Optometrists

AUTOMATION RISK
CALCULATED
26%
risk level
POLLING
48%
Based on 274 votes
LABOR DEMAND
GROWTH
9.6%
by year 2032
WAGES
$125,590
or $60.37 per hour
Volume
40,640
as of 2022
SUMMARY
JOB SCORE
6.9/10

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Automation risk

26% (Low Risk)

Low Risk (21-40%): Jobs in this level have a limited risk of automation, as they demand a mix of technical and human-centric skills.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some very important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Finger Dexterity

  • Persuasion

  • Manual Dexterity

  • Negotiation

User poll

48% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted they are unsure if this occupation will be automated. However, employees may be able to find reassurance in the automated risk level we have generated, which shows 26% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Optometrists will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?






Sentiment

The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)

Growth

Very fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Optometrists' job openings is expected to rise 9.6% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.

Wages

Very high paid relative to other professions

In 2022, the median annual wage for 'Optometrists' was $125,590, or $60 per hour

'Optometrists' were paid 171.2% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $46,310

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Volume

Moderate range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2022 there were 40,640 people employed as 'Optometrists' within the United States.

This represents around < 0.001% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 3 thousand people are employed as 'Optometrists'.

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: 29-1041.00

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Comments

Bobby Steward (Low) says
Optometry is human centric
Aug 28, 2023 at 02:46 PM
Alex Bay (Highly likely) says
Thinks about optometry and what it entails. It is based on machines testing for glaucoma, retinal scans, images, and subjective visual tests based on "clearer" or not. Similar to a radiologist, an optometrist will likely only be able to give a general recommendation, a general prescription for contact lenses or glasses, and if severe, referral to ophthalmologist. A technologist/assistant would be able to accomplish this without the need for an optometrist.

A limited number of veteran optometrists or ophthalmologists can provide oversight and "double check" the AI. I don't see where the future need for more and newer classes of optometrists will be needed, especially as AI and technological advances improve.
Jun 22, 2023 at 11:36 PM
Ian James Pengilley (Low) says
Many cases 'break the mold' on behavioural cooperation/ feedback - it will be very difficult to automate Pediatric optometry - people with low vision, poor understanding or mobility will not give adequate feedback to be properly diagnosed and treated.
Feb 05, 2023 at 07:10 AM
robotic worrier (Moderate) says
Ophthalmologists are safe, but I think the risk for automation of the optometrist specialty is being underestimated here given the advances in AI software which can detect vision defects, signs of injury, ocular diseases, and other problems with general health.
Jan 04, 2023 at 10:12 PM
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 (Moderate) 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
Dr. Ian says
"FREE EYE TEST" is what caused the gatekeeping - I've never seen "Free Architects Plans" with every home purchased, or Civil Engineer consultations... The root of this is that people would rather keep their wallets shut and put up with sub-par vision than pay an Optometrist to really let them see well, under all circumstances, and deal with their headaches, squints and dry eyes.
Feb 05, 2023 at 07:34 AM

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