should i become an optician?

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (1 to 50 of 52)
Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

66 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!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (10) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

dev in Ozone Park, New York

62 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 !!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (26) / No (16) Reply - Report abuse

frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

62 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Tulip143

60 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?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

60 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?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

Tulip143

60 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

60 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

frombigapple in Brooklyn, New York

58 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!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

Tom in Akron, Ohio

58 months ago

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

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (11) / No (31) Reply - Report abuse

mccombs, illionis in Snoqualmie, Washington

57 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

vish in Mansfield, Massachusetts

52 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (18) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

vish in Mansfield, Massachusetts

52 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

jllll in East Wenatchee, Washington

52 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

jllll in East Wenatchee, Washington

52 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

jllll in East Wenatchee, Washington

52 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

jllll in East Wenatchee, Washington

52 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Angelgirl in San Rafael, California

52 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!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (15) / No (8) Reply - Report abuse

EyeCu123 in Youngstown, Ohio

50 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

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

krjones in Miamisburg, Ohio

49 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!!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

perrysees

46 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

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Fallow in Bloomington, Indiana

43 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Deejay in Santa Rosa, California

37 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.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No (14) Reply - Report abuse

pogo41 in Springfield, Massachusetts

36 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

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (19) / No (12) Reply - Report abuse

eyeman1952 in Cape Coral, Florida

9 months ago

I see that the comments are really old on this site but, I will comment anyway. I used to own a jewelry store in Ohio and watched it go down the tubes in 2005 due to the horrid economy. My family had been in business for 60 years and it was just gut wrenching. My wife and I had to sell everything and leave Ohio so that, I could find a job that paid me at least $50,000 per year (I was earning 6 figures before). I moved my family to SW Florida in 2006 and then began the parade of jobs in the jewelry industry and it was disheartening. I would be hired on my experience and expertise and then let go because my salary was too high. Florida is an at will State and your employer can do whatever they want to get rid of you no matter what. So in 2008 I went back to school and became an Optician (didn't know how else to support my family especially since I am older - I was 56 when I went back to school).I graduated from an accredited Opticianry school here in Florida. I've now been a licensed board certified optician here in Florida for the past 3 years. I can tell you that I am grossly underpaid (less than $20 per hour) and it frustrates me to no end. I am continually told that I "don't have enough experience in the optical field" to warrant a higher paycheck. I've worked for private ophthalmologists and Big Box stores alike and still do NOT receive a paycheck worthy of my experience. I also have a Bachelor of Science Degree and 35+ years of jewelry and retail sales and management experience. No one here sees me for my experience or what I can offer there businesses. I truly enjoy what I do and would love to have the paycheck as well as opportunity to move up in a company. It's quite difficult to maintain professionalism and be treated like you are the company dishwasher, especially when those around you are earning higher paychecks and do NOT have the expertise or years of experience in retail as I do. After all, this IS a retail business.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida

6 months ago

How is the optician market here in Florida? It seems based on Optiboard forum that some jobs are more in NC and upward. Licensed states should pay more unless the pay went down. I thought things were looking up for opticianary with community college vs. on the job. Don't some jobs require you to be licensed, anyway? Especially in licensed states. I hear Costco is a good company.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

pogo41 in Holyoke, Massachusetts

6 months ago

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida said: How is the optician market here in Florida? It seems based on Optiboard forum that some jobs are more in NC and upward. Licensed states should pay more unless the pay went down. I thought things were looking up for opticianary with community college vs. on the job. Don't some jobs require you to be licensed, anyway? Especially in licensed states. I hear Costco is a good company.

