How to Become an Optician in Texas

optician helps kids with glasses

Becoming an optician is a smart way for aspiring optometrists to gain valuable industry experience.

Education & Training

Below are some accredited training courses that will help you get started.

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

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    How Do You Benefit From These Programs?

    Part of the outcome is to prep students for the Basic American Board of Opticianry (ABO) exams.  This includes the NOCE (National Opticianry Competency Exam) and the CLRE (Contact Lens Registry Exam).

    abo-ncle-logos

    You will not need to submit OAT scores when applying to this program (more on this below).

    How Much Does the Program Cost?

    Just about $2,000.

    Associates degree of bachelor degree programs in the state might cost anywhere from $14,000 to $30,000 per academic year.

    How Long Is It?

    You can complete the training in about 6 months.

    Associate’s degree courses take at least 2 years to complete. Optician apprenticeships in Texas are typically about 2 years long, as well.

    What Will You Study?

    Most course curriculums will offer the following classes:

    • Ocular Anatomy and Physiology
    • Fundamentals of Optometry
    • Optical Technology and Refractometry
    • Measuring, Shaping, and Repairing Eyewear
    • Spectacle Fabrication
    • Contact and Ophthalmic Lens Dispensing

    Additional Knowledge

    Students also learn how to identify and use optician tools, including various adjustment pliers, cutters, screwdrivers, and frame warmers.

    Texas Optician Requirements

    Unlicensed applicants can qualify for entry-level optician jobs in Texas. However, candidates with an official certification might have an easier time getting work.

    In fact, most employers, optometrists, and ophthalmologists exclusively hire workers who possess an optician license from the American Board of Opticianry (ABO).

    Required ABO Exams

    To obtain their licenses in dispensing eyeglasses and contact lenses, aspiring opticians in TX must pass two ABO exams:

    Both exams test your knowledge on topics like anatomy and physiology of the eye, ocular diseases and treatments, and standard clinical opticianry skills. Passing these tests shows potential employers that you have an in-depth understanding of this profession, which could increase your chances of getting hired.

    Optometry Admissions Test

    People who take optician classes as part of an extensive four-year optometry degree program might need to pass an Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) through the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

    Questions on this pre-requisite exam cover general topics to determine prospective optometry school students’ potential for success.

    The OAT assesses your competency level with four multiple-choice exams on the following subjects:

    1. Reading Comprehension
    2. Physics
    3. Quantitative Reasoning
    4. The Survey of National Sciences (General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biology)

    Apprenticeships

    Local eyeglasses retailers might offer apprenticeship programs for inexperienced employees looking to work in the optometry field.

    To qualify for an apprentice position in an ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s office, you might need to be an optician school student or graduate.

    Hands-On Learning

    Working as an apprentice optician in TX involves completing hands-on optician tasks that help you develop the essential communication and customer service skills you need for the job. Apprentice opticians usually:

    • Greet customers and patients when they arrive at the store or doctor’s office
    • Take inventory and stock supply shelves
    • Receive and fill patient prescriptions
    • Use industry-approved equipment and tools to take customers’ face and eye measurements and shape eyeglasses

    Additional Skills Needed

    In smaller stores and offices, optician apprentices might also perform optical technician duties, such as creating contact lenses or cutting eyeglass lenses and inserting them into frames.

    Optician Salaries in TX

    Although the average optician salary in Texas is about $37,890 per year, opticians in TX earn different wages depending on their location.

    Below are some average salaries and hourly wages for areas of the state.

    State Hourly Annual
    Abilene $16.48 $34,280.00
    Amarillo $16.64 $34,600.00
    Austin-Round Rock $19.15 $39,820.00
    Beaumont-Port Arthur $18.40 $38,270.00
    Big Thicket $16.90 $35,150.00
    Border Region $16.34 $33,980.00
    Brownsville-Harlingen $16.25 $33,790.00
    Coastal Plains $17.61 $36,630.00
    College Station-Bryan $17.23 $35,830.00
    Corpus Christi $17.61 $36,620.00
    Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington $19.16 $39,860.00
    El Paso $15.97 $33,210.00
    Hill Country $17.46 $36,310.00
    Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land $17.99 $37,430.00
    Killeen-Temple $17.56 $36,530.00
    Laredo $15.50 $32,240.00
    Longview $16.71 $34,760.00
    Lubbock $16.32 $33,940.00
    McAllen-Edinburg-Mission $15.64 $32,530.00
    Midland $18.96 $39,430.00
    North Texas $17.05 $35,470.00
    Odessa $19.10 $39,730.00
    San Angelo $15.97 $33,210.00
    San Antonio-New Braunfels $19.07 $39,670.00
    Texarkana $15.83 $32,920.00
    Tyler $16.19 $33,680.00
    Victoria $17.05 $35,460.00
    Waco $16.34 $33,990.00
    West Texas $17.26 $35,900.00
    Wichita Falls $15.91 $33,100.00

    Occupation: Opticians, Dispensing (SOC Code292081)
    source: data.bls.gov

    Performance-based raises can increase your annual earnings over time, so experienced opticians in TX often make about $50,000 per year.

    If you work in an optometrist’s or ophthalmologist’s office, your yearly salary might reach up to $68,000.

    Job Description

    Opticians in TX work in retail stores and optometrists’ or ophthalmologists’ offices, filling prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. To ensure customer and patient satisfaction, these trained professionals:

    • Review patients’ eyeglasses and contact lens prescriptions
    • Measure the customer or patient’s face and eyes
    • Select contact lenses that fit the shape and size of the patient’s eyes
    • Offer practical treatments, tints, and coatings for eyeglass lenses
    • Help customers select eyeglass frames based on their style and color preferences
    • Reshape and resize eyeglass frames as needed to ensure a proper, secure fit
    • Fix damaged or broken eyeglasses
    • Instruct customers and patients on how to care for their eyeglasses and contact lenses
    • Updating patients’ prescriptions and purchase history records
    • Process insurance payments
    • Maintain store inventory and sales records

    Career Outlook

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for opticians in the U.S. to increase by about four percent over the next decade. If you have the proper certification, as well as previous customer service experience, you should be able to qualify for most optician jobs in Texas. Candidates with official credentials typically stand out among applicants with certificates when looking for optician jobs in TX.

    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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