How to Become an Optician in Texas

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How to Become an Optician in Texas

Do you want to learn how to become a licensed optician in the state of Texas?

While there are certain criteria you must meet, the path is easier than you might think.

Check out this guide that will show you what the process entails.

Optician Job Duties

Opticians offer guidance on selecting the perfect eyewear for their customers, although they do not issue prescriptions for eyeglasses.

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In the role of an optician, responsibilities include:

  • 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 Texas

Embarking on a training journey becomes remarkably convenient when you opt for a program situated in your area.

St Philip’s College

At this college, students will earn a degree in vision care technology.

By the end of the program, students will know about both Ophthalmology and Optometry.

They will also be prepared to take the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) exam.

Through this test, candidates will prove their knowledge in 19 areas.

San Jacinto College

San Jacinto offers a few types of training programs for future optometrists and not only.

The various courses open the path to many careers in the ophthalmic field.

One program is the Associate of Applied Science degree which has a duration of 2 years and 60 credits to accumulate.

There are also 2 programs with a duration of 1 year.

One of them awards a certificate and 29 credits.

The second one awards a certificate and 16 credits.

Tyler Junior College

Those opting for Tyler Junior College enroll in the Ophthalmic Medical Assistant training program.

This program takes place over 2 semesters.

Students will attend their practicum hours during the summer.

The classes can be attended only in person.

University of Houston

The University of Houston offers doctorate and graduate degree programs and even offers the possibility of completing your residency here.

The Doctor of Optometry has a duration of 4 years.

Through this program, students accumulate 177 semester credit hours.

Through the graduate degree programs, you can earn an M.S. and/or Ph.D. degree diploma.

These degrees are in Physiological Optics and Vision Science and you need a B.S. degree (or the equivalent) first.

School Name Address
St Philip’s College 1801 Martin Luther King Dr, San Antonio, Texas 78203-2098
University of Houston 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, Texas 77204-2018
Tyler Junior College 1327 S Baxter Ave, Tyler, TX 75701
San Jacinto College 8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77505
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Moreover, the Board accepts certain online programs for individuals facing challenges attending in-person classes.

To meet program requirements, aspiring opticians typically need:

  • 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 2.7

The comprehensive curriculum encompasses both theoretical and practical components, covering subjects 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 Texas

Successfully navigating the optician licensing process in Texas involves a series of steps.

Completion of an Approved Training Program

Graduating from an accredited training program in the United States or Canada is the initial requirement.

National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) Four-Part Exam

Aspiring opticians must pass all four parts of the NBEO, a crucial step in demonstrating comprehensive knowledge and competency.

State Law Exam

A significant component of the licensing process is passing the state law exam, administered by the NBEO six times annually.

National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) through the ABO

Students are also required to complete the NOCE, which consists of three levels:

  • Beginner,
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced.

The Beginner level encompasses tasks like reading prescriptions, fitting and dispensing spectacles, and using standard ophthalmic equipment.

Employers typically cover the $200 fee for this level.

Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE) for Lens Dispensers

Individuals seeking positions as lens dispensers must take the CLRE, covering topics such as pre-fitting for lenses, diagnostic fitting, lens dispensing, patient education, delivery, and follow-up.

Required Documentation:

  • To sit for these exams, candidates need to submit the following documents:
  • Proof of age over 18
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completed application
  • Payment of relevant fees
  • A clean criminal record

The Texas Board also acknowledges formal training received in Canada, subject to specific conditions.

Optician Certification Renewal

Opticians in Texas must renew their licenses every year, with the renewal deadline set before January 1st.

This process involves completing 16 additional hours of education to stay current in the field.

Optician Salary in Texas

In Texas, the median salary for this profession is around $52,200 per year.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Houston $54,000
Fresno $53,800
Trinity $53,600
Webster $53,600
Dallas $52,700
Wylie $52,700
Sunnyvale $52,600
Wilmer $52,600
Ace $51,000
El Paso $46,400

Regional Salary in Texas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Amarillo, TX90$33,650$16.18$39,410$28,250
Austin-Round Rock, TX620$38,660$18.59$47,570$30,100
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX120$36,980$17.78$44,820$29,170
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX60$32,600$15.68$40,810$24,420
College Station-Bryan, TX60$35,850$17.24$46,710$29,130
Corpus Christi, TX180$36,070$17.34$43,960$28,720
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX1,780$38,890$18.7$52,000$28,870
El Paso, TX110$33,490$16.1$43,170$24,390
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX1,470$34,320$16.5$43,390$27,050
Killeen-Temple, TX70$36,030$17.32$46,430$29,370
Laredo, TX30$30,800$14.81$36,250$20,970
Longview, TX50$33,550$16.13$43,460$24,750
Lubbock, TX90$35,060$16.85$44,530$28,320
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX140$32,400$15.58$40,930$26,350
Midland, TX40$38,420$18.47$52,550$30,350
Odessa, TX40$41,060$19.74$52,250$29,370
San Angelo, TX30$31,450$15.12$36,090$26,200
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX520$37,250$17.91$47,390$28,690
Sherman-Denison, TX30$36,290$17.45$47,000$28,080
Texarkana, TX-AR30$30,810$14.81$36,500$26,610
Tyler, TX50$35,360$17$45,960$28,710
Victoria, TX30$33,220$15.97$37,470$29,270
Waco, TX40$32,040$15.4$40,470$22,340
Wichita Falls, TX40$32,000$15.38$42,440$23,590
* 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 Texas?

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 Texas?

Many organizations change their rules and regulations.

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

  • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
  • Certified Opticians Association of Texas
  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
  • Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Texas Ophthalmological Association
  • Texas Optometric Association
  • Texas Optometry Board

Where can I find work as an optician in Texas?

Once your optician license is granted, a multitude of work opportunities opens up across various settings, including:

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

USA Optician Schools by State

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