This is a very difficult field to really prosper in, it requires abo, ncle, and in many states a state license, time, money and alot of study, employers want everything today from employee's and have excuses to pay next to nothing, minimum wage will out pace optician salaries, specializing in contact specialty fits is the way to go, or leaving one practice to get a better wage at a different practice, you have to have confidence in your abilities to get anywheres and to those dr's who say they can't afford more, its a pure lie, they can with a very good optician make money to pay their wanted salary, in the end, less and less people want to take two very technical and difficult exams for certifications and in states that require licensure, its a third, ask an RN how many exams they have to take to practice as a registered nurse, yes its disheartening, union to me is the best option, serious need in this industry.........btw, due to circumstances with lack of licensed opticians, I negotiated a salary of over 60k, this is special circumstance and I bring in much much more than the dr's exams which are negotiated down by insurance co's this dr realized that his income comes from a qualified licensed optican who can capture and produce both front and lab, hence I am in the higher end of salary for the time being...........hopefully this field will prosper but greedy optometrists tend to rule the boards and yet they always will require someone who can do this job very well, and yes they should pay well but most don't, unfortunately

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No Reply - Report abuse

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida

6 months ago

Thanks for the information. Wouldn't requiring a license keep the supply low? At the same time it's also those who enter the field not being licensed and being trained on the job. It's too bad that this field doesn't require a 4 year degree the way nursing does now. I wonder how it would be working more medically focused in this field like in partnership/manager with an ophthalmologist. I don't know if this field would still be good to enter these days or not. It's a real interest to me. I just don't know about working at places like Costco or LensCrafters though and if they would have openings either. I believe the pay is about $20/hr. I do see good potential in this field but as you say there are greedy people out there who want to keep it down because of their own benefit. Joining state associations is a good start. Too bad more states can't be licensed too.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

pogo41 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

6 months ago

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida said: Thanks for the information. Wouldn't requiring a license keep the supply low? At the same time it's also those who enter the field not being licensed and being trained on the job. It's too bad that this field doesn't require a 4 year degree the way nursing does now. I wonder how it would be working more medically focused in this field like in partnership/manager with an ophthalmologist. I don't know if this field would still be good to enter these days or not. It's a real interest to me. I just don't know about working at places like Costco or LensCrafters though and if they would have openings either. I believe the pay is about $20/hr. I do see good potential in this field but as you say there are greedy people out there who want to keep it down because of their own benefit. Joining state associations is a good start. Too bad more states can't be licensed too.

The answers to many of your questions honestly comes from within, its a diverse field and can be very rewarding there are clear differences between working for a "big box" type eyeglass dispensary vs a small independent shop, better benefits at the major chains but limited lens designs for dispense, vs possible better wages, better freedom of choice in lens designs for dispense, limited benefits to no benefits. Licensed states sure tend to have better wages in many cases, I dont see a bachelor degree helping in this field as far as wage knowledge maybe, attitude of some is Optician = glorified salesperson, guess you have to weigh everything yourself and talk to some local opticians......

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

rbw1226 in Raleigh, North Carolina

6 months ago

A good way to find info is to contact each state, State Board of Opticians. They can tell you all the education, jobs and pay info you'll need to decide. Be careful to also ask if they each will accept a license from other states, if not what each would require. Some will require x months of on-the-job training in addition to education. If you call lets say a Lenscrafters in each state they can give info about a license, state board, jobs, education and pay. It could be for someone with retail and management history instead of or with other education. You may want to move to the state you think may be the best for pay and get your education in that state. But if your wanting six figure pay look for another job. With Lenscrafters they have tier groups for pay. Like entry, mid and high, in addition to each position higher the pay range increases. Another thing that may be a negative is with online sales increasing demand for opticians could slow. Luxottica owns lenscrafters and other retail stores, like Sunglass Hut and Sears Optical. Good luck and God Bless.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida

6 months ago

I appreciate the comments. What's the class size for opticianry? Is it mostly younger people entering the classes or more of a mixed group? I know there is a lot of math involved.

I know licensed states are the best to work in. Do you think working in a chain like Lenscrafters and Costco are good choices before moving into private practice? Do the chains offer full-time hours or flexible? Here in Florida there is For Eyes and I've heard they're good to work for.

