Opthamologist Salary vs Optometrist Salary

If you are looking into becoming an opthamologist (ophthalmologist) , then naturally you would like to know how much a typical opthamologist salary is, in the US. You will likely also want to know about the education that you will need, the fields of ophthalmologist that you can choose between, and your chances of finding a job etc.

An ophthalmologistcan diagnose and treat the diseases of the eye. As an opthalmologist, you will be an physician who is able to both diagnose and treat specific eye diseases. You will also be able to assist with injuries of the eye, and help to correct problems with vision, such as farsightedness and nearsightedness. You will be able to use a number of instruments in order to help you to see the inner portions of the eye, such as an ophthalmoscope. You also will be able to prescribe prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, and medications. Importantly, you may also be able to complete eye surgery.

The majority of ophthalmologists will work in private practice, but many will also work in medical colleges, in health agencies, and even in hospitals. As an opthalmologist, it is also possible for you to specialize.

Opthamologist vs Optometrist Training and Salary.

Many patients make is to consider an optometrist and ophthalmologist as the same position. However there is a huge difference between the two.

Optometrists are usually the primary health provider for normal vision problems and the yearly eye checkups. The position requires a Doctor of Optometry degree and a license, and allows the diagnosing for common vision acuity problems like farsightedness and nearsightedness, prescribing corrective eyeglasses, contact lenses, dispensing and prescription of certain medication, plus testing for eye diseases and conditions.

Ophthalmologists can perform the same functions as optometrists, but are considered a higher, better qualified position, as they actually are medical doctors with Doctors of Medicine or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine degrees who specialize in the eyes and vision care.

Ophthalmologists can diagnose and treat highly complicated eyes issues, can perform surgeries like Lasik and repair retinal damage, and can handle more area specific cases in vision care. The main difference between an opthamologist vs optometrist’s eye-related careers is that an ophthalmologist can handle surgeries and other issues that require more training on the medical side.

Ophthalmologist can specialize, in fields such as pediatrics, retina, corneal, surgical procedures. Ffor more extreme or rare situations, patients are usually transferred to a specialist in a specific area.

There is major difference in education and training for optometrists and ophthalmologists, but both require post-graduate education at schools that are very competitive to get accepted into, with rigorous requirements.
The road to becoming an optometrist starts with a bachelor’s degree, the OAT, and acceptance into one of the few optometry schools.

Optometry schools require 4 years of didactic coursework and clinical training, with the last year usually packed with rotations through clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities. After graduating, optometrists can obtain a license and start working, or they can continue training through a residency program which generally is one year in length. The residency offers extra hands on training in specific areas such as glaucoma. Click for more information on optometric residency.

For ophthalmologists, the road begins with a bachelor’s degree, the MCATS, and acceptance to one of the more than one hundred medical schools. Medical schools include 4 years of classes, clinical assignments, and other training methods in all aspects relating to medicine and health. Unlike optometry schools that focus on the eyes and vision, medical schools encompass care for the entire body. After medical school, the graduate must complete a required first year clinical residency program, or PGY-1. After this is completed, the graduate must then complete a 3 year residency based on ophthalmology, and those who want to specialize even more will continue training through fellowships in specific areas for another 1 to 3 years. This means at least 8 years of post graduate education and training is needed to become an ophthalmologist, and even more to become more specialized in specific areas like pediatric ophthalmology.



Ophthalmologists will make more than optometrists because of the extra training and expertise in different areas. According to the BLS, the median salary for optometrists in 2008 was $105,200, and according to the Medical Group Management Association, the median salary for ophthalmologists in 2006 was $297,486. An opthamologist salary canso be almost 3 times as much as optometrists’ slalaries, but it can vary depending on situations like running a private office, working as a specialist.

The very top opthamologists have been known to make more than one million dollars per year.