studying optometry, and I'm really interested in taking the australian optometry exams after Ive qualified. Was wondering if you could give me some information about what the exams are like? (are they similar to the pre-reg exams?) and how easy it was to find a job there? Also, are the salaries around the same as here?

Thank you so much for your help, C.

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JDM in Lubbock, Texas

42 months ago

My husband is an optometrist in a retail location and made over $120K his first year out of school and building his patient base starting from scratch. Each year he makes $20-50K more than the year before, without ever changing his prices or hours of operation. He works 5 days/week including Saturdays (sunday and 1 weekday off). He has a solo practice and is independent but happens to lease space from a retail location. Can't complain about income considering his practice is exam only and doesn't sell optical goods and it's just him and I that run our practice so all of the income is ours. Salary will vary depending on the skills of the OD, practice location, and overhead of the practice. You have to work hard to earn hard and be patient.

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new optometrist in Hallandale, Florida

38 months ago

alliedtr2006@yahoo.com in Kansas City, Missouri said: It is unrealistic to get your hopes up thinking you are going to make $100k plus as a new grad, I say keep your feet on the ground and head out of the clouds, expect to make $38k and just maybe if you are lucky $80k for fulltime work. Keep in mind Optometry is very entrepreneurial, the pay is more of a reflection of business skills (sales + number of patients). It's not like graduating with an MD behind name, newly graduated MD's do not have sell to make that kind of money they only need to show up for work and the $80 to $90k as a new grad just falls in there lap.

I completely disagree with "expect to make $38k and just maybe if you are lucky $80k for fulltime work." New optometrist can easily earn up to $95k and I have plenty of friends that started off in that salary. Some of them started with $120k to $130k in retail, but they do see lot more patients per day than my friends with $95k salary.

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new optometrist in Hallandale, Florida

38 months ago

alliedtr2006@yahoo.com in Kansas City, Missouri said: It is unrealistic to get your hopes up thinking you are going to make $100k plus as a new grad, I say keep your feet on the ground and head out of the clouds, expect to make $38k and just maybe if you are lucky $80k for fulltime work. Keep in mind Optometry is very entrepreneurial, the pay is more of a reflection of business skills (sales + number of patients). It's not like graduating with an MD behind name, newly graduated MD's do not have sell to make that kind of money they only need to show up for work and the $80 to $90k as a new grad just falls in there lap.

I completely disagree with "expect to make $38k and just maybe if you are lucky $80k for fulltime work." New optometrist can easily earn up to $95k and I have plenty of friends that started off in that salary. Some of them started with $120k to $130k in retail, but they do see lot more patients per day than my friends with $95k salary.

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KAshlyn in Tulsa, Oklahoma

34 months ago

I am in high school now and wanting to be a Optometrist. How hard is it to start your own practice and how long does it generally take? If you don't own your own then how much do you make on average (realistically)? What all would I need to know before actually going into this career?

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Nanu in Atlanta, Georgia

34 months ago

Hi, I am an Optometrist qualified and working in UK. Been qualified 6yrs now. Am interested in doing a conversion course to be able to work in USA. I would really appreciate any information if anyone here has done it.
Jo

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saza in Toronto, Ontario

31 months ago

HELLO

I applied to IOBP before few months and I passed the credential assessment and languege test,now I have to prepare to the PLA.The problem is ,there is a long list of books on their website .Anyone kindly could advise me abuot the most important textbooks and mcqs,from where I can borrow or buy them?

Thank you so much

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doug in Mokena, Illinois

31 months ago

when i graduated from optometry school i interviewed for 6 positions and received 6 offers. i chose 2 part time offers because one had the opportunity to become part of a successful private practice (extrapolated starting yearly salary around 60-70k) and the other, a privately owned optical with multiple locations, paid a lot more (extrapolated yearly salary of 140k). overall i balanced out to a bit more than what most of my friends were making at the chains (generally about 80k but some as high as 110k. i didn't really know of anyone making less than 80k). the most $$$ came to those who leased a location in a walmart and, to a lesser extent, target, macy's, and other similar opportunities. when leasing, traffic equals money and walmart equals traffic. you only make your exam fees when leasing so you want A LOT of people coming through. if this is how you want to make your cash, like a refracting zombie who eventually despises every pt who walks through the door, then i guess that's ok. i had a friend who was very ambitious, a hard worker, had multiple walmart locations, and worked his ass off, and probably made upwards of 300k the first year out of school. problem is with the leases is that to keep making the money you always have to be a revolving door optometrist and that's not my style or desired mode of practice. i am happier making less now, developing actual relationships with my pts and hopefully looking forward to the much larger returns of private practice ownership in the future. before i came along my boss had a single doc practice grossing about 750k. most optometric practice owners net about 35-40% and i'm sure his in on the higher end of that, so lets say he takes home at least 300k. i'd take that and, even better, i'd still enjoy what i did most of the time. chains and leases are ruining optometrists for the profession, ruining pts perception of the profession, and ruining the profession in general.

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leniapap in Pátrai, Greece

30 months ago

Hello!I am an optician- optometrist from greece and right now i am on an Msc program at the university of Crete (if you know professor Pallikaris who invented LASIK)... Here in greece our bebefits are very restricted because of the opthalmologists and now with the crisis is even more difficult to find a job. Can anyone inform me about the situation in countries as Australia,USA...?

