How to Become an Optician in Mississippi

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How to Become an Optician in Mississippi

The demand for opticians in Mississippi makes it an appealing career option, especially for individuals aspiring to work in the healthcare sector.

Read on to understand the specific path opticians in Mississippi follow to secure employment!

Optician Job Duties

Opticians play a pivotal role in aiding those with visual impairments by guiding them in the selection of the most appropriate eyewear.

This involves a nuanced consideration of their specific requirements, budget limitations, and individual preferences.

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The responsibilities of opticians encompass a diverse array of tasks crucial to their profession, 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

You should know that opticians don’t prescribe eyewear or conduct eye examinations.

They do sell spectacles and eye contact lenses though.

Optician Training in Mississippi

In Mississippi, the state does not require specialized training and formal credentials.

Nevertheless, individuals who undergo proper training and achieve certification tend to secure employment more expeditiously.

The regulatory body overseeing licensing in this state is the American Board of Opticianry.

Prospective opticians in Mississippi often opt for apprenticeships under certified professionals as their primary avenue to refine their skills.

However, embarking on this hands-on journey requires meeting specific criteria, such as:

  • Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Undergoing a background check
  • Providing details of the sponsoring optician
  • Completing an application
  • Disclosing health history
  • Submitting references and work history

Participation in such apprenticeship programs typically spans a duration of approximately 2 years.

While hands-on training holds significance, obtaining a formal degree in the field is strongly recommended.

For those in search of institutions to embark on their opticianry journey, there are several commendable options worth exploring.

East Mississippi Community College

Through the program this college offers, Ophthalmic Technology, students can earn an Associate’s Degree.

The duration of this course is as follows:

  • 69 semester hours of courses
  • 20 hours of academic courses
  • 47 semester hours of Career-Technical courses in Ophthalmic Technology

The tuition at East Mississippi Community College is affordable, making it an attractive option among various schools.

Otero College

While situated in Colorado, this college provides a completely online optician training program.

Enrollment is open at any time, and there are no specific prerequisites.

Although it is recommended to have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially as it is the minimum requirement for the ABO exam.

Upon completion of the program, you will receive a certificate.

For those seeking a degree, there’s an option to enroll in the Bridge to Bachelor’s degree.

This choice can be made either during the initial sign-up or in the first semester.

It’s essential to verify with the college and the department to confirm the inclusion of the optometry program.

School Name Address
East Mississippi Community College 1512 Kemper St, Scooba, MS 39358
Otero online
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Admission into these programs typically requires candidates to meet some criteria:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Completing specific classes with a minimum grade of C
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • OAT scores – not older than 5 years
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75

Some classes in these programs are:

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

These community colleges provide a diverse range of educational opportunities for future opticians.

Certification or Licensure for an Optician in Mississippi

Securing licensure in Mississippi entails passing the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam.

After you pass the exams, you will need to provide additional documents.

Those who gain approval typically receive their license within 48 hours.

Opticians often opt to undergo exams administered by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE).

Taking both exams requires a combined fee of $400.

The ABO exam tests your knowledge regarding:

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

In contrast, the NCLE exam assesses proficiency in:

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

Candidates aiming for success in these exams must achieve a minimum passing score of 70%, and they enjoy the flexibility to choose assessments in either English or Spanish.

Optician Certification Renewal

The ABO-NCLE mandates the renewal of their certifications every three years.

Typically, this renewal process entails participation in supplementary courses related to the field and the payment of the corresponding renewal fees.

Optician Salary in Mississippi

In the state of Mississippi, opticians generally see an annual income averaging around $47,300.

However, on a national scale, the median salary for opticians stands higher, at $53,100 per year.

The following table offers insights into particular cities within Mississippi where opticians have good work opportunities.

Various factors, including experience and geographic location, significantly influence their earnings.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Fernwood $49,500
Olive Branch $49,000
Independence $48,800
Abbeville $48,800
Clara $48,700
Charleston $47,800
Whitfield $47,400
Jackson $47,500
Bolton $47,300
Greenville $47,200

Regional Salary in Mississippi

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS90$30,740$14.78$40,240$27,040
Jackson, MS80$34,580$16.63$48,400$25,920
* 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

What are the skills needed by an optician in Mississippi?

Opticians have the following abilities:

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

Where can I find work as an optician in Mississippi?

Here are some of the places hiring opticians:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

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

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 (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE)
  • Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry
  • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
  • Board of Registration in Optometry
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
  • Mississippi Association of Dispensing Opticians

USA Optician Schools by State

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