should i become an optician?

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frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

53 months ago

Dj in Fruitland Park, Florida said: YES get the degree. It is worth your while as long as you move to a LICENSED state. Salaries are much higher in the states that require a license. Texas is not a licensed state, so no, you do not need to go to school to be an optician in Texas. In Florida you are looking at 20 dollars an hour aprox. Its a fun job. The pluses far out weigh the minuses. LensCrafters is a good company to work for. The License will keep your salary higher, as well as give you some stability if you do choose not to work retail. Ive been a Licensed Optician for many years, and highly recommend the profession as long as you live in a LICENSED STATE. Good luck!

i have decided to go ahead and pursue this degree. i will start in the fall. it is a 2 year program here. i am sooooo looking forward to it. Dj, do u think i will be able to do the work straight out of school or would i have to get additional on the job training?

i believe that this job also comes with benefits, which if i am not wrong about is great. my friend works in GA as an unlicenced optician and told me that she gets medical ins, plenty of vacation time among other things.

i am good at selling and i am good with my hands. wouldn't these qualities benefit me as an optician?

thank Dj, i really appreciate any real advice from a professional such as yourself. one last question though. what is your opinion on the job outlook in the future for this profession? and if not retail, then where else would i be able to seek employment?

again, thanks so much!

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dev in Ozone Park, New York

49 months ago

NO!!! 20 years ago this was a great field and if you were working for a high end company in NY you could make $50,000+ a year and I was. After I became a store manager, I was making almost $80,000 in 1995 plus benefits and comission and I had a retirement plan. Its been all downhill since then. Half my friends who remember how it was have gotten out. Dont get me wrong, I loved being an optician, but I am trying to get out because why would I want to keep working in this business and make less than half of what I was then. If you think $40,000 is a great salary and still want to go ahead...but I would suggest becoming a pharmacist instead. Twice the money and high demand all over the country. I am thinking about it myself but not sure if I want to go back to school at 42. I blame this turn on our leadership, maybe if we had a powerful union like the teachers, this would not have happened. I only see it diminishing further and it makes me sad because it used to be a well respected profession. Good Luck !!!

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frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

49 months ago

dev in Ozone Park, New York said: NO!!! 20 years ago this was a great field and if you were working for a high end company in NY you could make $50,000+ a year and I was. After I became a store manager, I was making almost $80,000 in 1995 plus benefits and comission and I had a retirement plan. Its been all downhill since then. Half my friends who remember how it was have gotten out. Dont get me wrong, I loved being an optician, but I am trying to get out because why would I want to keep working in this business and make less than half of what I was then. If you think $40,000 is a great salary and still want to go ahead...but I would suggest becoming a pharmacist instead. Twice the money and high demand all over the country. I am thinking about it myself but not sure if I want to go back to school at 42. I blame this turn on our leadership, maybe if we had a powerful union like the teachers, this would not have happened. I only see it diminishing further and it makes me sad because it used to be a well respected profession. Good Luck !!!

hey dev,

thanks so much for the heads up. sorry to hear about your personal dissatisfaction in the field. but money aside, i am glad to hear that you actually love the profession and the work itself. what do you like about it? what are some professional downs? my personal goal would be to eventually have my own business. but i definately would want to know all the ins and outs of the bus as well as to be able to do the work myself before i would even consider such an undertaking. these days everyone seems to say the same thing that you mentined about every job. in the coorporate world, those that still have a job work for three. others are at a constant fear of lay offs. isn't it crazy that the cost of living has gone up while our salaries have gone down? pharmacy is great, but honestly it's not for me. but if u want to go for it, you def should. 42 is not old, u got your whole life ahead of u.

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Tulip143

48 months ago

how do i get into this field without going to school. the nearest lenscrafter or national chain is an hour away. it seems that all the doctors office want experience or school. I am looking to go back to work after being home for 4 years with kids. my previous experience is in banking and administrative assistant. I want something where I'm not behind a desk all day. I've always be interested in this field. Is there something I cant put on my resume to get an interview?

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frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

48 months ago

Tulip143 said: how do i get into this field without going to school. the nearest lenscrafter or national chain is an hour away. it seems that all the doctors office want experience or school. I am looking to go back to work after being home for 4 years with kids. my previous experience is in banking and administrative assistant. I want something where I'm not behind a desk all day. I've always be interested in this field. Is there something I cant put on my resume to get an interview?

from what i hear u need to get an apprenticeship with another optician. if i were u i would get in as a sales person and then ask to be an apprentice. while u will be doing that for 2 years, you simultaneously study for your lisence test. then u go and take your test, and that is how you can become an optician. real work experience is priceless, but i need to go to school. either route will get u there. on e how i think u can look up how to become an optician. you have to keep trying to get in. if u want it bad enough, u can get in. what state are u in?