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drdarans in Accra, Ghana

30 months ago

pls am a 5th year OD student from the university of cape coast. I would like to work in either canada or USA,what do i do after graduation to be able to work in any of these countries

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Me in New York, New York

30 months ago

Women don't make money. Don't you know? This is an entrepreneurial field. You have to go out and start your own practice. Not sit in a big city with 50 other ODs in a 5 mile radius around you. Obviously you will not make money that way durrrr. I will be a male OD and we bring in the money. I'm planning to go to Oklahoma/Kentucky, start my own practice and do advanced procedures, someday buy my own laser and bill laser eye surgery codes too.

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SO-UK in United Kingdom

29 months ago

I am currently studying in the UK, while I am more than likely to spend my life in the drizzle here, I would like to look at my options for working abroad, specifically in the USA and/or Australia. The field here seems to be moving forward rapidly with increasing responsibility for Optoms as well as a greater roll in healthcare provision, this is one of the reasons I entered the field - so I definitely don't want to leave to become a 'salesman' somewhere else. I was born in the UK, but also have dual citizenship for the US, does this make it easier for me to get onto the 'conversion' courses? (or cheaper if i do?) Is the field even better in the states compared to the UK? The main drive for Aussi is the idea of the lifestyle over there! Again, how many exams are there to sit in order to move? And what are the working conditions like over there? If anyone has any advice, I would love to hear your experiences. Thanks

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VN in Richmond Hill, Georgia

26 months ago

Hi, I am a high school student in the US, hoping to become an optometrist in the future. Unfortunately, I have heard that optometry in the US is not a good field to enter, due to the massive cost of grad school, the disrespect optometrists receive, and how hard it is to get a job as an optometrist. Is this true? Also, how is the optometry outlook in other countries, such as Canada and the UK?

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Samuel in London, United Kingdom

26 months ago

VN in Richmond Hill, Georgia said: Hi, I am a high school student in the US, hoping to become an optometrist in the future. Unfortunately, I have heard that optometry in the US is not a good field to enter, due to the massive cost of grad school, the disrespect optometrists receive, and how hard it is to get a job as an optometrist. Is this true? Also, how is the optometry outlook in other countries, such as Canada and the UK?

Hey buddy read the comments above you will find answers to your questions

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VN in Richmond Hill, Georgia

26 months ago

Samuel in London, United Kingdom said: Hey buddy read the comments above you will find answers to your questions

Thank you very much for your comment, but I have read the above comments many times already. I wish to have a straight-up answer; yours did not help.

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KFK in Espoo, Finland

26 months ago

Hi, I`m an Optometrist from Finland with lot of businessknowledge in optical and eye surgery business. Any tips or needs - I´m looking for a new challenges. I can run shops, clinics and have massive sales and marketing experience.

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businessmanpianist in Los Angeles, California

24 months ago

Samuel in London, United Kingdom said: I went through everyone's comment here, and i like what i read. It is good to see everyone's perspective.

One thing about being an optometrist is you have to know how to run a business .

I recently graduated from the UK. It took me 4 years instead of the 8 years it would take if i went to school in Canada. I came back to Canada and started my new venture ( I will not review what I do here). This venture is so amazing that I do not need to seek employment from anyone. I make $500k a year providing eye exams to my patients.

I love this field like crazy. If you wanna know what I do and would like to partner with me, You can make minimum $250k a year no matter your experience. You will work 6 hours a day with 1-2 months vacation a year.

You optometrists of nowadays have to be entrepreneurs not the same old time optometrists going about seeking to be employed.

Hello, are you still looking for someone to work with? I'm interested in being your partner if this is real talk.

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SP in Oakland, California

24 months ago

Great to hear from all of your perspectives!

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Pabloco in Güimar, Spain

23 months ago

dcc said: Do they have optometrists in Spain?

Yes, I am Spanish optometrist. Here you have to course 4 years at the University

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ivory101 in Poughkeepsie, New York

23 months ago

Can anyone tell me the starting salaries in the U.S. for optometry, whether the mode of practice be retail, hospital clinics, groups, etc. ?

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PM in Sevilla, Spain

23 months ago

KFK in Espoo, Finland said: Hi, I`m an Optometrist from Finland with lot of businessknowledge in optical and eye surgery business . Any tips or needs - I´m looking for a new challenges. I can run shops, clinics and have massive sales and marketing experience.

HI! I am a 33 years spanish optometrist actually working for a big spanish company here in south Spain (permanent position). I have 11 years experience in that field and I would like to make a change in my life and I am thinking to more to another European country and learn different things in my field while working abroad. Do you think Finland could be an option for my family and me? Do you think that it would be possible to work in English there? Any idea or advice would be greatly appreciated! regards from Spain, P

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Lili in Bilthoven, Netherlands

18 months ago

Hi
Can somebody help me
I'm optometrist en living in Holland en looking for job in Canada ( Alberta)
Can i work with my diploma in canada ?

Thank you
Lili

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Ifeomamobiorah in London, United Kingdom

17 months ago

Hello dear, please I am an OD too but from another country. Please can yo talk with the Optometrist you work with to employ me as an Optometrist assistant. Thank you. Look forward to you feedback.

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Vivy

10 months ago

britbits in Los Angeles, California said: In California, you have to find work first, then take whatever you can get since there are no jobs here.
Optometry degree was a total waste of time and money.

Then move to other states!. You do not have to live in California alone.....

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