Ophthalmologist Salary Guide and Career Outlook

The Ophthalmologist Salary in the United States is much like the Endocrinologist salary, $221,000 per year. In Canada, that figure stands at C$289,856 ($228,125 USD), while the mean registers at 153,999 ($205,388 USD) in the United Kingdom.

Ophthalmologists in Australia make AU$400,209 ($304,967 USD), while those in New Zealand earn as a group NZD$336,125 ($231,186 USD). The mean is INR 12,34,000 (INR1,234,000 in Western format) ($19,086 USD) for ophthalmologists in India, and R1,755,160 ($123,882 USD) in South Africa.

ophthalmologist salary

How is the Ophthalmologist Salary by State?

Ophthalmologist SalaryUSCanadaUKAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$106.25C$139£74AU$192NZD$162INR R844R847
Annual Pay$221,000C$289,856£153,999AU$400,209NZD$336,125INR1,234,000R1,755,160

Ophthalmologist Salary Influencing Factors

Work setting plays a major role in the compensation of ophthalmologists, with private practitioners and self-employed professionals occupying a significant portion in the profession. Location of practice and greater experience can reap higher pay.

1. Location

According to a Medscape 2017 survey, pay for ophthalmologists in the United States ranges from a low of $296,000 in the southwest region to $452,000 in the Northeastern US. (https://www.medscape.com/slideshow/compensation-2017-ophthalmology-6008579#6). Professionals in the Great Lakes area make $376,000, while the figure is $308,000 in the West.

According to SalaryExpert, practitioners earn C$261,159 in Nova Scotia, C$312,754 in Montreal and C$306,470 in Vancouver. For ophthalmologists in Sydney, Australia, the pay amounts to AU$425,812, while the figure is AU$375,855 in Adelaide, Australia.

In New Delhi, earnings average INR18,31,507 in New Delhi and INR16,73,012 in Jaipur, India.

How Much is the Ophthalmologist Salary in the US?

Ophthalmologist Salary USPer YearPer Hour
Bonus$1,951 to $58,213$0.94 to $27,99
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total Pay$116,350 to $413,014

How Much is the Ophthalmologist Salary in Canada?

Ophthalmologist Salary CanadaPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayC$192,544 to C$385,669

How Much is the Ophthalmologist Salary in the UK?

Ophthalmologist Salary UKPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total Pay£101,905 to £214,032

How Much is the Ophthalmologist Salary in Australia?

Ophthalmologist Salary AustraliaPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayAU$266,295 to AU$559,260

How Much is the Ophthalmologist Salary in New Zealand?

Ophthalmologist Salary New ZealandPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayNZD$223,477 to NZD$469,353

How Much is the Ophthalmologist Salary in India?

Ophthalmologist Salary IndiaPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayINR 10,97,909 to INR23,14,609

How Much is the Ophthalmologist Salary in South Africa?

Ophthalmologist Salary South AfricaPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayR1,176,007 to R2,468,999

2. Experience

According to PayScale, ophthalmologists at entry-level earn a mean pay of $185,000. With five to ten years of practice, the mean rises to $220,000. The mean jumps to $246,000 for those with ten years of experience and to $270,000 for those with 20 years.

As reported by SalaryExpert, ophthalmologists earn C$192,554 on an entry-level basis and C$385,669 for those with eight years of experience.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service treats and pays these professionals as specialty doctors. As such, the range for new specialty doctors runs from £37,176 and £69,325. Consultants receive between £75,249 and £101,451. When considering private practitioners, entry-level pay for those reaching specialist status amounts to £101,905. At eight or more years of experience, ophthalmologists earn on a mean basis £204,122.

According to SalaryExpert, one to three years of experience results in a mean salary of AU$266,295 in Australia. Ophthalmologists achieving eight or more years in practice see on average earnings of AU$533,406. In New Zealand, the respective figures as reported by SalaryExpert are NZD$233,477 and NZD$447,639.

In India, ophthalmologists starting in the specialty earn a median salary of INR1,182,000. The level rises to INR1,650,000 at five years in the field and jumps to INR2,250,000 for those who attain ten years of experience. In the late stages of the career, ophthalmologists see a median of INR1,800,000.

