The 2019 New Grad Optometrist Report

by Matt Geller
Apr 23, 2019
3 min read
2.1k views

In 2018, we surveyed 669 optometrists who graduated between 2012 and 2017 to learn about the state of the OD job search. Download the full report now!

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In 2018, we surveyed 669 optometrists who graduated between 2012 and 2017 to learn about the state of the OD job search.

We’re now publishing that data, in the form of over 20 charts and graphs, to inform our readers of the job outlook for new grad ODs!

Download the report immediately, or keep reading to find out what’s inside! 👇

Some of the crucial questions we asked were:

  • How difficult was it finding your FIRST optometry job?
  • Did you secure your job before you graduated optometry school?
  • From the time you graduated with your diploma, how many weeks did it take to accept your FIRST optometry job?
  • Today, on average, how many patients per day do you see?
  • Do you feel that the industry thinks new grads are less productive than they actually are?
  • What was your starting annual salary, before tax and benefits, for your first job?
  • Does your student debt motivate you to work harder, either for longer hours or on less desirable days?
  • Do you feel that optometry school trained and prepared you better for patient care than an optometrist who graduated over 10 years ago?
  • Do you feel that you have skills and abilities today that could help you grow and maintain a practice that a more senior OD doesn't have?

We got answers to these questions, and more, in our 2019 new grad optometrist survey!

How difficult was it to find that FIRST optometry job?🤔

You can download the entire survey report that includes commentary and all of the results!

What are ODs’ starting salaries at their first jobs? 💵

Whenever we ask ODs what they're most worried about in their careers, the biggest answer is DEBT. That's why we were curious about starting salaries: what are ODs getting paid right out of school? According to our data, the average salary for optometrists with up to seven years working experience is $99,353.

How well does optometry school train optometrists for their first OD job, and how confident are new grad ODs in the skills they can bring to a practice?

There’s always an element of competition in questions like this: more experienced practitioners sometimes think new grads are going to take a long time to train, and new grads can sometimes seem overconfident. But the great thing about new ODs is how willing they are to complement the skills of experienced optometrists in a working partnership!

How many patients per day do new grad ODs see?

We wanted to know how many patients new grad ODs saw on average. Are new grads able to keep up with senior doctors?

The answer may surprise you! Unless you're confident in new grads' skills, that is 😏

Why release a new grad optometrist report?

In 2014, the AOA reported a shortage of 9,000 FTE optometrists. At the same time, the population of individuals over 55 years of age is expected to increase by 28% between 2010 and 2020. This means a larger patient demographic in need of medical eyecare for age-related diseases, as well as diabetes, cataracts, and macular degeneration. And practices are expanding in response: the top 50 retailers grew their number of practices by 9.51% between 2014 and 2017. Yet due to the shortage of ODs and the rate of attrition, all optometry employers are finding themselves competing for talent. Where does that leave optometrists of all kinds?

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About Matt Geller, OD

Dr. Matt Geller is an entrepreneur with a track record of developing successful online platforms to solve problems in the healthcare space. Matt is the co-founder and CEO of CovalentCareers and NewGradOptometry.