I am really thinking about pursing it and work toward getting a bachelor's degree also. I'd like to stay in the field for awhile even though I know the pay isn't keeping up with inflation, etc. It seems from what I've been seeing the pay is really wide across with chains offering different pay. I don't really know what the starting pay is at say somewhere like Lenscrafters in a licensed state or Costco.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

reinventingmyselfat50 in Lakeland, Florida

6 months ago

Dear OpticianryinFlorida:

I am enrolling in the online Optican classes at HCC. You have to have a sponsor to do the online classes. A sponsor is someone who is willing to let you do the labs at their facility and complete forms that they watched you perfom the tasks and notify the teacher at HCC. I have an interview today with For Eyes and I am hoping they will give me the chance since I am 50 years old. From what I understand the pay is ok for Florida (unlicensed about 12-15) Licensed is (18-20) You can find more at Glassdoor.com on salaries. You only need an A.S. degree to get your license here in Florida. I have never had the chance to go to college but since I have been unemployed for several years, I now qualify for financial help, which is good as I have used up all of my retirement already. I am worried that my age will be an issue. I don't know how old you are but hopefully you are under 40 as your chances will be much better at getting hired the younger you are. Once I finish my A.S degree, I will go back to school to learn Optican Management and my goal is to manage one of these For Eyes in 5 years. I am super excited to start this new career and chapter in my life. I am a bit concerned about the math and all of the additional core classes that I will need to take since I have not been in school in over 30 years. LOL But I will cross that bridge.... as they say. Good luck with the Opticianry and hope to see you in my class in May.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

reinventingmyselfat50 in Lakeland, Florida

6 months ago

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida said: I appreciate the comments. What's the class size for opticianry? Is it mostly younger people entering the classes or more of a mixed group? I know there is a lot of math involved.like Lenscrafters in a licensed state or Costco.

Dear OpticianryinFlorida:

I am enrolling in the online Optican classes at HCC. You have to have a sponsor to do the online classes. A sponsor is someone who is willing to let you do the labs at their facility and complete forms that they watched you perfom the tasks and notify the teacher at HCC. I have an interview today with For Eyes and I am hoping they will give me the chance since I am 50 years old. From what I understand the pay is ok for Florida (unlicensed about 12-15) Licensed is (18-20) You can find more at Glassdoor.com on salaries. You only need an A.S. degree to get your license here in Florida. I have never had the chance to go to college but since I have been unemployed for several years, I now qualify for financial help, which is good as I have used up all of my retirement already. I am worried that my age will be an issue. I don't know how old you are but hopefully you are under 40 as your chances will be much better at getting hired the younger you are. Once I finish my A.S degree, I will go back to school to learn Optican Mana

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida

6 months ago

Thank you very much for this information. It is inspiring and very helpful. I hardly see posts and especially recent posts on this field except on the optical website Optiboard.com. I wish you great luck in the interview and going through schooling. I don't think the math will be so much. I'm in my late 20s, but I don't think you are old at all. People in their 50s go back to school for nursing, but I'd prefer being an optician. Lol. I think there's a lot of people who back to school for their associate degree. I would think a lot of people in their early 20s or out of high school would be doing that route, but I've come to learn the age base is wide and a lot of opticians I've come across too have a lot of experience. This is a nice opportunity. I too have been unemployed for awhile and it will be hard to explain that situation to future employers. I don't see very many jobs advertising on indeed.com and on the state association website or craigslist. I'm hoping there are still jobs though and most are just through word of mouth. Maybe the thing is it's easy to enter this profession unlicensed than having to go through licensing/college, so maybe there's also a shortage of licensed opticians. I know with the HCC program that it's also an online distance program so I don't think commuting to campus is really necessary? I haven't been in school in awhile myself and I just like to have that student-teacher interaction on some subjects.

I believe it seems to be stable than other jobs in the health field because people don't really need a referral to come see you and it's not based on a one party payee system. Plus it's nice looking on the websites for what you'd like to work for and what benefits they offer like Costco. I did talk to some opticians when I went to get my glasses checked, one who had their own store and another who worked for the chain and there were differences that I've noticed but they seemed happy. Good luck again and thanks for your input.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

kelly in Cumbola, Pennsylvania

5 months ago

I have just researched the heck out of this position today, and here is what i found.....In most states that license, you can either complete a 2 year degree program which includes a practicum, OR you can go door to door to optician's offices and see if they offer apprenticeships. If so, you can complete a 3 year apprenticeship while being paid AND go to either an online or in class college (usually night classes, one day a week for 3 years). The only thing I am unsure of is whether you have to be certified as well?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

DR PERRY LIEBERMAN in Canton, Ohio

5 months ago

ABSOLUTELY NOT

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

kelly in Cumbola, Pennsylvania

5 months ago

why do you say that, Dr Perry?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida

5 months ago

I think it's because some employers don't require you to be certified/licensed unfortunately. I wish all programs were a 2 year degree.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

reinventingmyselfat50 in Lakeland, Florida

5 months ago

There are only a few states that require you to be licensed to be an Optician and pay you well for it. Florida is one of those states. The states that don't require a license don't pay very much.

