How much do ophthalmologists earn?

Medicine is one of the highest-paying careers in the United States; a general practitioner can earn $397,000 annually. A physician with specialization makes more money. There are many specialties available in the field of medicine, among which ophthalmology is a highly regarded option.

There is an extensive job market in the medical field in the United States, as these are in-demand, entry-level jobs. An ophthalmologist is a medical specialization with a large target range and, therefore, a lot of demand.

What is ophthalmology all about

Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that specializes in the study of diagnosis, medical care, prevention, and surgical practice of eye diseases. This specialty studies all ocular or visual problems.

An ophthalmology specialist’s duties are vision services such as diagnosing eye diseases requiring glasses, preventing medical eye disorders, and even performing surgery if necessary.

An ophthalmologist is a surgeon who has decided to specialize in this branch of medicine. However, among ophthalmology, some subspecialties allow you to specialize further in different branches or studies of the eye.

These branches are glaucoma, strabismus or pediatric ophthalmology, anterior segment or cornea, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, retina, uveitis, and ocular oncology.

Ophthalmologist annual salary

Salary will vary depending on whether you have another ophthalmology micro-specialty, your years of experience, and even your state. However, the base salary for a physician specializing in ophthalmology in the United States ranges from $263,928 to $359,139 per year.

Are ophthalmologists in high demand?

The field of ophthalmologists is expected to grow every day. This is partly due to the aging of the American population, leading to increased treatment of cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related eye complications.

However, the greatest demand for ophthalmologists is in the younger population. This is due to how technology affects the ocular organs and the increasing need for technology in the young population.

It is estimated that the need for ophthalmology professionals will increase in preventive research. As exposure to technology increases, visual conditions are also evolving.

According to CareerExplorer, the demand for ophthalmologists in the United States is only increasing. Over the next ten years, the United States will need approximately 43,400 ophthalmologists. That translates to 42,300 new ophthalmologists and 1,100 current ophthalmologists retiring.

Is ophthalmology a good career choice?

Ophthalmology is considered one of the most sought-after specialty options today because of its rapid evolution in the field of medicine. In addition, the fact that it has a good social security system makes it attractive in the long term.

What do I need to be an ophthalmologist?

To practice as an ophthalmologist in the United States, you must first graduate from 4 years of pre-med plus medical school. Once you graduate, you have to study the specialization, in this case, ophthalmology, which can last between 4 and 5 years.

This postgraduate course consists of the first three years of eye surgery plus years of residency and surgical practice. It is a long career, but very well remunerated when graduating as an ophthalmologist.

Highest-paying ophthalmologist locations in the U.S.

The salary of an ophthalmologist may vary depending on many factors, including the demand for the profession, the level of education, the state in which they are located, and the population. According to the U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, the states where ophthalmology pays the best are:

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is the highest-paying state for ophthalmologists, with a base salary of $318,700 per year, and the median range for an ophthalmology specialist ranges between $267,900 and $364,600 annually.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, an ophthalmologist’s base salary is $294,810 each year. Still, if you are a newly moved ophthalmologist without much experience, you can start earning about $247,828 annually. Over time, the median salary can become $337,231 per year.


The base salary in Maine for an ophthalmology professional is $302,659 per year, and the median salary range is currently approximately $254,427 annually.


Ophthalmology in Montana is estimated at a base salary of $284,606 annually. The median salary ranges from $239,251 to $325,559 per year.


In Minnesota, the ophthalmology professional earns a base salary of $321,200 per year, with the average salary for an ophthalmologist in this city between $270,000 and $367,400 per year.

Lowest-paying ophthalmologist locations

Compared to the other cities mentioned above, some states do not pay as well as the U.S. average. This does not mean they’re low-paying, but they are not the highest recommended locations if you want to take good advantage of this career.

Among the cities that rank lower in line with the demand for ophthalmologists are Nebraska, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Vermont, and New York.


The average salary for an ophthalmologist in Nebraska ranges from $241,381 and $328,459 per year.


The average salary range for an ophthalmology specialist in Oklahoma is between $247,500 and $336,700 per year.


This city has an average ophthalmology professional salary range of $229,617 and $312,451 per year.


If you are an ophthalmologist and want to live in Vermont, you will be interested to know that in this city, the average salary for ophthalmology professionals is $302,345 per year.

New York

An ophthalmologist usually has an average salary of $317,505 per year.