Thank you to all of those who contributed to the Vision Therapist wage survey. In total we had 34 respondants from all over the US and Canada.* For new hires the average wage was $17.03 an hour. For those who have worked 1-2 years, the average was $19.14. 3-4 years was $21.50 and 5+ years was $22.43.
By no means is this a scientific survey, but to try and add another level of accuracy , we also asked for the mean household income of the city they lived in. Of those surveyed, the median household income was 10% higher than that of the US as a whole. I thought that might give perspective if you are trying to figure out how to adjust the wages for your area. (Formula: (Your cities mean household income/US household mean income = $62,843) x (average therapist wage from above x 90%)
Many of the offices I've spoken with are really having a difficult time finding people which is a product of the post-pandemic economy. However, there are some strategies I wanted to share that I think will really help.
First, remember if you want someone to stick around for their career, you've got to pay a career wage. We have found over and over where therapists are making near minimum wage. While there are many reasons to love being a vision therapist, this cannot make up for being significantly underpaid.
Additionally, we surveyed wages for different lengths of employment because I also think that people need to see that there is a career path. Having transparency in how much of a wage increase can occur over time is something really important to people. My guess is that you would want to know how much you could eventually make at a job. In my office, there was a clear wage increase that employees would learn about on day 1.
When posting for the therapist position, either say in the title of the job posting that no previous training required, or say that you are hiring a vision therapy assistant. Otherwise, a lot of people are intimidated by title Vision Therapist.
*I ended up taking out the Canadians wage responses. No disrespect to Canadians intended. I realized that income/payroll taxes are significantly different from those in the US, so it would skew the results. On average, Canadian wages were 10-15% higher than what was reported by those in the US.