How to Become an Optician in Wisconsin

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How to Become an Optician in Wisconsin

There are many reasons to become an optician in Wisconsin.

If you feel this is the right path for you, take a look at this article for more info.

You will get to learn what are the steps to take to get licensed and get your first job!

Optician Job Duties

In Wisconsin, opticians offer customized eye solutions tailored to the preferences and requirements of each client.

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Prescription writing for eyeglasses is not within the scope of this role.

Your daily responsibilities encompass a diverse array 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

Optician Training in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, opticians must obtain a license, and some notable perks come with it, including a bump in your salary.

The certification journey involves a series of steps, starting with taking the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam.

Another checkpoint is the National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) test.

Optician licenses in Wisconsin are granted by the Wisconsin Optometry Board.

To secure one, you’ll need to provide:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Reliability
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • A clean criminal record
  • An acquired license

So, not only does a license open doors, but it also brings added advantages your way.

Many folks start their journey to become opticians by joining training programs.

Madison Area Technical College

This institution offers several programs that end in an optometric technician diploma.

You can expect to complete the program in about a year.

Some of the classes will take place in person and others online.

The course has 27 credits and the tuition is around $4,700 per semester.

Students have the possibility of financial aid if they need it.

Milwaukee Area Technical College

This is yet another reputable school for future opticians.

It provides a program focused on optician and vision care studies.

The program consists of 27 credits.

The institution also has some online options you can consider, but there are some conditions to meet first.

Otero College

Enrollment for this fully online optician training program is open at any time.

Having a high school diploma or its equivalent is recommended as the minimum requirement for the ABO exam.

Completion of the program leads to obtaining a certificate.

For individuals aspiring to pursue a degree, there is an option to enroll in the Bridge to Bachelor’s degree.

However, this can be chosen during the initial enrollment or the first semester.

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

School Name Address
Madison Area Technical College 1701 Wright St, Madison, WI 53704
Milwaukee Area Technical College 700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233
Otero College online
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To enroll in most programs, you’ll need the following:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completion of specific classes with at least a C grade
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • OAT scores (not older than 5 years)
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75

Remember, each school might have its requirements.

The duration of a program varies.

A diploma program takes around 7 months, while a graduate program lasts about 4 years.

Usually, longer programs offer better credentials.

Training includes theory and hands-on practice that will help you get used to working in the field.

Some of the classes include:

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

Certification or Licensure for an Optician in Wisconsin

To secure your optician license in Wisconsin, follow these steps:

  • Graduate from a recognized optometric college.
  • Pass the NBEO exam.
  • Pass the Wisconsin law exam.

If you don’t pass the law exam on your first attempt, no worries! You can retake it until you succeed.

Once you have your diploma or degree, the next step is the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) administered by the ABO.

The NOCE has three levels:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Test subjects include reading prescriptions, fitting and dispensing spectacles, and using standard ophthalmic equipment.

The exam fee is $200, typically covered by your employer.

If you opt for the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE), you can become a certified lens dispenser.

Topics for lens dispensers cover:

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

Optician Certification Renewal

Keep in mind that optician licenses in Wisconsin expire every two years.

To renew, you’ll need to take 30 additional classes.

Stay current to keep your license active!

Optician Salary in Wisconsin

Once you’ve secured your certification, you’re all set to dive into the world of work.

Talking numbers, the typical yearly salary for opticians in Wisconsin hovers around $52,300.

Your actual earnings, however, hinge on factors like where you work and how much experience you bring to the table.

For an in-depth look at optician salaries in this state, take a peek at the table below.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Somerset $56,100
Weyerhaeuser $53,200
Rice Lake $53,200
Stockholm $52,700
Allenton $52,100
Sturtevant $52,100
Avalon $51,800
Waterloo $51,700
Wyocena $51,600
Adams $51,600

Regional Salary in Wisconsin

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Appleton, WI60$40,780$19.61$53,110$29,520
Eau Claire, WI60$41,010$19.72$49,880$29,640
Green Bay, WI100$38,700$18.61$48,680$30,160
Janesville-Beloit, WI40$39,990$19.22$47,900$30,130
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN40$39,930$19.2$49,740$30,380
Madison, WI190$44,730$21.5$58,250$32,460
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI320$42,710$20.54$56,370$29,810
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI50$41,030$19.73$49,920$30,510
Racine, WI40$39,600$19.04$49,180$29,930
Sheboygan, WI30$39,430$18.96$48,100$30,560
Wausau, WI60$41,410$19.91$52,000$30,160
* 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 Wisconsin?

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 Academy of Optometry
  • American Optometric Association
  • Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE)
  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
  • Wisconsin Optometric Association
  • Wisconsin Optometry Board

What are the skills needed by an optician in Wisconsin?

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 Wisconsin?

Opticians have a range of job prospects, working in:

  • Retail stores
  • Professional offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospital settings
  • Medical clinics

USA Optician Schools by State

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