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Life As an Orthoptist

Position Description Diagnose and treat visual system disorders such as binocular vision and eye movement impairments.

A Day in the Life of an Orthoptist

  • Evaluate, diagnose, or treat disorders of the visual system with an emphasis on binocular vision or abnormal eye movements.
  • Examine patients with problems related to ocular motility, binocular vision, amblyopia, or strabismus.
  • Provide instructions to patients or family members concerning diagnoses or treatment plans.
  • Provide training related to clinical methods or orthoptics to students, resident physicians, or other health professionals.
  • Develop nonsurgical treatment plans for patients with conditions such as strabismus, nystagmus, and other visual disorders.
  • Interpret clinical or diagnostic test results.

Things an Orthoptist Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Orthoptists say are important on the job.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Clinical Orthoptist (CO)
  • Certified Orthoptist
  • Orthoptist
  • Chief Orthoptist

Are There Job Opportunities for Orthoptists?

In the United States, there were 56,400 jobs for Orthoptist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 13.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,500 new jobs for Orthoptist by 2026. The BLS estimates 3,800 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Orthoptists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Orthoptist are Colorado, Oregon, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, South Dakota, or Mississippi. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Orthoptists Make A Lot Of Money?

The typical yearly salary for Orthoptists is somewhere between $40,910 and $141,330.

Salary Ranges for Orthoptists

Orthoptists who work in Maryland, District of Columbia, or Georgia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Orthoptists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $75,360
Alaska $74,750
Arizona $70,780
California $74,080
Colorado $61,630
Connecticut $79,750
Delaware $87,300
District of Columbia $122,830
Florida $66,660
Georgia $107,530
Hawaii $76,650
Idaho $59,640
Illinois $67,600
Indiana $61,420
Kansas $72,840
Kentucky $60,670
Louisiana $104,930
Maine $79,090
Maryland $126,550
Massachusetts $88,290
Michigan $78,210
Minnesota $86,010
Mississippi $67,310
Missouri $68,600
Montana $73,070
Nebraska $51,310
Nevada $52,800
New Hampshire $72,400
New Jersey $89,220
New Mexico $70,490
New York $77,400
North Carolina $92,950
North Dakota $48,300
Ohio $84,760
Oklahoma $72,510
Oregon $83,430
Pennsylvania $77,950
Rhode Island $79,950
South Carolina $72,050
South Dakota $63,640
Tennessee $59,990
Texas $70,270
Utah $74,310
Vermont $83,520
Virginia $86,250
Washington $89,590
West Virginia $64,840
Wisconsin $75,260

What Tools do Orthoptists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Orthoptists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Email software

How do I Become an Orthoptist?

Individuals working as an Orthoptist have obtained the following education levels:

Orthoptist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Orthoptist?

Orthoptist Work Experience

Where Orthoptists Work

Orthoptist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Orthoptists employed by various industries.

Orthoptist Industries


Image Credit: Aphiwat chuangchoem via Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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