Optometry Scope of Practice in the United States

Optometry Scope Of Practice

updated 04/10/19

What is the optometry scope of practice in your state?

As a new graduate optometrist, it is important to know the limitations of the optometry scope of practice in each state.

You spend 4 years of your life dedicated to eye care, so why not practice to the fullest extent? Many new graduates will realize that their state does not allow them to practice full scope optometry. You must get involved with your state association and work hard to bring your state’s scope of practice to the next level.

To communicate this, Quy Nguyen O.D. and Matt Geller O.D. developed an infographic showing the optometry scope of practice in each state, to easily compare the scope in each state and the progress optometry has made!

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About Quy Nguyen, O.D.

Quy Nguyen


  1. Where did you get all this information from?

  2. Amber Egbert

    This is a super helpful article! I remember trying to dig up some of this information on my own in 2011 or 2012 before optometry school but just gave up because it was too hard to sort through. This article actually helped me decide which state I want to get licensed in! I’m military, so have some flexibility. I’ll check for any changes since the last update, but this certainly makes it much easier. Thanks for posting.

  3. Alex Coon

    Alaska and Hawaii are not on the map

  4. Pamela Young

    Can you tell me if Kentucky providers are allowed to bill for procedure codes 96111 Developmental testing extensive with interpretation and report and also 96111 Neurobehavorial status exam?

  5. Bryce St Clair

    As of this year, Alaska has as full of a range as Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. They are officially governed by their state association. Hope this can help!

    • Antonio Chirumbolo

      That is awesome news! Thank you for letting us know. We are due to update this piece for sure. Just writing this for anyone who sees this post – if you know of any scope changes not reflected on this infographic since it was last updated (written at the top of the post) LET US KNOW!!!

    • Catherine Hendricks

      This is not completely true. The Alaska Board of Optometry, not the Alaska Optometric Association, has autonomy to determine what constitutes optometry in the state. The implementing regulations are still going through the approval process.

  6. Nicole Brown

    Do you have a list of states that can perform chalazion and “lumps and bumps” removal?

  7. Dave Stohler

    A couple of suggestions: because of the small size of the symbols and color similarity, I’d limit the symbols to those that DO allow that scope of practice. That would eliminate all the symbols indicating “can’t”. If the symbols could be made larger it would also be helpful.

    ..and if it were interactive, i.e. when you hover over the symbol it provides the information.

    Great job!

  8. Dave Stohler

    PS – in addition to the minor surgery privileges requested by Dr. Brown above, I’d also include states that allow OD prescription of controlled substances (e.g. Michigan).

  9. Mahsa Masoudi

    Do you by chance have a list of states allowing direct Corneal Cross Linking privileges ?

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