Receptionists' salaries at optometrists' offices may fall below the overall mean wage for receptionists in all industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Receptionists' salaries in other health-care fields tend to be higher. In any case, health-care facilities are among the largest employers of receptionists despite the wage differences.
Industry Salary Data
Job data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes a separate category for receptionists who work for health practitioners such as optometrists. They aren't included with receptionists who work for physicians because an optometrist is a doctor of optometry, not a doctor of medicine. The bureau indicates that the mean annual wage for receptionists overall in 2010 was $26,260. However, receptionists who worked at health practitioners' offices that year earned a mean wage that was less at $24,770.
Receptionists who want to work at optometrists' offices may have little trouble finding a job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes health practitioners' offices among places that have the highest employment levels for receptionists. Just over 47,600 receptionists worked at such offices in 2010. However, receptionists who work at physician and dentist offices earn significantly higher wages. More than 179,000 receptionists worked at physicians' offices in 2010, and they earned a mean annual wage of $26,760. About 65,500 receptionists worked at dentists’ offices that year, and they earned about $29,840.
Receptionists who work at optometrists' offices in Washington, D.C. and Connecticut may earn higher salaries than health practitioners' offices usually pay. Washington, D.C. and Connecticut are on the Bureau of Labor Statistics list of top-paying areas for the occupation. Washington, D.C. receptionists earned a mean annual salary of $34,530 in 2010. Connecticut receptionists generally earned less that year, but their mean wage of $31,760 was still significantly higher than the overall mean wage for receptionists.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of receptionists will increase 15 percent through 2018, adding more than 172,000 new jobs to the sector. The bureau anticipates that growth in the health-care industry will spur a portion of the sector's job growth and ultimately create more jobs for receptionists at health practitioners' and dentists' and physicians' offices. Future salaries in all industries may be best for receptionists who have a wide range of clerical and computer skills.