Opticianry in Florida is a two year degree in which you can either take online classes and find a sponsor (very hard to find) or you can attend school and do labs there. You can also be an apprentice which you will have to register with the state but again you have to find a company who will hire you and sponsor you without you having any experience which is a catch 22 in Florida. Most companies won't even hire you as an Optician without 2 years or more of experience, you cannot get the experience unless you work and most companies will not hire anyone without experience. But to be an Optician in Florida you are required to be licensed but again you are paid well about 22 an hour for that license. Most of them pay 10 for anyone with no experience when you get your first two certificates which are ABO and NCLE or something like that then you go up to about 16 an hour, then when you pass your licensing test you go up to over 20 an hour. From what I was told, taking the test is very hard as it is on a computer and not hands on so it is harder and most people have to take it several times. Best for everyone to check with the state you want to get hired in to see if they require certificates, licenses, or none at all.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida

5 months ago

Catch 22 you're right. Is getting a job at LensCrafters part-time and then attending the program at the school good too? By that I mean just having a job that's related to the field while going for the degree, much like working as a CNA going towards nursing. But it seems like one can work as an unlicensed optician while going to school to become an optician and it's just obtaining the licenses and then getting more bump in pay. The route is surely interesting for opticians in becoming one.

I've noticed on some websites jobs here in Florida are of course with the chains and seem to be full-time which is good too. But like you say most also want you to have experience. The reviews are good. I've only seen a few and most are about an hour to all the way across the state. The wages I've seen seem to be good and like you said once having the license is a little over $20 and even in the mid 20s. To me I think working for a chain like Costco and even LensCrafters is alright for me and I also think the benefits are great and important. For Eyes is also a nice small optical to think of. I'm hoping that if one can get started say at LensCrafters in the area that once an optician then they can work in that same place as an optician. Thanks for your input again. I hope the math isn't too hard and from what I've seen on Optiboard the program is good and the instructors are very nice. I just don't know of the class sizes but it seems to vary because it's also a distance learning program and lots of people I'm sure go in it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

rbw1226 in Raleigh, North Carolina

5 months ago

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida said:

If you have retail experience, mgr a plus, getting just a part-time job (retail or even in the lab) with Lenscrafters will allow you to get on-the-job training from an optician at the store you work. My wife became an optician in Raleigh, NC for Lenscrafters, after 2.5 years of taking the online courses and passed the State Board testing the first time. She was hired as a Retail Mgr. and had many years in retail and as a Mgr. The key is finding a good optician trainer that made at least b's on the courses and State Board tests. If you find one, put in the study time it takes for courses and with the on-the-job training you should be able to pass the first time. I would also suggest working and learning for 6 months before starting online courses. Lenscrafters may still pay you back for each passed course fee and fee for passing State Board tests the first time. If you fail a course or don't pass even one test for state board they will not pay you back. Lastly, NC Governor is suggesting to end several State Boards and licenses to work in NC, and yes Optician is one he wants to end. So check with State Boards and also ask your elected officials if they may also be thinking of doing the same. Good Luck

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida

5 months ago

Would one still be hired on as an optician if taking a part-time job at the company? I don't see very many job postings but my guess is that most are from word of mouth, on a board and by applying at a chain they may have turnover. I don't understand why some states would want to end licenses to the profession. I thought more states would be licensed for opticians to work in and means better wages, etc. Seems like the opposite with ending licensing.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

reneegavin in Hazleton, Pennsylvania

5 months ago

I just interviewed for a starting position today at a local chain. Granted, I have NO experience, but the starting rate was $8.50. Is this average? We are not in a licensed state. They also said a big part of the job is sales....is it pushy sales? I realize that working in the actual lab is much different than retail, but I'm wondering how hard it is to get into a lab once you become experienced.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

pogo41 in Northampton, Massachusetts

5 months ago

Hi, a few months ago we hired what we felt was someone who would be trainable, the individual is grasping the concepts and is studying for their ABO, individual had no previous optical experience and I am training both front end and lab, their starting pay is ten per hour, so I would say the pay is inline, more importantly, you will see whether or not this field is for you, our concept is not pushy sales, though sales is an important aspect of this position but not foremost, patient experience and eye health needs are! Goodluck

