How to Become an Optician in Indiana

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How to Become an Optician in Indiana

The State of Indiana consistently experiences a robust demand for opticians.

There’s no wonder many folks choose this occupation over others:

  • It doesn’t require much experience
  • It gives the possibility of helping others
  • Earnings are higher compared to other entry-level jobs
  • It’s not a demanding job

For comprehensive insights into the profession and the necessary steps to embark on a career as an optician in Indiana, delve into this informative guide!

Optician Job Duties

Opticians seem to have a relatively straightforward job.

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It is centered on assisting customers in selecting the most suitable eyewear based on their needs, preferences, and available options.

The typical tasks performed by opticians include:

  • Keeping sales records
  • Determining insurance co-pays
  • Keeping the inventory
  • Preparing eyewear
  • Fitting and adjusting eyewear
  • Interacting with the labs that make lenses
  • Educating customers about eyewear issues and maintenance
  • Interpretation of prescriptions
  • Repairing broken frames

Additional responsibilities may vary depending on the specific workplace.

However, it is evident that despite the simplicity of their role, opticians are not authorized to conduct eye examinations or provide prescriptions for eyewear.

Optician Training in Indiana

In Indiana, obtaining a license is not obligatory for individuals pursuing a career as an optician.

Surprisingly, even a high school diploma or GED is not compulsory for this role, though it may pose challenges.

Most employers typically prefer candidates who have opted to acquire at least a certificate in the field.

Enhancing your employability and advancing your career can be achieved by passing the following tests:

  • National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE)
  • National Contact Lens Registry Examination (NCLRE)

While a license may not be mandatory, formal education is a prerequisite for individuals aspiring to become licensed opticians.

Indiana University

Here, students can choose from certificate programs in optometry science or the opticianry field, both of which typically span up to 2 years for completion.

The tuition for the first year of optometry is around $34,194 for residents and it doesn’t include books, supplies, or living expenses.

Non-residents of the state will have to pay around $47,000.

Books and clinic equipment cost around $7,000 for both residents and non-residents.

Ivy Tech Community College

This Community College offers two programs, one awarding a certificate and the other an Associate’s degree.

The certificate program also has 2 options:

  • Long term
  • Short term

The AAS program has a duration of 4 semesters and students will accumulate 60 credit hours.

The long-term certificate program is also known as a technical certificate and has a duration of 2 semesters.

There are 33 credit hours to accumulate through it.

The short-term program awards a simple certificate and still has a duration of 2 semesters.

The accumulated credit hours at its end are 18.

School Name Address
Indiana University 107 S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405
Ivy Tech Community College 50 Walnut St, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
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For those seeking more flexibility, online training programs or colleges from different states are viable options.

When enrolling in these programs, most schools may require the following:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Completion of specific classes with a minimum grade of C
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • OAT scores (not older than 5 years)
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75

The curriculum typically covers a range of subjects, including:

  • Introduction to Optometry
  • Ocular Anatomy
  • Systems 1: Neuroscience
  • Ocular Microbiology
  • Ophthalmic Imaging
  • Public Health Optometry
  • Glaucoma
  • Physics

Alternatively, aspiring opticians can gain practical experience by working as an apprentice under a licensed optician for a minimum of 1 year.

Certification or Licensure for an Optician in Indiana

While there is no legal requirement for opticians to hold a license, successfully passing two essential exams is considered satisfactory.

The American Board of Opticianry (ABO) administers the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE), focusing on spectacles

The National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) offers the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE), concentrating on contact lenses, typically considered optional.

Candidates have the flexibility to choose between English and Spanish for both exams, which are available at three difficulty levels:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

NOCE evaluates candidates in areas such as reading prescriptions, fitting and dispensing spectacles, and using standard ophthalmic equipment.

On the other hand, CLRE assesses knowledge in:

  • Pre-fitting for lenses
  • Diagnostic fitting
  • Dispensing of lenses
  • Patient Education
  • Delivery
  • Follow-up.

Achieving a score above 70% is necessary to pass these exams, which can be taken at a Prometric testing center for an approximate fee of $200 per test.

Optician Certification Renewal

Upon obtaining certifications from these exams, opticians must renew them every three years.

Renewal typically entails a fee and participation in continuing education classes for both certifications.

Optician Salary in Indiana

There are many places you can get hired as an optician in Indiana.

You are probably wondering how much you will earn as an optician in this state.

You should know that the average yearly pay for an optician in Indiana is $51,800.

Keep in mind you can earn more depending on where you live and your experience level.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Schererville $53,000
Schneider $52,900
Wheatfield $52,700
Tefft $52,700
Zionsville $51,600
Sunman $51,600
Union Mills $51,300
Amo $50,300
Yeoman $50,100
Alexandria $49,100

Regional Salary in Indiana

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bloomington, IN60$36,820$17.7$52,250$29,220
Elkhart-Goshen, IN40$34,260$16.47$45,980$23,340
Evansville, IN-KY80$34,160$16.42$45,970$28,120
Fort Wayne, IN140$36,290$17.45$46,210$29,800
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN560$36,910$17.75$47,380$29,870
Kokomo, IN40$36,060$17.34$43,500$30,020
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN90$36,020$17.32$46,540$29,740
Muncie, IN70$33,390$16.06$42,440$27,800
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI70$36,710$17.65$46,770$29,970
Terre Haute, IN40$34,510$16.59$45,060$28,080
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Opticians, Dispensing, OCC Code 29-2081, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find work as an optician in Indiana?

Finding work as an optician in Indiana isn’t difficult.

Try applying at the following locations:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Centers for Low Vision Rehabilitation
  • Nursing homes
  • Private optician practices

What are the skills needed by an optician in Indiana?

Opticians have the following abilities:

  • Attention to details
  • Good communication skills
  • Adaptable to new situations
  • Business skills
  • Physical stamina
  • Ability to perform repetitive tasks

How can I stay updated on changes to the regulations regarding opticians in Indiana?

Many organizations change their rules and regulations.

Here are some institutions that can help you stay up-to-date with changes in the industry:

  • American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE)
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
  • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
  • OptiCon

USA Optician Schools by State

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