SOC: 29-1069.06


Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries of the eyes and related structures.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
347,200 employed

Projected (2024):
398,800 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
  • Director, Emergency Ophthalmology Services
  • General Ophthalmologist
  • MD
  • MD Ophthalmologist
  • Medical Director
  • Medical Doctor
  • Neuro-Ophthalmologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Ophthalmologist, Medical Director, President
  • Ophthalmologist-Retina Specialist
  • Pediatric Ophthalmologist
  • Physician
  • Physician, Ophthalmologist
  • Physician/Ophthalmologist
  • Refractive Surgeon
  • Retina Subspecialist
  • Retinal Surgeon
  • Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed


    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.


    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media

  • Tasks:

  • Provide ophthalmic consultation to other medical professionals.
  • Refer patients for more specialized treatments when conditions exceed the experience, expertise, or scope of practice of practitioner.
  • Instruct interns, residents, or others in ophthalmologic procedures and techniques.
  • Develop or implement plans and procedures for ophthalmologic services.
  • Educate patients about maintenance and promotion of healthy vision.
  • Conduct clinical or laboratory-based research in ophthalmology.
  • Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams of health professionals to provide optimal patient care.
  • Provide or direct the provision of postoperative care.
  • Document or evaluate patients' medical histories.
  • Prescribe corrective lenses such as glasses and contact lenses.
  • Prescribe or administer topical or systemic medications to treat ophthalmic conditions and to manage pain.
  • Perform, order, or interpret the results of diagnostic or clinical tests.
  • Develop treatment plans based on patients' histories and goals, the nature and severity of disorders, and treatment risks and benefits.
  • Perform laser surgeries to alter, remove, reshape, or replace ocular tissue.
  • Perform ophthalmic surgeries such as cataract, glaucoma, refractive, corneal, vitro-retinal, eye muscle, and oculoplastic surgeries.
  • Prescribe ophthalmologic treatments or therapies such as chemotherapy, cryotherapy, and low vision therapy.
  • Perform comprehensive examinations of the visual system to determine the nature or extent of ocular disorders.
  • Diagnose or treat injuries, disorders, or diseases of the eye and eye structures including the cornea, sclera, conjunctiva, or eyelids.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Automated external defibrillators AED
  • Autorefractors
  • Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopes
  • Conjunctival sac scissors
  • Corneal scissors
  • Corneal topographers
  • Diagnostic exophthalmometers
  • Diagnostic ophthalmoscope sets
  • Digital still cameras
  • Electrosurgical coagulation units
  • Evisceration scoops
  • Eye speculums
  • Eye surgery lasers
  • Eye test lens sets
  • Handheld tonometers
  • Iris forceps
  • Irrigation-extraction cannulas
  • Keratometers
  • Lacrimal probes
  • Laptop computers
  • Lens expressors
  • Lensmeters
  • Lid retractors
  • Matrix visual field instruments
  • Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical examination penlights
  • Nerve fiber analyzers
  • Occluders
  • Ophthalmic digital imaging systems
  • Ophthalmic needle holders
  • Ophthalmic perimeters
  • Ophthalmic prism sets
  • Ophthalmic slit lamps
  • Ophthalmic surgery forceps
  • Ophthalmic surgery retractors
  • Ophthalmic surgical scalpels
  • Ophthalmic transilluminators
  • Ophthalmic ultrasound imaging scanners
  • Optical coherence tomography equipment
  • Otoscopes
  • Personal computers
  • Phoropters
  • Retinometers
  • Scanning laser ophthalmoscopes
  • Sphygmomanometers
  • Surgical loupes
  • Surgical microscopes
  • Tablet computers
  • Venous ophthalnodynanometers
  • Vision testing displays
  • Vital signs monitors
  • Allscripts PM
  • athenahealth athenaCollector
  • Automatic Data Processing AdvancedMD EHR
  • Benchmark Systems Benchmark Clinical EHR
  • Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR
  • CareCloud Central
  • Cerner PowerWorks Practice Management
  • eClinicalWorks Practice Management
  • Email software
  • Epic Practice Management software
  • EyeMD EMR Healthcare Systems EyeMD EMR
  • GalacTek ECLIPSE
  • GE Healthcare Centricity Practice Solution
  • Greenway Medical Technologies PrimeSUITE
  • HealthFusion MediTouch software
  • IOS Health Systems Medios EHR
  • Kareo Practice Management
  • McKesson Practice Plus
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Modernizing Medicine Electronic Medical Assistant (EMA) software
  • NextGen Healthcare NextGen Practice Management
  • Ophthalmic imaging software
  • simplifyMD software
  • Vitera Healthcare Solutions Vitera Intergy
  • WRSHealth EMR

  • healthcare practitioners and technical

    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800