Types of Degrees Optometry Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many optometry graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Optometry Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, optometry majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Optometry Majors
Optometry majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Skills for Optometry Majors
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to optometry:
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Optometry Majors
Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a optometry student include the following:
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
What Can You Do With a Optometry Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with optometry:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
How Much Do Optometry Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Optometry majors often go into careers with median salaries of $119,980. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Optometry
Some degrees associated with optometry may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for optometry careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||9.0%|
Online Optometry Programs
In 2020-2021, 23 schools offered a optometry program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||0||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||23||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Optometry Worth It?
The median salary for a optometry grad is $119,980 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 201% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,601,600 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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