Salary of an eye surgeon

Written by stephen jeske
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

An eye surgeon, also known as an ophthalmologist, is a physician who also diagnoses and treats eye diseases and injuries. Ophthalmologists may also examine eyes and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, like an optometrist. There are a number of factors that influence an eye surgeon's potential earnings, including experience, employer type and location.

Other People Are Reading

Salary and Benefits

The total pay of an eye surgeon ranges from £82,912 and £154,138, according to PayScale November 2010 data. Bonus and profit-sharing can account for up to 30 per cent of total pay, ranging from £11,019 to £49,022. Health benefits are common among eye surgeons — only 15 per cent have no benefits.


Earnings increase rapidly in the early years of an eye surgeon’s career, but they peak rather quickly. An entry-level eye surgeon, with less than one year of experience, earns between £32,500 and £97,500, according to PayScale November 2010 data. With one to four years’ experience, income increases between 15 per cent and 100 per cent, to a range of £66,812 to £114,274. Another increase of 20 per cent to 50 per cent occurs for eye surgeons with five to nine years’ experience: At this point, they reach their peak earnings, which are between £78,328 and £165,079. With 10 to 19 years’ experience, eye surgeons can earn between £95,806 and £159,678. Income for individuals with 20 years or more of experience stabilises between the range of £114,892 and £163,400.

Employer Type

Eye surgeons who are self-employed earn the most income, ranging from £105,387 to £173,329, according to PayScale November 2010 data. Individuals working in a private practice or firm earn significantly less, between £89,660 and £139,785. Eye surgeons working for state or local government earn between £57,484 and £130,971. Hospitals are one of the lowest-paying employers, ranging from £55,250 to £101,150. Ophthalmologists working in colleges or universities are at the lowest end of the pay scale, earning between £31,942 and £106,505.


Location can account for up to a 100 per cent difference in earnings among eye surgeons. Earnings for eye surgeons are highest in California, ranging from £80,404 to £200,439, based on PayScale November 2010 data. Eye surgeons in Illinois are among the lowest paid, earning between £75,824 and £92,580. Earnings for eye surgeons in New York and Ohio are approximately equal at £130,000 on the high end. However, there's a marked difference on the low end, at £93,725 in New York and £55,548 in Ohio.


Surprisingly, gender plays no role in a career that's dominated by men. Seventy-one per cent of all eye surgeons are male, according to November 2010 PayScale data. Male eye surgeons earn between £83,663 and £131,546. Their female counterparts earn a comparable amount, between £84,206 and £130,000.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.