How to Become an Optician in Florida

The first step to becoming an optician in Florida is to complete an accredited educational program at a Florida trade school.

Education & Training

Below are some online programs offered in conjunction with local schools and colleges

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    Broward College
    The Associate of Science program in Vision Care Technology/Opticianry at Broward College, located primarily at the North Campus, equips students with the skills needed for patient eye care, including fitting and adapting corrective lenses and optical devices. This limited access program requires a supplemental application and specific criteria for admission, emphasizing laboratory techniques and clinical procedures essential for producing quality eyewear and contact lenses. Graduates are eligible to pursue industry certifications such as the ABO, NCLE, and Florida Licensed Dispensing Optician examination, enhancing their career readiness in the opticianry field.

    • Davie


    Nova Southeastern University

    • Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Clearwater


How Will You Benefit From These Programs?

You will be ready for the Basic American Board of Opticianry (ABO) exams, which also includes the NOCE (National Opticianry Competency Exam) and the CLRE (Contact Lens Registry Exam).

abo-ncle-logos

What Do You Study?

During this training, students typically take classes like:

  • Ocular Terminology and Anatomy
  • Refractometry
  • Optical Technology
  • Theoretical Optics
  • Spectacle Fabrication
  • Ophthalmic and Contact Lens Dispensing
  • Mathematics for Measuring, Shaping, and Fitting Eyewear

How Long is the Program?

About 6 months for the online programs above.

If you were to purse an associate’s degree, it would take 2 years. A bachelor’s or graduate-level degree in opticianry might be 4 to 6 years.

If you choose an apprenticeship over a formal degree program, you must complete 6,240 hours of supervised training within 5 years.

How Much is Optician School in FL?

$2,000 for the programs above.

Some Florida students might pay anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 to earn an associate’s degree in opticianry. Others pay closer to $13,000 in tuition, books, and fees.

Bachelor’s and graduate degree programs typically cost $24,000 or more.

Apprenticeships

Completing an apprenticeship is another option for people wondering how to become an optician in Florida.

Optician apprentices undergo supervised training, working under licensed professionals in optometrist’s offices and retail stores.

State-Approved Apprenticeships

Hopefuls can find state-approved apprenticeship programs through Florida’s State Board of Opticianry. Take the following steps to apply:

  1. Create an online Florida Department of Health account and submit an application
  2. Pay the non-refundable $60 apprenticeship registration fee
  3. Find an apprenticeship program on the Health Department’s Public Data Portal
  4. Have your chosen apprenticeship supervisor complete and submit a Sponsor Registration Form
  5. Submit a copy of your high school diploma, GED, or equivalent and transcript

Apprenticeship Approval

Once you submit all the required payments and documents, you must wait for an approval letter verifying your Apprentice Optician number and program start date. While waiting for your application to process, you can check the status of your apprenticeship license online using the Department of Health’s License Verification portal.

Do Apprentice Opticians Get Paid?

Depending on the rules of your chosen apprenticeship, you might earn a regular paycheck throughout the course of your program. Although wages differ, earnings for apprentices usually fall just under Florida’s average optician salary. Other supervisors might offer tuition assistants for apprentices who are also completing educational programs.

Florida Optician Requirements

To qualify for optician jobs in Florida, you must have an official license from the state’s Board of Opticianry.

State Certification

You can obtain your state certification by taking the following steps:

  1. Receive passing scores on the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) and the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE) through the American Board of Optometry (ABO)
  2. Create an account on the Florida Health Department website
  3. Fill out a licensing exam application form
  4. Submit the following:
    1. Proof of age, certifying that you are at least 18
    2. NOCE and CLRE exam results
    3. A copy of your high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
    4. Payment of the non-refundable $100 application fee

The National Practical Examination

Next, you must pay additional licensing and registration fees and pass the National Practical Examination through the ABO or the National Commission of State Opticianry and Regulatory Boards (NCSORB).

From there, you’ll likely need to pass a criminal background check before you start applying for optician jobs in Florida.

Optician Salaries in Florida

Although the average optician salary in Florida is about $39,160 per year, you might make slightly more or less than that in some regions.
Below are some average salaries and hourly wages for areas of the state.

State Hourly Annual
Cape Coral-Fort Myers $27.65 $57,510.00
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin $26.58 $55,290.00
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach $26.32 $54,740.00
Gainesville $26.35 $54,800.00
Homosassa Springs $26.46 $55,030.00
Jacksonville $27.10 $56,360.00
Lakeland-Winter Haven $25.33 $52,690.00
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach $28.05 $58,350.00
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island $28.10 $58,450.00
North Florida $25.98 $54,030.00
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton $27.41 $57,010.00
Ocala $25.72 $53,500.00
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford $28.28 $58,830.00
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville $26.66 $55,460.00
Panama City $24.14 $50,210.00
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent $25.55 $53,150.00
Port St. Lucie $27.04 $56,250.00
Punta Gorda $26.02 $54,120.00
Sebastian-Vero Beach $26.62 $55,370.00
Sebring $24.27 $50,490.00
South Florida $26.46 $55,040.00
Tallahassee $24.68 $51,340.00
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater $27.16 $56,490.00
The Villages $26.13 $54,350.00

Occupation: Opticians, Dispensing (SOC Code292081)
source: data.bls.gov
Earnings for opticians in FL might also vary across employers. For example, if you find a job in an optometrist’s office, you might make higher wages than an optician working in a retail store. In some cases, applicants with a formal education might be able to negotiate higher salaries than those who only have apprenticeship experience.

Job Description

Opticians in FL help patients and customers choose functional, well-fitting eyewear and contact lenses. During their workdays, they perform tasks like:

  • Receiving and reviewing prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Measuring customer’s faces and eyes
  • Helping customers choose eyeglass frames that suit their eye and face measurements, as well as their style preferences
  • Offering functional treatment options for eyeglass lenses, including tints, anti-reflective coatings, and other features that make eyeglasses suitable for sports or occupational use
  • Resizing eyeglasses as needed to ensure a secure fit
  • Repairing or replacing eyeglass frames and lenses
  • Educating customers on proper eyeglasses and contact lens care
  • Processing insurance payments
  • Maintaining inventory and sales records for the store
  • Updating patient prescription records

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will likely be a four-percent increase in the demand for optician jobs over the next ten years. Completing an accredited school program and obtaining an official certification can improve your chances of qualifying for well-paying optician jobs in Florida.

Search Optician Certification Training Programs

Get information on Optician Certification Training programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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