How to Become an Optician in Kentucky

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How to Become an Optician in Kentucky

Are you considering embarking on a new and potentially fulfilling career path?

If becoming an optician in Kentucky intrigues you, there are essential details you should know.

Explore this article for more detailed information on the subject.

Optician Job Duties

Opticians are responsible for ensuring they offer clients the appropriate eyewear, tailored to their preferred style.

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Upon entering this profession, you will be engaged in a variety of daily tasks, including:

  • Preparing eyewear
  • Fitting and adjusting eyewear
  • Providing customers with insights on eyewear issues and maintenance
  • Maintaining sales records
  • Calculating insurance co-pays
  • Managing inventory
  • Collaborating with lens-manufacturing labs

It’s important to note that opticians are not authorized to conduct eye examinations or issue eyewear prescriptions.

Optician Training in Kentucky

In Kentucky, unlike many other states, holding a license is a prerequisite for working as an optician, and obtaining one can expedite your job search.

The primary examination required is the American Board of Opticians (ABO) exam.

Additionally, you may need to successfully pass the National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) exam.

To qualify for licensure, you’ll also need to submit the following documentation:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completion of a training program or formal education,
    • With particular emphasis on the value of an associate’s degree diploma, appreciated by employers
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Optician education in this state involves enrolling in post-secondary schools that offer optician training programs.

Interestingly, Kentucky does not have schools offering programs specifically for future opticians.

However, optician training programs are available at out-of-state online institutions.

These programs typically have their own set of requirements, including:

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

The duration of optician programs can vary, ranging from shorter 7-month programs to longer ones spanning four years.

Graduate programs may require around four years to complete.

The curriculum for optician training includes classes like:

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

Borough of Manhattan Community College

Although Alaska currently lacks in-person training programs for opticians, online study options are available.

This community college provides a 100% online course with flexible start dates and no specific enrollment requirements.

Students can enroll without meeting any prerequisites.

Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to take the ABO certification exam.

The course covers various topics, including:

  • Simple math and algebra
  • Soft contact lenses
  • Gas-permeable contact lenses
  • Legal responsibilities and ethics
  • The parts of the eye
  • Refractive errors
  • Strabismus and amblyopia
  • Other common ocular conditions
  • Prism basics
School Name Address
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Certification or Licensure for an Optician in Kentucky

Upon successful completion of the training program, you will be granted your optician license.

The governing body overseeing licensure in this state is The Kentucky Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

To qualify for an optician license, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Holding a license in a reciprocal state
  • Accumulating a minimum of 3 years of relevant experience
  • Completing a 3-year apprenticeship within the last 6 years
  • Working as an optician in a state with no licensing requirements
  • Graduating from an approved post-secondary optician program
  • A year of apprenticeship

Aspiring opticians are also required to pass the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) administered by the ABO.

The NOCE exam features three difficulty levels:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Topics covered at the beginner level include:

  • Reading prescriptions,
  • Fitting and dispensing spectacles
  • Using standard ophthalmic equipment

Exam fees, generally around $200, are typically covered by the employing company.

For those interested in dispensing contact lenses, an additional exam is necessary.

This is the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE) offered by the National Contact Lens Examiners.

The fee for this exam is $200, with employers typically covering the cost.

Exam topics encompass:

  • Pre-fitting for lenses,
  • Diagnostic fitting,
  • Dispensing of lenses,
  • Patient education,
  • Delivery
  • Follow-up

Exams are available in both English and Spanish.

Before taking the exams, candidates must submit the following documents:

  • Age verification (over 18)
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completed application
  • Payment of required fees
  • Clean criminal record
  • Successful completion of the State Practical Examination
  • Proof of completed training, education, or a minimum of 3 years of experience

Optician Certification

Renewal Optician licenses require renewal after a certain period. Renewal entails completing 8 additional hours of education.

Optician Salary in Kentucky

Possessing an optician license opens up opportunities for employment in various facilities, including:

  • Retail Stores
  • Corporate Offices
  • Optometry Practices
  • Hospitals
  • Medical Clinics

Opticians in this state can expect a median salary ranging between $44,200 and $57,400 per year.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Union $51,800
Smith Mills $50,100
Baskett $50,100
White Mills $50,000
Stephensport $50,000
Bonnieville $50,000
Wilmore $49,600
Campton $49,300
Bardstown $49,200
Adolphus $49,100

Regional Salary in Kentucky

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bowling Green, KY70$34,790$16.73$44,230$24,070
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY30$40,090$19.28$65,050$24,450
Lexington-Fayette, KY110$43,830$21.07$64,560$26,870
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN310$39,060$18.78$56,850$28,120
Owensboro, KY40$36,170$17.39$50,230$27,940
* 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

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

The resources below might help you in your quest with a new optician career:

  • American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE)
  • Kentucky Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers
  • Kentucky Optometric Association
  • National Practical Optician’s Examination
  • Opticians Association of Kentucky

Where can I find work as an optician in Kentucky?

Here are some of the places hiring opticians:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

What are the skills needed by an optician in Kentucky?

Opticians have the following abilities:

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

USA Optician Schools by State

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