SalaryExpert reports that ophthalmologists in South Africa enjoy entry-level earnings of R1,176,007, while senior-level practitioners make R2,355,616.

3. Industry

Private practice ophthalmologists feature prominently in the profession. The Canadian Medical Association reports that nearly 78 percent of these professionals in Canada are in private practice. Three in ten belong to group practices, while another 43 percent are solo practitioners.

As specialists and private practitioners, opthamologists can garner significant compensation. According to CIHI, opthamologists in Canada ranked highest in gross earnings among physicians, at C$669,000 in 2014-2015. Medscape showed opthamologists in the United States were 11th among medical specialties, at $345,000.

News.com.au showed ophthalmology as the second highest-paid profession among males in Australia, at AU$552,947.

In the United Kingdom, medical establishment trusts run by the National Health Service primarily employ ophthalmologists. Pay reaches higher levels for self-employed practitioners.

Ophthalmologists in private practice in India earn between INR100,000 and INR200,000 per month in total compensation. The country also has significant numbers of practitioners in the public sector, including public hospitals and establishments run by charities.

Schedule & Working Hours

The ophthalmologist occupation is full-time. Ophthalmologists in Canada log work weeks of 50.2 hours on average. According to a Medscape 2017 survey, 85 percent of male ophthalmologists are full-time, and three-fourths of female practitioners fall in the full-time category.

As a general rule, these professionals hold weekday and daytime office hours. Some offices may operate beyond these times to treat patients whose schedules might not permit traditional office hour visits. The possibility of emergencies may require ophthalmologists to be occasionally on-call, but usually less than occupations such as emergency room physicians or trauma doctors.

While schedules can differ by office and location, a typical ophthalmologist week also includes roughly three days in the office and two in the operating room.

Bonuses & Benefits

Ophthalmologists have the opportunity to participate in profit sharing in their private practices. Earnings from profit sharing for ophthalmologists in the United States comes to $12,500 on a mean basis In India, that figure averages INR450,000.

According to PayScale, in the United States, nearly 77 percent of ophthalmologists have medical coverage. Dental benefits are enjoyed by 39 percent, while only 29 percent of ophthalmologists have vision benefits. Medscape’s survey shows that half participate in an employer-matched retirement plan, while one in four have non-employer matched retirement.

Indian practitioners predominately do not obtain employer-provided medical benefits. Three in four have no such perks, according to PayScale. Only 17 percent receive medical and nine percent have vision coverage.

Ophthalmologists in the United Kingdom can fetch bonuses between 20 percent and 50 percent for working outside of the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. work interval.

Career Outlook

Demand for ophthalmologists should prove fairly strong. Diabetes and other contributors to sight impairment require treatment by these professionals.

According to O*NET, employment of “Physicians and Surgeons, All Others” (which includes ophthalmologists) in the United States should grow by 14 percent through 2024. This means 145,000 job openings in the field should occur.

In 2015, Canada had 1,221 ophthalmologists, or 3.4 for every 100,000 residents in the country.

Australia’s “Job Outlook” categorizes ophthalmologists as “Other Medical Practitioners.” By 2020, this broader field could have between 10,001 and 25,000 openings.

In recognition of the shortage of professionals, the New Zealand government has placed ophthalmologists on the “Immediate skill shortage list” in all regions of the country.  Further, the New Zealand Herald reports that the shortage has made hiring by District Health Boards challenging and has resulted in more than 20,000 residents being overdue for check-ups.

The South African government included ophthalmologists among its “List of Occupations in High Demand” in 2015.

How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

If you become an ophthalmologist, chances are you will be giving these tips out for the duration of your career to every patient you have. The chances are also that you will be following these if you want healthy eyes too. These are practical tips that you can take and apply to your everyday life and give them to your patients as well. These are preventative measures that can also help those who already have eye problems. These tips are good for anyone who has eyes, really!

