An average optometrist based in South Africa and America earns around R71 400 and $138,840 on a yearly basis. The hourly wage for South African optometrists is approximately R410, which is comparatively higher than other related professions. So, if you are interested in this field and want to know more about the optometrist salary, keep on reading this guide.
Optometrist Salary in South Africa
The average salary of optometrists in South Africa, including the hourly wage, average salary range, pay scale, and more. So, here is a breakdown of the optometrist salary in both countries.
The average optometrist salary in South Africa starts from R35,000 and goes up to R1,11,000, whereas this value for the USA ranges between $110,000 and $170,000. That said, do consider that it is not the exact salary package and the amount is subject to an increase or decrease based on your gender, city station, educational qualification, and expertise.
In simple terms, median salary can be defined as the average amount half the workforce earns over the course of time. In this case, the median salary for South African optometrists is around R66 600, whereas it is $122,914 for America. According to this data, the USA has a high median salary amount, given its high hourly employee wage.
25th and 75th Salary Percentile
According to the salary chart, the 25th percentile (25% of the workforce) average salary is around R 54 400 per month, whereas the 75th percentile (75% of the workforce) average salary is approximately RR 76 100 per month in South Africa. In contrast, for the American optometrist workforce, the 25th and 75th percentile salaries are $117,500 and $159,500 respectively.
The good thing about the optometrist job is the additional perks you get to enjoy, including the rent allowance, housing, and medical insurance. This is applicable to most optometrist jobs in both the USA and South Africa, specifically in the public sector. However, it may not be applicable to all companies, which is why you need to check it beforehand.
Professional Responsibilities of an Optometrist
An optometrist is a professional healthcare provider that is responsible for taking care of your eyes. They examine, treat, and diagnose eye diseases and vision issues. Though they are not ophthalmologists, they can prescribe medicines to correct vision and perform eye exams.
Following are some professional duties an optometrist performs on a day-to-day basis.
- Performing detailed eye examines to check the health
- Offering clinical advice for vision correction
- Prescribing medicines, spectacles, and contact lenses
- Making a referral to eye specialists
- Training optometrists students and opticians
Factors that Influence Optometrist Salary in South Africa
There are various factors that impact your salary as an optometrist, specifically based in South Africa. These include everything from your qualifications to expertise, gender, and working station. So, let us discuss all these elements in detail and check how they play in deciding your monthly salary.
There is no doubt that you need a university degree to qualify as an optometrist. Hence, it is understandable that your salary package gets better as you progress academically and upgrade your educational qualifications. Here is a breakdown of the salary variance between professional optometrists with different educational backgrounds.
|Education Level||Salary Range|
|Bachelor’s Degree||R74 029|
|Master Degree||R93 700|
Level of Experience
After education, the factor that most affects your salary as an optometrist is the age and experience. It is pretty natural that an employee with ten years of experience will earn more than those with five years, and so on. So, let us discuss how different optometrist skills can affect their salary in South Africa.
- Less than 2 Years of Experience
Optometrists with less than two years of experience earn around R41 500 per month.
- 2-5 Years of Experience
If you have two to five years of expertise as an optometrist, the expected salary would be R53 300 monthly, which is around 29% more than those in the previous category.
- 5-10 Years of Experience
As compared to the previous level employees, optometrists with five to ten years of experience earn 38% more, which makes it approximately R73 500 per month.
- 10-15 Years of Experience
Similarly, optometrists working for ten to fifteen years in South Africa earn around R91 100 per month, which is 24% more than those in the previous level.
- 15-20 Years of Experience
Professionals with fifteen to twenty years of expertise in optometrics have an expected salary of R97 600 per month, which is 7% more than the previous category.
- More than 20 Years of Experience
If you have worked for more than twenty years as an optometrist, expect your salary to be anywhere above R1 04 000, which is 7% more than the previous level.
|Level of Experience||Estimated Salary (Per Month)|
|Less than 2 Years||R41 500|
|2-5 Years||R53 300|
|5-10 Years||R73 500|
|10-15 Years||R91 100|
|15-20 Years||R97 600|
|More than 20 Years||R1 04 000|
Public Vs. Private Sector
Public vs. private sector: Where will you get more opportunities as an optometrist? If we specifically talk about South Africa, public-sector optometrists are paid more than those in the private sector. According to the stats, there is a 7% noted salary difference between these two.
|Public Sector||R32 400||7% more|
|Private Sector||R30 400|
Gender is yet another factor that plays a contributing role in deciding your salary as an optometrist in South Africa. Because there is a higher number of male optometrists in the country, they get more recruitment and salary perks. According to the stats, there is an 8% noted salary variance between male and female employees in this field.
|Male||R73 700||7% more|
City of Allocation
Does your working station impact your monthly salary in any way? The answer to this question is yes, the area where you are posted definitely influences your salary as an optometrist. For instance, remote spaces with fewer registered optometrists may not earn the same as someone who is based in a metro city.
|City Station||Average Salary (Per Month)|
|Cape Town||R72 400|
|Port Elizabeth||R63 900|
What is the average salary of an optometrist in the USA?
The average salary of an optometrist based in the USA is anywhere between $110,000 and $170,000 on a yearly basis.
What is the average hourly salary of an optometrist in America?
An average optometrist in the USA earns anywhere between $52 and $82 on an hourly basis.
Do men or women optometrists get paid more in South Africa?
According to the latest data, male optometrists in South Africa have 8% more recruitment and salary amounts. In this case, men earn around R73 700, whereas women have an expected monthly salary of R68 300.
Do you need a degree to become an optometrist in South Africa?
Yes, you at least need a four-year undergraduate degree to qualify as an optometrist in South Africa. And as you excel in your academic certification, your salary package gets better.
What is the average salary of an optometrist in South Africa and America?
The average salary of an optometrist in South Africa is around R35,400/mo, whereas this value is approximately R350,840 every year.
What is the highest salary of an optometrist in South Africa?
The highest average salary of an optometrist based in South Africa is anywhere around R35,000 per month.
What is the median salary of an optometrist in South Africa?
The optometrist’s median salary in South Africa is anywhere around R66,600, which means half the workforce is earning this amount on a monthly basis.
Optometrists are highly qualified and reputable professionals anywhere in the world, let alone in South Africa. Their financial perks and fringe benefits attract a lot of youngsters to this field. I hope, after reading this guide, you will be able to make a decision on whether to enter this profession or not.