Optometry ranked as top industry for women

October 24, 2014

A recent report from business research firm IBISWorld ranked optometry as one of the top industries for women. The firm analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a database of more than 700 industry reports to identify six industries that offer unique employment advantages for women, characterized by strong growth in revenue and employment, particularly in the number of female workers.

A recent report from business research firm IBISWorld ranked optometry as one of the top industries for women. The firm analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a database of more than 700 industry reports to identify six industries that offer unique employment advantages for women, characterized by strong growth in revenue and employment, particularly in the number of female workers.

Based on its research, IBISWorld found that the industry is projected to grow three percent per year on average in revenue and 1.1 percent on average in employment. The industry saw a growth in the number of female employees of 9.4 percent per year between 2009 and 2013.

According to the report, the average wage for women working in all areas of the optometric industry in 2013 was $38,400, but it notes that the average female OD who has been practicing for five years can expect to earn at least $100,000 per year.  

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It’s no secret the optometric industry is seeing a large influx of females. The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry reports that 64.5 percent of all graduates from professional doctor of osteopathic medicine programs are female.

“The relatively laid-back atmosphere of an optometry practice also offers an opportunity for women to work in a medical field that facilitates a better work-life balance as well as time spent outside the office,” the report says.

So, what were the other industries on the list? Some are somewhat expected, like home care providers and cosmetology, but others may come as a surprise.

Turns out optometry falls far behind tire manufacturing when it comes to growth in the number of female employees, with 16.8 percent per year on average from 2009 to 2013.

Oil drilling and gas extraction also posted some impressive numbers, with an average industry wage in 2013 of $131,800 and projected revenue growth of 12.8 percent per year on average. According to the report, women are taking advantage of the energy industry boom in states like Montana and North Dakota and taking on technical positions. 

And for those who don’t find drilling or manufacturing suit their skills, there is the e-commerce and online auction industry, which is seeing a 10.3 percent projected revenue growth and 15.5 percent growth in the number of female employees.

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