Eat Good Food

Healthy food is vital for a healthy body. We hear all the time about the different kinds of foods that promote certain kinds of outcomes for our health. One of these is eating so that our eyes are healthy. Some of the nutrients that help our eyes are zinc, vitamin C and E, and omega-three fatty acids. These vitamins can help to fight aging and problems such as cataracts and other eye issues that come with age. So what are some great foods to fight off these diseases? Green leafy vegetables are the first.

Anyone close to me knows I eat an endless amount of spinach. Spinach in my eggs, with my dinner, and in pretty much any dish that I create, there will be spinach. Find a leafy green that works for you and stick to it. This will ensure a good overall good health report. Another great thing to consume is fish. This is where the omega-3 part comes in. Fish like salmon and tuna contain omega-3 properties. They are also incredibly tasty, and especially when you pair them with your favorite leafy green!

The next step would be to incorporate things like eggs, beans, and nuts into your diet. These types of proteins are incredibly good for you and also incredibly delicious. You can eat your eggs pretty much any way you’d like. Scrambled, fried, over easy, and with pretty much any type of food. Have you ever put an egg on a burger? It changes everything. And egg in pasta? It is a game-changer as well.

Beans can be eaten in stews, chili’s, and even with rice. And nuts are an incredible snack. My personal favorite is almonds. There are plenty of companies out there that can make buts into your favorite food in the world. You can buy sweet-and-sour nuts, salt and vinegar nuts, and even sriracha nuts. Remember, you can spice all of these foods up to fit your taste. The only thing that matters is that these nutrients get into your system in order to help your eye and overall health.

Protect Your Eyes with Sunglasses

Sunglasses are underrated. Not only are they incredible for your eyes, but there are so, so good for your style. Sunglasses help you to be fashionable and keep your eyes protected. They protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays which can cause tons of issues for you later on in life. Personally, I have to wear prescription glasses every day to see.

The way that I get my protection in is by buying prescription glasses that have a sunglass feature. Instantly when I walk outside in the sun, my glasses are switched over to not just seeing glasses, but they double as sunglasses. They are tinted and when I walk indoors they take a few minutes to get back to normal. This feature is a little bit more expensive, but it is worth it, in the end.

We don’t realize how much of an impact the sun really has our eyes until we begin to suffer the consequences. If you spend a lot of time outside like me, a girl who loves to sit outside for work and do outdoor activities, it is smart to always have sunglasses nearby. Keep them in your car, in your purse, and whatever else you can easily slip them on.

Ditch the Screens

In the age we live in, it can be so hard to get away from the screen. They are everywhere. In our classrooms, our jobs, in our homes sitting right in the middle of our living rooms, they truly have overtaken our world and can easily take over our lives, if we’re not careful.

Personally, I work on the computer and also take classes on the computer. Then have social media accounts and friends that I keep up with from my phone. It can be very hard to get time away from screens. So what I will do is set aside one day a week where I use no screens at all. No TV, no laptop, no phone. I will also set up a time each day where I will detach from my phone. A great way to do this is by setting a time limit and once I hit the limit, you will only find me reading a book.

Reading is a great way to get away from the screen and into something that will help stimulate your mind and give your eyes a break. Some of the bad things that can happen when you use the screen too much are blurry vision, straining of your eyes, trouble focusing near and far, headaches, and all types of pain in the neck and shoulders. Some things you can do if you have already gotten to the point where your eyes hurt from staring at computers is to talk to your doctor about the strain and see what they can do.

Use anti-glare glasses, no matter if you already struggle or have the potential of struggling in the future. This is a big one and is what I do personally. To help your body avoid pain, you can use a chair that makes you sit upright. You can also try blinking more to get those juices flowing into your parched eyes, and my personal favorite is to give your eyes a rest every half hour or so. About every half hour or so, I get up and move around, read a chapter, or call a friend. Giving your eyes a break allows you to get back to normal before you sit in front of a screen again.

Final Thoughts on the Ophthalmologist Salary

Ophthalmologists as a rule stand among the highest paid medical practitioners, due to their positions as specialists and especially as self-employed professionals. Employment prospects appear strong along with pay as many regions face shortages of these professionals and a high demand for their services.0020

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