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Tulip143

48 months ago

I am in Ohio. Are the online classes worth taking? Its hard to find something entry level when the chains that hire are an hour away. I am goining to keep trying.

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frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

48 months ago

Tulip143 said: I am in Ohio. Are the online classes worth taking? Its hard to find something entry level when the chains that hire are an hour away. I am goining to keep trying.

never heaRD of anything online. prob A scam. be carefull. try to get in somewhere private. not the chains, but where they do have an optician on staff.

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frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

46 months ago

Optician in Miami, Florida said: I just graduated and became a license optician, it is true the profession is not the same, because now people that want to become opticians want the easy route. It is not fair that out there they have stores without a license optician and are dispensing lenses to patients. Opticians are made to make lenses to fit the patient at its best, for patients to be satisfied and be able to see. Yes, you can train someone, but the best thing is go to school learn how optician really work and learn to fit, dispense, and even fit contact lenses to patients. You can open your store, and if so you can continue your education and become a Optometrist so you have both license. I love the work and helping patients. So do not go into a profession for the money go for it because you like it! Good lUCK!

yes i agree with u 100 percent. hows the florida job market in this field by the way? have u already found a job? congrats on graduating from college!

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Tom in Akron, Ohio

46 months ago

Opticians are just frame sellers. It is a boring, low paying career, with no benefits and is pointless.

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mccombs, illionis in Snoqualmie, Washington

45 months ago

I love being an optican worked the last year for a private owned OD in salt lake and now I'm going to be working in a chain of stores. I'm thinking of going to school to become a licensed opticain. As people have said previously you go into a career for the love of it and not the money. I've was taking under a wing of a licensed optican and she showed me the love of this career and I hold her with the upmost respect.

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vish in Mansfield, Massachusetts

40 months ago

frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York said: i am in school now and the school offers this degree. i am in new york now but may choose to move sometime in the far future. is this a good field to get into? does it pay well? any input would be so much appreciated as i must choose my major soon. thank you! my long time goal would be to own my own business. will this be at all possible in this field since chains like lenscrafters and such are dominating? please honestly tell me what you think. again, thank you so so much!

My Wife just got out of her school, pursued a degree in Optcianry and making 26+ an Hour. It’s a great field to choose. Especially you need to be licensed to make the big buck.

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vish in Mansfield, Massachusetts

40 months ago

Michael in Palmetto, Florida said: I would tell you to go to school to be an optometrist or ophthalmologist not to be an optician. Your max salary as an optician is $42,ooo.oo in Florida. I just checked Alaska and Colorado and they top out at $30,000.00. You can not suport a family on that. The other side is the baloney they feed you. You can forget about having good days off. And get everything in writing that they say they will give you. Because they can not help but lie to you.

The best States for Optician are Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The average pay for licensed optician is $50k.

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jllll in East Wenatchee, Washington

40 months ago

Tulip143 said: how do i get into this field without going to school. the nearest lenscrafter or national chain is an hour away. it seems that all the doctors office want experience or school. I am looking to go back to work after being home for 4 years with kids. my previous experience is in banking and administrative assistant. I want something where I'm not behind a desk all day. I've always be interested in this field. Is there something I cant put on my resume to get an interview?

I was 19 when I started, you learn on the job it is the best way to learn. The problem with the field is that there are not many job opportunities. I have been blessed to have steady work most of the last 11 years but at times between jobs I have taken temp work.

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jllll in East Wenatchee, Washington

40 months ago

frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York said: i am in school now and the school offers this degree. i am in new york now but may choose to move sometime in the far future. is this a good field to get into? does it pay well? any input would be so much appreciated as i must choose my major soon. thank you! my long time goal would be to own my own business. will this be at all possible in this field since chains like lenscrafters and such are dominating? please honestly tell me what you think. again, thank you so so much!

It is not really worth your time. College Degrees are helpful to passing state board, however you learn much more on the job. I have hired for various clinics and I would rather have an apprentice trained optician that a school trained optician. You learn book knowledge in school but not how to apply it in real life.

I have 11 years experience, and have been blessed to find work, but understand this is not a job that has high turnover. Openings are few and far between. Corporate stores pay much better but they do not treat you as though you matter. Private practice is better in the fact you are an important member of a team, however the pay is usually significantly lower(if you are a Licensed Dispensing Optician).

