How to Become an Optician in Washington

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How to Become an Optician in Washington

Do you want to work as an optician in Washington?

If that is the case, you should look into the requirements in this state.

Read the article below to find out more info!

Optician Job Duties

As an optician, your role revolves around curating the perfect eyewear selections for your clients.

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Interestingly, you won’t be involved in issuing eyeglass prescriptions or conducting eye examinations for customers.

Instead, your responsibilities will span various tasks, such as:

  • 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 Washington

Opting for a training program is a common choice among aspiring opticians.

Washington offers several schools with dedicated optician programs.

Borough of Manhattan Community College

This community college offers a fully online course with flexible start dates and no specific enrollment requirements.

Upon completion, students will be prepared for 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

Otero College

This college offers a fully online optician training program with open enrollment at any time and no specific requirements.

While having a high school diploma or its equivalent is recommended as the minimum requirement for the ABO exam, completing the program results in obtaining a certificate.

For those seeking a degree, there is an option to enroll in the Bridge to Bachelor’s degree, which can be selected during the initial enrollment or the first semester.

It is advisable to check with the college and the department to confirm the inclusion of the optometry program.

School Name Address
Borough of Manhattan Community College online
Otero College online
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Admission requirements may vary among schools.

It typically necessitates:

  • 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

Program durations also differ based on the credentials sought, allowing flexibility.

Shorter programs are available, while more advanced options may take 3 to 4 years.

Training programs for opticians are a blend of theory and practice, covering essential subjects like:

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

This diverse curriculum ensures a well-rounded education for aspiring opticians.

Certification or Licensure for an Optician in Washington

The Washington State Dispensing Optician Examining Committee is the authoritative body responsible for granting licenses to practicing opticians in the state.

You will be required to participate in a minimum of 4 hours of AIDS education to ensure comprehensive awareness and understanding.

Moreover, individuals seeking licensure in Washington must fulfill one of the following criteria:

  • Completion of a two-year associate’s degree in opticianry
  • Successful completion of an apprenticeship program, totaling no less than 6,000 hours
  • Accumulation of five years of experience as a dispensing optician in another state

Upon completion of the program, you should pass the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE).

This test has three levels:

  • Beginner,
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

The first level of the NOCE assesses competencies in:

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

Furthermore, aspiring opticians may be required to undergo the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE) to become licensed lens dispensers.

This examination covers topics such as:

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

Applicants must meet several eligibility criteria, including:

  • 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

Upon successfully obtaining a license, opticians must adhere to a renewal process every three years to maintain their professional standing in the state.

Staying current with licensure ensures that opticians are up-to-date with the latest industry standards and practices.

Optician Salary in Washington

Getting an optician certification opens up employment opportunities in various settings, including retail stores, professional offices, optometry practices, hospitals, and clinics.

Usually, optician salaries in Washington surpass the national median.

On average, opticians in the state earn around x annually.

It’s important to note that actual earnings can vary based on factors such as geographic location and individual credentials.

The thriving job market and competitive salaries in Washington make it an appealing destination for those pursuing a career in opticianry.

Take a look below to learn more about the salaries for opticians in this state.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Sultan $57,500
Rollingbay $57,300
Allyn $57,100
Vashon $57,100
Steilacoom $57,000
Wilkeson $56,900
Benton City $55,900
Vancouver $55,100
Aberdeen $54,800
Yacolt $54,800

Regional Salary in Washington

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA60$44,890$21.58$62,910$34,920
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA60$49,000$23.56$65,870$35,980
Kennewick-Richland, WA120$46,220$22.22$64,190$35,760
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA40$45,360$21.81$64,430$31,600
Olympia-Tumwater, WA80$50,260$24.16$66,810$33,270
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA950$52,270$25.13$70,620$38,250
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA170$46,380$22.3$64,370$34,450
Yakima, WA60$45,660$21.95$64,190$34,840
* 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 Washington?

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 Washington?

Opticians nationwide, encompassing more than just Iowa, are employed in various settings, including:

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

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

Many organizations change their rules and regulations.

If you are interested in more resources, you can have a look at the following:

  • Opticians Association of Washington
  • Washington State Dispensing Optician Exam Schedule
  • Washington State Department of Health
  • Optician Jobs in Washington State
  • American Board of Opticianry
  • Opticon

USA Optician Schools by State

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