risk level
Based on 216 votes
by 2031
or $60.37 hourly
as of 2022

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 that it's unclear if this occupation will be replaced. However, employees may be able to find reassurance in the automated risk level we have generated, which only shows 26% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that this occupation will be replaced by robots or AI in the next 20 years?


Very fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Optometrists' job openings is expected to rise 9.6% by 2031

Total employment, and estimated job openings

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


Very high paid relative to other professions

In 2022, the median annual wage for 'Optometrists' was $125,590, or $60.37 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


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 0.03% 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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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
Ke says
It took that optometrist an investment of thousands of dollars of debt to pay for eight years of college making little money while learning their profession.

Not to mention the years it takes to build a practice and pay off their debt while doing so.

How many people are willing to give that many years up to receive a median salary of 106k? If you want to drive a Porsche you could do the same.
Sep 01, 2021 at 04:00 PM

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