The average salary of optometrist assistants varies according to location, type, and size of the hiring organization. This CareerStint article gives you a brief insight of optometrist assistant jobs and the salary range based on different factors.
An optometrist assistant is a person who is responsible for helping optometrists carry out their daily tasks. A career in this field cannot be termed as a medical job completely; since along with medical work, it also contains tasks that are administrative in nature. Typically, this career is associated with a respectable salary and job satisfaction. Those working in these careers are sometimes referred to as paraoptometric assistants or optometric technicians. These assistants mainly provide services in eye care facilities or optician offices. Those who work in labs repairing frames and coating lenses earn a higher average wage than clinical and optical dispensing optometrist assistants.
Employers usually hire certified candidates as optometrist assistants. Candidates with some job experience can complete the related program, and can get certified by the American Optometric Association. The Certified Paraoptometric (CPO) designation is the lowest level, while the Certified Paraoptometric Technician (CPOT) is the highest level. Those who have a high school degree, CPOT designation, and strong administrative and communication skills can command higher salaries.
According to Experience
➺ According to PayScale, the salary figures for Certified Optometric Assistants can be in the range of $20,283 – $36,875.
➺ At mid-career level, they can expect a per annum pay ranging from $24,000 to $39,000 approximately.
➺ As the number of years of experience increases, the pay also rises to a scale of $30,000 to $45,000.
According to State of Employment
The state and city of employment are also prominent determinants of the pay range.
➺ New York and Massachusetts are reported to have the highest pay for optometrist assistants with a median pay of $42,000.
➺ In California, these medical professionals have an average pay of $37,000.
➺ In Illinois, they can expect somewhere around $39,000.
➺ North Carolina and Pennsylvania have a median salary of about $33,000. In Georgia, it was $39,000.
➺ Rest of the major states such as Ohio, Texas, and Tennessee had an average pay ranging from $32,000 to $35,000.
* Source: Indeed
According to City of Employment
➺ The salary scale differs largely from city as well, with the topmost paying cities being New York and San Francisco at the average yearly pay rate of $47,000.
➺ In cities such as Dallas and Phoenix, optometrist assistants are likely to get a median pay of $35,000 and $29,000 respectively.
➺ In Atlanta, the average salary falls to about $43,000.
➺ Cities like Cincinnati, Orlando, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and Houston offered a median pay from $30,000 to $39,000.
* Source: Indeed
Note that the differences in pay scales are estimated figures, and may vary from employment setting and other financial factors. Along with the yearly remuneration packages, some optometrist assistants are also eligible for other provisions such as paid holidays, vacations, bonus, and health insurance.
➺ She/he guides the patient in choosing the right type of frame, lenses of the correct measure, and contact lenses.
➺ She/he repairs frames of spectacles in case of a defect.
➺ Optometrist assistants have to educate patients about eye care products, and sell them.
➺ Along with these tasks, they even look after certain administrative duties which include scheduling appointments, keeping medical records, managing billing and insurance claims, etc.
➺ They have to keep a track of the inventory regarding eye care products, spectacles, contacts, etc.
➺ In some private optician facilities, optometrist assistants may be required to handle telephone calls and perform receptionist duties.
The ability to multitask can help improve your prospects in the field of optometry. The outlook for the job of an optometrist assistant seems bright, though to reach a comfortable stage one does require a certain amount of experience.