Ophthalmologist Salary


Ophthalmologists employed in the United States typically earn salaries in the range from $111,744 to $380,127 a year including bonuses and contributions from profit sharing according to the salary information provided by Payscale.

The basic annual salary for ophthalmologists is generally in the range from $103,042 to $360,961, the yearly bonuses can amount to up to $50,684, and earnings from profit sharing are typically in the range between $4,913 and $24,417 a year according to Payscale.

Medscape’s 2013 Ophthalmologist Compensation Report reveals that 29% of these professionals saw their yearly income increase from the previous year, while 26% reported a salary decrease, and 46% said that their annual pay remained the same.

Average salary

The average annual salary for ophthalmologists working in the United States is $212,620 according to Payscale, $257,280 according to Salary.com, $195,987 according to Jobstat, $248,000 according to the recruitment agency Profiles, and $276,000 a year according to the 2013 Ophthalmologist Compensation Report, released by Medscape.


The salary statistics provided by Salary.com reveal that 10% of ophthalmology doctors earn up to $184,054 annually, and the best paid 10% make $329,160 a year or more.

Men earn $294,000 a year on average, while the median annual salary for women in this profession is $220,000 according to Medscape’s report. This translates into a 34% gap between male and female ophthalmology specialists.

Ophthalmologist salaries vary depending on geographical location among other factors. The top paying jobs for this occupation are in the North Central region, where ophthalmologists earn $351,000 a year on average, followed by the Northwest, where the median yearly salary for the profession is $302,000. Ophthalmologists employed in the Great Lakes region earn $298,000 annually on average, those working in the West are paid around $284,000 a year, and professionals based in the Southeast make $282,000 a year on average. The median salary in the North East is $273,000 a year, and ophthalmologists working in the Mid-Atlantic region earn around $259,000 a year. The lowest salaries for this profession are in the Southwest, where ophthalmologists earn a median annual pay of $253,000, and in the South Central region, where the average salary for this occupation is $230,000 a year according to Medscape’s compensation report.

Ophthalmologists’ annual income also depends on the work setting. The best paid ophthalmologists are those employed by healthcare organizations, who earn around $348,000 a year, followed by professionals working in multispecialty group practices, who are paid $340,000 a year on average. Ophthalmologists working in single-specialty group practices earn around $292,000 annually, those employed at outpatient clinics make $273,000 a year on average, and professionals working in solo practices earn a median yearly pay of $250,000. Ophthalmology doctors working at hospitals earn around $205,000 a year, those employed by academic institutions are paid around $173,000 a year, and professionals working in other settings have an average annual salary of $120,000 according to Medscape’s report.

Salaries also vary depending on ophthalmologists’ work situation. Doctors who are partners in their organization earn around $356,000 a year and have the highest salaries. Owners of solo practices make $262,000 a year on average, and ophthalmologists who are employees at their organization earn a median annual salary of $220,000 a year. Professionals who work as independent contractors have an average salary of $205,000 a year according to Medscape.

Starting salary

The recruitment firm Profiles reports an average starting salary of $210,000 a year for ophthalmologists in their first year on the job.

Salary range

The salary range for ophthalmologists depends on a wide range of factors, including years of experience. Ophthalmology doctors with 1 to 4 years of experience typically report salaries in the range from $101,014 to $247,465 a year, and those with 5 to 9 years of experience generally make between $124,227 and $275,000 a year. Professionals with 10 to 19 years of experience are usually paid between $90,000 and $375,378 annually, and those with 20 or more years of experience under their belt typically report earning an annual pay in the range from $115,407 to $469,783 according to the salary figures provided by Payscale.

Professionals with a certification from the American Board of Ophthalmology generally earn between $120,000 and $406,946 a year, and those with the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD) report an annual pay in the range from $102,129 to $302,012 according to Payscale. Ophthalmologists specializing in medicine/surgery are generally paid between $184,132 and $254,341 a year.

ophthalmology salary,ophthalmologist average salary

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kasey Close

In terms of industry, ophthalmologists working at ophthalmologists’ offices generally report salaries in the range form $115,166 to $342,550 a year, those working at hospitals are typically paid between $100,000 and $261,905 annually, and the general salary range for professionals working in the health care sector goes from $110,000 to $400,000 a year according to Payscale.

Medscape’s 2013 salary report reveals that 12% of ophthalmologists earn $100,000 a year or less, and 5% are paid $700,000 annually or more. The highest percentage of ophthalmology physicians (20%) earn an annual pay in the range from $200,000 to $250,000, and 14% make between $250,000 and $300,000 a year.

On the higher end of the scale, 2% of ophthalmologists earn between $600,000 and $650,000 annually, 6% make between $500,000 and $600,000 a year, and another 2% report an annual income in the range from $450,000 to $500,000. 6% of ophthalmology specialists earn between $400,000 and $450,000 a year, and another 6% are paid between $350,000 and $400,000 a year. 9% of ophthalmologists report earning an annual pay in the range from $300,000 to $350,000.

On the lower end of the scale, 5% of ophthalmology doctors earn between $100,000 and $150,000 annually, and 12% report being paid between $150,000 and $200,000 a year according to Medscape’s salary survey.

Salary by state

Ophthalmologist salaries can vary significantly from state to state. For example, professionals employed in California typically earn between $125,029 and $360,258 annually, those based in Maryland are generally paid between $178,039 and $393,054 a year, and ophthalmology specialists working in Virginia usually report salaries in the range from $147,395 to $254,341 a year according to Payscale’s salary data.

Hourly wage

Jobstat reports a median hourly wage of $97.46 for ophthalmologists, with the highest hourly pay recorded being $168.24 and the lowest, $48.53.

Benefits

Ophthalmologists typically get a variety of benefits and perks along with the annual salary, and these can sometimes reflect they annual earnings. Professionals who have 401(k) plans generally report earning salaries in the range from $120,668 to $299,333 a year, those who get malpractice and liability insurance are usually paid between $125,155 and $352,347 annually, and ophthalmologists who get paid vacation earn salaries in the range from $101,367 to $394,530 a year.

Professionals who have life and disability insurance as part of their benefits package are generally paid between $196,527 and $350,000 a year, those who get cell phones typically earn between $171,871 and $244,168 annually, and ophthalmology specialists who have 403(b) plans report an annual pay in the range from $155,000 to $457,000 according to the salary data provided by Payscale.

The most popular benefits among ophthalmologists are 401(k) plans, malpractice and liability insurance, and paid vacations and holidays.

Other income factors

Ophthalmology physicians’ annual pay can also vary depending on the size of the organization that employs them. For instance, ophthalmologists employed by organizations with 1 to 9 employees typically earn between $127,743 and $248,411 a year, while those working for organizations that employ between 10 and 49 people generally report an annual income in the range from $122,829 to $198,317 according to Payscale’s salary figures.

In terms of employer type, ophthalmologists working for private practices and firms generally earn between $125,507 and $306,386 a year, and those employed by hospitals make between $99,666 and $498,364 a year. Professionals employed by companies usually report an annual income in the range from $90,604 to $255,321, while those who are self-employed typically earn between $165,500 and $354,930 a year according to Payscale.

Hospital setting is another factor that can affect an ophthalmology specialist’s yearly salary. For example, professionals employed at physicians’ offices and private practices typically earn between $101,367 and $295,898 a year, and those working at general hospitals are usually paid between $170,000 and $457,000 a year according to Payscale’s salary data.