Will "Optometrists" be replaced by AI & Robots?

There is very little chance of this occupation being replaced by robots/AI. However, our poll suggests a higher chance of automation: a 48% chance of automation within the next 2 decades.

Automation Risk Level

No worries

or 14% probability of automation

Projected Growth


by 2024

People Employed


as of 2019

Median Annual Wage


or $55.40 hourly

Most likely
Least likely

How this compares with other jobs: 188 out of 707

Cast Your Vote

How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

People Employed (US)

Median Annual Wage (US)

Job description

Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.

SOC Code: 29-1041

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Reality Chk. (Highly likely) says
There are already provisional patents in existence for glasses/refraction kiosks. Add AI for the exam, a pressure check, and you’ve eliminated about 90 percent of what an optometrist does. Check out GlobeChek. There is a reason they are pushing to do surgery with weekend classes! (No med school required.)
May 29, 2020 at 02:20 PM
Dr. Evil (No chance) says
This profession continues to change and adapt to new technologies. The role of optometrists in medical eye care continues to increase as 80% or more of ophthalmologist are needed to perform surgery, leaving only a fraction of general ophthalmologists to address the increasing need of medical eye care. If all optometrist did were refractions for glasses, I do see a potential for SOME automation. But someone is still needed to subjectively determine why someone isn’t seeing clearly which may not be correctable with glasses or basic contact lenses.
Feb 04, 2020 at 05:40 PM
Kemo (Likely) says
Refraction and diagnosis of diseases are already performed by machines. It may just be a matter of time, until advancement of technology, automation, and laws catching up, before optometry almost disappears.
Jan 31, 2020 at 05:35 AM
John says
Disagree. Virtual reality eye tests using AI and machine learning may remove the need for optometrists.
Nov 23, 2019 at 11:31 PM
Elle says
Totally disagree. Besides specialists, optometrists will be obsolete as online retailers and virtual eye tests will eliminate the gatekeeping of prescriptive glasses and contacts, which are 95% of the reason people go to the optometrist.
Jul 30, 2019 at 07:51 PM
Alwyn says
I totally agree with you.

I'm waiting for someone to build a kiosk powered by AI that will perform all the standard tests.

Customers should benefit greatly from this since the markup on prescriptive glasses and contacts is why my optometrists with a supposed median income of 106k drives a Porsche.
Dec 06, 2019 at 06:09 PM

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