How to Become an Optician in Louisiana

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How to Become an Optician in Louisiana

Within the healthcare sector, numerous opportunities exist for individuals seeking rewarding employment due to the robust demand for skilled professionals.

For those residing in Louisiana aspiring to become opticians, this article provides valuable insights.

Discover the necessary steps, and required education, and explore the average salaries associated with this occupation!

Optician Job Duties

As individuals age, their visual acuity tends to decline, and some individuals may have inherent visual impairments.

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Opticians play a crucial role in assisting these individuals in selecting the most suitable eyewear tailored to their specific needs and preferences.

This objective is accomplished through a series of tasks, including:

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

It’s important to note that additional responsibilities may be assigned by various employers, expanding the scope of the optician’s duties beyond this list.

However, certain tasks are explicitly excluded from an optician’s responsibilities, such as:

  • Conducting eye inspections.
  • Issuing eyewear prescriptions.

Optician Training in Louisiana

In Louisiana, the regulation of opticians falls under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners.

Certain jurisdictions may require mandatory certification, and it is often a common request from employers.

One prominent certification in Louisiana is granted through the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam, which holds nationwide recognition, extending beyond the boundaries of Louisiana.

Employers seeking to hire opticians typically seek individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Reliability
  • Clean criminal record
  • Detail-oriented approach

University of New Orleans

The program at the University of New Orleans is specifically designed to lay the groundwork for an optometry degree.

While the course itself doesn’t confer a degree or certificate, it serves as a valuable initial step in this field.

For those seeking a certificate or degree program, alternative avenues must be explored, either through online options or in a different state.

Certificate programs typically span several months to a year, whereas a degree program demands a minimum of two years for completion.

Optometry programs commonly have specific requirements, including:

  • Possession of a high school diploma or GED.
  • Successful completion of designated classes with a minimum grade of C.
  • Submission of two letters of recommendation.
  • OAT scores, not exceeding a five-year limit.
  • Maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.75.

Courses frequently taught in optometry programs encompass:

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

For those not inclined toward a formal education path, apprenticeship offers an alternative.

Louisiana necessitates prospective apprentices to register with the state’s Workforce Commission and secure a sponsor.

School Name Address
University of New Orleans 2000 Lakeshore Dr, New Orleans, LA 70148
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Certification or Licensure for an Optician in Louisiana

In this state, obtaining a passing score on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam leads to earning the state-recognized certification.

Conducted annually, candidates failing their initial attempt must wait a minimum of 6 months before being eligible for re-registration.

Comprising three parts, the NBEO mandates specific requirements for Louisiana certification, needing to pass the following sections:

  • Part 1 – Applied Basic Science
  • Part 2 – Patient Assessment & Management
  • Part 3 – Clinical Skills,
  • Treatment, and Management of Ocular Disease

Alternatively, individuals can opt for the:

  • National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO)
  • Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE), offered by the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE).

Both tests enjoy nationwide recognition.

While the CLRE, focusing on contact lenses, is not obligatory, many opticians choose to undertake it.

Both the NOCE and CLRE present three difficulty levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.

NOCE assesses skills in reading prescriptions, fitting and dispensing spectacles, and using standard ophthalmic equipment.

On the other hand, CLRE evaluates pre-fitting for lenses, diagnostic fitting, dispensing of lenses, patient education, delivery, and follow-up.

The cost for both NOCE and CLRE is approximately $200 each, with a minimum passing score of 70%.

Optician Certification Renewal

Annual license renewal is mandatory.

Administered by Prometric testing centers, the certification must be renewed every three years.

Optician Salary in Louisiana

Opticians can be found employed in various settings such as:

  • Retail stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

Predicting your future income precisely is challenging, as several factors contribute to its determination:

  • Job title
  • Location
  • Job’s duties
  • Certification(s)
  • Management roles
  • Sales vs. technician roles
  • Experience

However, it’s essential to note that in this state, the minimum annual salary is approximately $44,700, while the highest can reach around $58,000.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Marrero $52,000
Violet $51,900
Ama $51,800
Paradis $51,600
Robert $51,500
Venice $51,500
Mount Airy $50,800
Ponchatoula $50,700
Springfield $50,200
Baton Rouge $49,900

Regional Salary in Louisiana

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Alexandria, LA50$29,380$14.13$35,000$21,420
Baton Rouge, LA200$33,800$16.25$43,980$23,500
Houma-Thibodaux, LA50$31,380$15.09$37,830$22,270
Lafayette, LA100$31,410$15.1$43,680$22,120
Lake Charles, LA40$32,700$15.72$45,260$22,690
Monroe, LA30$29,590$14.23$37,680$21,630
New Orleans-Metairie, LA210$34,700$16.68$47,840$23,420
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA90$31,560$15.17$41,760$22,060
* 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 Louisiana?

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
  • Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners
  • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
  • National Optometric Association
  • OptiCon

Where can I find work as an optician in Louisiana?

Here are some of the places hiring opticians:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

What are the skills needed by an optician in Louisiana?

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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