How to Become an Optician in New York

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How to Become an Optician in New York

Are you looking to start a career as an optician in New York?

Explore this article for valuable insights, as we provide information on the licensing process to guide you on your professional journey.

Optician Job Duties

Your daily tasks as an optician encompass a variety of essential functions:

  • 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

Optician Training in New York

In New York, several schools offer optician training.

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Erie Community College

This community college offers a Vision Care Technology Program.

The admission process requires students to show good grades in Math II and Sciences, in high school.

Students will have to pay more than just the tuition. 

These extra fees will cover:

  • Ophthalmic tools,
  • Lab coat,
  • Liability insurance
  • A name tag for use in off-campus clinical work

NYC College of Technology

The program offered here is a bit strict because students aren’t allowed to repeat any course.

They also can’t fail more than 1 course during each year of study.

This is a list of the fees you’re expected to pay:

  • Malpractice in0surance fee – $15
  • New York State licensure registration fee – $108
  • Ophthalmic Dispensing Practical – $525
  • Contact Lens Practical – $150
  • National licensure fee (ABO) – $225
  • National licensure fee (NCLE)  – $225
  • Optical tool kit – $235
  • All required textbooks (purchased over four semesters)  -$500
  • Lab coat, program insignia, safety glasses – $60

Pace University

At this university, students will attend pre-health courses that prepare them for their career of choice.

The good side of this pre-health course is that you’ll be able to create your majors based on your interests and the path you want to follow in the future.

SUNY College of Optometry

This college offers 3 degrees:

  •  Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  •  PhD in Vision Science
  • MS in Vision Science
School Name Address
Erie Community College 6205 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221
Erie Community College 121 Ellicott St, Buffalo, New York 14203-2698
NYC College of Technology 300 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Pace University 1 Pace Plaza, New York, New York 10038-1598
SUNY College of Optometry 33 West 42nd Street, New York, New York 10036-8003
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To enroll in these post-secondary programs, prospective students must meet specific criteria, including:

  • 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

Optician training programs exhibit a relatively short duration, with some lasting only 7 months.

However, for those aspiring to enter a graduate program, a more extended training period may be required.

Throughout the training journey, students engage in enlightening courses such as:

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

Certification or Licensure for an Optician in New York

Upon successful completion of the training program, individuals are required to undergo an examination as a prerequisite for obtaining a license.

To qualify for the exam, candidates must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • A license in a reciprocal state
  • At least 3 years of experience
  • Can be an apprenticeship of 3 years in the past 6 years
    • This can be from working as an optician in a state with no licensing requirements
  • Graduate from an approved post-secondary optician program with a year of apprenticeship

It is crucial to note that candidates are also required to take the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) administered through the American Board of Opticianry (ABO).

At the Beginner level, candidates should learn about:

  • Read prescriptions,
  • Fit and dispensing spectacles
  • Use standard ophthalmic equipment

The examination incurs a $200 fee, which is generally covered by the employer.

Individuals intending to dispense contact lenses must additionally undertake the National Contact Lens Examiners and pass the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE).

You also need to pay the $200 fee typically covered by the employer.

The examination covers topics like:

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

Essential documents for examination include:

  • Age over 18
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • To fill out an application
  • To pay some fees
  • A clean criminal record
  • Passing the State Practical Examination
  • Proof of completed training, education, or at least 3 years of experience

Optician Certification Renewal

Certifications expire after 3 years, necessitating renewal.

Lens dispensers must complete 18 hours of education every 3 years, while lens practitioners are required to undertake 20 hours of education once every 3 years.

Optician Salary in New York

In New York, opticians typically command an annual salary of about $56,600.

When considering the national landscape, the median salary for opticians is $53,100 per year,

Take a glance at the table below for insights into the cities within New York where you may find higher earning potential.

It’s important to note that several factors contribute to variations in your potential earnings.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
New York $62,300
Rochester $52,300
Yonkers $61,200
Oyster Bay $60,600
Huntington $60,600
Levittown $58,300
Babylon $58,200
Brentwood $58,200
Clay $52,800
Henrietta $52,300

Regional Salary in New York

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY200$57,710$27.75$73,220$36,790
Binghamton, NY50$52,280$25.14$63,050$34,520
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY410$53,220$25.59$59,880$40,810
Glens Falls, NY40$54,980$26.43$66,860$36,080
Kingston, NY40$58,720$28.23$73,330$38,270
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA3,600$59,380$28.55$78,140$38,730
Rochester, NY220$54,750$26.32$66,020$36,770
Syracuse, NY170$56,010$26.93$68,850$36,880
Utica-Rome, NY60$51,970$24.98$61,620$32,240
* 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 New York?

Finding work as a New Yorker optician 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 New York?

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 New York?

If you are looking for more resources, check out:

  • American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE)
  • New York State Optometric Association
  • New York State Society of Opticians
  • Optical Society of Western New York
  • Opticians Alliance of New York

USA Optician Schools by State

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