Take a look at your states Optician Association, that will give you an idea of how many jobs there truly are. Also the national Association is www.oaa.org

It is a rewarding career but, has it down side.

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jllll in East Wenatchee, Washington

40 months ago

guildman in Summit, New Jersey said: NO! NO! NO! STAY AWAY! The field is NOT what it used to be and it never will again. Become an optometrist instead. They have all the power. You CANNOT have your own shop without a doctor next door. It used to be a well respected profession. There were guild opticians. Not now. I would not let my kids go into this. Sorry to be so bitter, but after 30 years, it is so sad to see what happened to the field. Take the advice from the "older" experienced opticians here. RUN away from this.

In Washington State a Licensed Dispensing Optician can own a dispensary. Check your local states laws.

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jllll in East Wenatchee, Washington

40 months ago

mccombs, illionis in Snoqualmie, Washington said: I love being an optican worked the last year for a private owned OD in salt lake and now I'm going to be working in a chain of stores. I'm thinking of going to school to become a licensed opticain. As people have said previously you go into a career for the love of it and not the money. I've was taking under a wing of a licensed optican and she showed me the love of this career and I hold her with the upmost respect.

Have you looked into the program at Highline, it is ment to complement working Apprentices.

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jllll in East Wenatchee, Washington

40 months ago

Tulip143 said: I am in Ohio. Are the online classes worth taking? Its hard to find something entry level when the chains that hire are an hour away. I am goining to keep trying.

I would not, so much of being an Optician is the hands on skill you learn. Try a chain optical, most of us hate them but got started in one.

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Angelgirl in San Rafael, California

39 months ago

I own an optical store.... We've been in business almost 40 years... We pay our opticians Top dollar, commission, health coverage, profit sharing, trips to the optical shows in Europe, and so much more.... You need to find a family owned store or chain.... We would never hire someone from a Lenscrafters type store as they do not understand high end fashion. Our Opticians have been with us for up to 20 years!

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EyeCu123 in Youngstown, Ohio

38 months ago

I want to know if learning the basics info on line is worth it then: also apprntice w/ optician in Ohio req Lic. I want to Learn but the Only School around is 1.25 hr away

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krjones in Miamisburg, Ohio

37 months ago

I was just wondering if you are licensed and move out of the state that you get licensed in do I have to take the test over again or can I just transfer all my paper work over to the new state? Thanks!!!

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perrysees

33 months ago

EyeCu123 in Youngstown, Ohio said: I want to know if learning the basics info on line is worth it then: also apprntice w/ optician in Ohio req Lic. I want to Learn but the Only School around is 1.25 hr away

do you have any experience in the optical field

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Fallow in Bloomington, Indiana

31 months ago

This is really helpful. I'm considering going into the field and getting a license. I'm in a community college right now to just get my core education and associate's in liberal arts and then transferring to a 4 year school and thinking of trying for an optician's license.
Quick questions, though- how much math and science is involved in education and in the workplace? I'm so-so at math and science can be a little bit of a challenge for me when it reaches to the molecular and chemical level.

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Deejay in Santa Rosa, California

25 months ago

The field is a joke these days. Skill is seldom considered and nice breasts will get ya the job over knowledge. If your in a little town or low population areas. All your doing is peddling Luxottica, Marchon, or Safilo crap. Though there are exceptions. But the norm is "fast food" optics. The general public don't even value their eye sight.
Lenscrafters is not a good company to work for. It may be job security. But talk about a used and abused work environment. I've worked for em.
Being a optician doesn't even give you a option of going into another field. Becoming a OD is a waste of money too.
Consider mechanic, plumber, or electrician.

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pogo41 in Springfield, Massachusetts

24 months ago

After many years in human sercvices as a supervisor, I regret making the move to opticianry, abo ncle state licensure, how many fields require these exams and expect to make a meager 38,000. people are rude, pay is terrible and you work to make the "dr" rich. I have to agree with some of the comments on being an electrician or plumber, you still serve people, use your mind and hands, but the financial rewards are superior than being an optician. This is a field that needs to be unionized, employers typically low ball your pay and want you to work 30 or so hours "full time" I am sorry but 20 bucks an hour for all the expectations its miserable, money definitely matters especially if you consistently make your boss tons of it. Optometrists are very greedy people, I have yet to meet one who really cared about opticians, its a dying field and I hope the day comes when optometrists have to do all their leg work to upsell people into overpriced frames and lenses. Yes its the frames and lenses that allow them their posh lifestyles, not their exam fee's, yet opticians do all this work.............this is a definite dead end field.......try nursing

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