3 Reasons Why Ophthalmologists Are Underpaid?

In today’s age of inflation, everyone is looking for a stable income. And doctors are no exception. But on the other hand, there’s an underpayment trend. As an employee, one thing that matters the most is job satisfaction. And of course, a consistent salary. Ophthalmologists are not that lucky with this, with an average ophthalmologist’s salary being $266,727. 

There are a lot of factors that come into play when we talk about this subject.  We must take a look at the underlying reasons why it is happening. So without further ado, let us dive in and start our discussion. 

Location Dependent 

One of the most crucial factors that come into play is location. When we talk about urban areas, you will notice that the number of ophthalmologists is high. The job market has a lot of competition. To fill the gap, the salary in urban areas is less compared to rural ones. The simple rule is supply and demand. 

Rural areas are less saturated, and you will find many high-paying jobs to compensate for that. And keep in mind that you will get equal opportunities there as well. It is an impressive opportunity for you if you want to climb your career ladder and make decent money. 

Type Of Practice 

The demand for ophthalmologists is on the rise, but certain roles are paid less than others. Corporate and retail optometry can give your career a push if you are getting underpaid. We are not diving deeper into whether it is good for your profession or not but when you go for a job in the sector you will notice that they are paying handsome salaries and have great work-life balance. 

So it all boils down to the type of practice. If you are getting underpaid it can be due to the reason that your practice is not in demand or at the right location. Of course, there are exceptions and there are some office jobs that pay well. Corporate optometry is one of these as it takes the lead in offering better wages and packages.

Not Working As An Independent Contractor 

Most ophthalmologists are employees and do not own an independent practice. So, in this context, we can easily assume that when money is getting distributed you are getting less share. In hospitals, the average wage is a lot less, and you have to overwork. 

On the other hand, if you own your practice and have good equipment you can easily make a good living. 


To sum up, we can not deny that some jobs in our society are underpaid. And we have to take a deeper look and generate solutions to cope with the situation. Hopefully, these three reasons have added to your knowledge and will help you make better decisions for your career.  

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