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

reneegavin in Hazleton, Pennsylvania

5 months ago

How long does it take for the pay to increase? They are actually going to let me go in and shadow for a few hours to see if it's something I want to do, which is great. This would just be a pay cut from what I'm making now :(

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

rbw1226 in Raleigh, North Carolina

5 months ago

OpticianryinFlorida in Tampa, Florida said: Would one still be hired on as an optician if taking a part-time job at the company? I don't see very many job postings but my guess is that most are from word of mouth, on a board and by applying at a chain they may have turnover. I don't understand why some states would want to end licenses to the profession. I thought more states would be licensed for opticians to work in and means better wages, etc. Seems like the opposite with ending licensing.

Yes you can work part-time as an optician if they have or hire for coverage needs. I'll post the NC Governor's "NC GEAR Report" about ending licenses, in an added post. It's to save state money mostly.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

rbw1226 in Raleigh, North Carolina

5 months ago

This is for NC and I disagree, myself.
Reduce Barriers to Work from Occupational Licensing
Background
A January 2015 Brookings paper estimated that 3 in 10 jobs requires an occupational license, and that licensure burdens have cost the nation 2.85 million jobs and $203 billion. North Carolina imposes more stringent requirements than most other states and many limitations do not match the public safety risk occupations pose. North Carolina is among a minority of states with licensing requirements for at least nine occupations. Restrictions on other occupations can be loosened to allow greater participation in the workforce and greater availability of affordable services to consumers.
Description
NC GEAR proposes immediate elimination of occupational licensing requirements that do not provide value to North Carolina citizens. Eliminated licenses would include opticians, locksmiths, natural hair stylists (aka, hair braiders), landscape contractors, soil scientists, and others. Within the fiscal year, the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) would conduct a full review of occupational licenses and licensing boards to identify additional licensing requirements that could be eliminated, consolidated, or deregulated.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

rbw1226 in Raleigh, North Carolina

5 months ago

Continued from report in my other post.
Expected Outcome
Businesses and potential business owners would find it easier to start work. Consumers would benefit from lower prices and increased service provision. Taking steps to make operating a business more feasible and affordable will benefit all North Carolinians through economic growth.
Measures
Number of state-licensed occupations
Cost of licensure
In his report he lists no savings from ending licensing.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

rbw1226 in Raleigh, North Carolina

5 months ago

Another note about the NC State Board of Opticians is they are almost or now out of money. They have not raised fees and other charges in many years. They need to raise fees to companies, opticians annual fees and testing fees. I don't know what any of the amounts are since my wife passed in 2011. But she loved helping people to see better. Mostly the smile and joy of a child being able to see and read for the first time was very rewarding.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

reinventingmyselfat50 in Lakeland, Florida

5 months ago

Here is a list of all states that require licensing as well as a link to the licensing board websites.

www.eyecareprofessions.com/opticians/licensed-opticians.html

It also has the 2009 numbers for salaries per state so you can estimate (it probably has not gone up in any state, lol)

And I believe it gives ideas of schools but be VERY careful of schools as some are just certificates, some of the classes don't transfer to other colleges, etc.

Good luck to everyone.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

reinventingmyselfat50 in Lakeland, Florida

5 months ago

rbw1226 in Raleigh, North Carolina said: Another note about the NC State Board of Opticians is they are almost or now out of money. They have not raised fees and other charges in many years. They need to raise fees to companies, opticians annual fees and testing fees. I don't know what any of the amounts are since my wife passed in 2011. But she loved helping people to see better. Mostly the smile and joy of a child being able to see and read for the first time was very rewarding.

I sorry to hear of your wife's passing. It is awesome to know that she loved her job. that is the kind of job we all want.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.