Becoming an Optician in Connecticut
As an optician you will work closely with patients to fill vision prescriptions, help pick out new frames and educate customers on their vision care options. Depending on where you are employed, some opticians in Connecticut are expected to perform administrative duties as well as cut and fit frames and lenses in the lab. Opticians work in a variety of settings including private ophthalmic practices, retail vision chains, hospitals and clinics. Most opticians are outgoing by nature and have a genuine love for helping others.[En Español]
Licensing for Opticians in Connecticut
There are a few steps you will need to follow in order to become licensed as an optician in Connecticut. To receive a certification from the Connecticut State Department of Health you will need to:
- Have an associate’s degree or equivalent work experience (at least four years or 8,000 hours)
- Take and pass both the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) exams
- Provide verification of an apprenticeship or on-the-job training of at least 8,000 hours if an associate’s degree was not obtained
In Connecticut, you can opt to obtain on-the-job training under a licensed optician over formal education, but you will need to complete no less than 8,000 hours. Once you have met these requirements, you will then need to submit a notarized application to the state board. Along with this application, verification of an apprenticeship and/or education is required. There is a $200 filing fee or license renewals in addition to exam costs.
Connecticut Optician Programs
While there are minimal options for post-secondary opticianry schooling in Connecticut, there are a couple of programs you can choose from if you’d prefer to have formal training.
- Goodwin College in East Hartford, Connecticut, offers an associate’s degree in Vision Care Technology. This program provides hands-on training where students will have the opportunity to work with customers and obtain proper patient interaction skills. Upon completion of the two-year program, students will be eligible to sit for both the ABO and NCLE exams.
- Penn Foster Career School offers an Optician Career Diploma Program that can be completed in as little as seven months. This is an online program, which means students can live anywhere in Connecticut and still enroll, and also work at their own pace and on their own schedule.
Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in Connecticut
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 720 people employed as opticians in Connecticut in 2017. Additionally, there were 920 people working as ophthalmic medical technicians and 250 employed optometrists in the same year. It’s predicted that jobs for certified opticians in the state of Connecticut will expand by 19.8 percent through 2024.
In 2017, the average salary for licensed opticians in Connecticut was $44,900 per year. Ophthalmic medical technicians made approximately $43,990 annually, while optometrists earned an average of $138,850 for the same year.
Salaries in Connecticut by Occupation
|Profession||Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||920||$21.15||$43,990|
|Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians||350||$23.52||$48,910|
Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Connecticut by Region
|Region||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary||10% Percentile||25% Percentile||Median||75% Percentile||90% Percentile|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||190||$21.57||$44,870||$26,440||$31,820||$42,150||$57,670||$67,640|
|New Haven, CT||220||$19.70||$40,970||$25,820||$27,890||$31,370||$55,770||$65,400|
|Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI||**||$20.16||$41,940||$24,560||$32,560||$40,790||$53,470||$60,300|
Working as an Optician in Connecticut
Job opportunities for licensed opticians in Connecticut are plentiful and will continue to grow over the next decade. Due to the demand for opticians in the state, the Connecticut Opticians Association posts a variety of employment opportunities on an ongoing basis. Opticians can be found working in many different locations throughout Connecticut, but it’s most common for licensed opticians to be hired to work in private optometry and ophthalmic practices as well as retail vision chains.
One Riverside Drive, East Hartford, Connecticut 06118
Vision Care Technology – Associate Program
Goodwin College’s Associate-level Vision Care Technology program is based at their campus in the city of East Hartford. This private, not-for-profit college has round 3,549 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Tuition fees are generally around $20,888 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $1,000, although this will depend on the program.
100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, Connecticut 06457-4829
Ophthalmic Medical Assisting – Associate Program
The Associate’s degree program in Ophthalmic Medical Assisting at Middlesex Community College is based at their campus in the city of Middletown, CT. The majority of of the school’s 2,902 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $4,276 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,200, although this will vary with the program.
* Tuition fees and colleges’ accredition status are, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm directly with college before applying.