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]

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Optician Certification in Connecticut

To become an optician in Connecticut, you must complete an approved training program and pass an exam administered by the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians.

Optician Certification Training Programs in Connecticut

While there are minimal options for post-secondary opticianry schooling in Connecticut, there are a couple of optician certification training 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 College offers an Optician Exam Prep 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 schedule.

National Opticianry Competency Examination

Regardless of the type of training you complete, the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians requires all those wishing to become licensed opticians to pass the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE). This exam is administered by the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO/NCLE).

The NOCE is a two-part exam that focuses on both theoretical and practical aspects of opticianry. To pass the exam, you must obtain a minimum score that is specified by each state board of opticians. Once you have successfully passed the NOCE, you can apply for your optician license with the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians.

After obtaining your optician license, you’ll need to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years to renew your license. You can find a list of approved courses and seminars on the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians website.

National Contact Lens Examination

Additionally, if you plan to dispense contact lenses in Connecticut, you will need to pass the National Contact Lens Examination (NCLE). This exam is also administered by ABO/NCLE and covers topics related to fitting and prescribing contact lenses.

After obtaining your optician license and passing the NOCE and NCLE exams, you have all the necessary credentials to begin working as an optician in Connecticut. With experience, you may be able to move up into higher-paying management positions within retail eye care centers or hospital vision departments. You can also consider opening your private practice or becoming a consultant if you’d like more control over your work schedule and income.

Licensed Opticians in Connecticut

There are a few steps you will need to follow to become a licensed optician in Connecticut. To receive a certification from the Connecticut State Department of Health there are licensing requirements.

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.

Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in Connecticut

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 620 people employed as opticians in Connecticut in 2018. Additionally, 700 people were working as ophthalmic medical technicians, and 750 employed optometrists in the same year. It’s predicted that jobs for certified opticians in the state of Connecticut will expand by 8 percent through 2028.

In 2020, the average salary for licensed opticians in Connecticut was $62,820 per year. Ophthalmic medical technicians made approximately $40,270 annually, while optometrists earned an average of $145,160 for the same year.

Salaries in Connecticut by Occupation

ProfessionEmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Wage
Opticians, Dispensing720$21.59$44,900
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians920$21.15$43,990
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians350$23.52$48,910

Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Connecticut by Region

RegionTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary10% Percentile25% PercentileMedian75% Percentile90% Percentile
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT130$25.81$53,680$29,160$37,530$51,060$68,410$81,200
Danbury, CT30$30.31$63,050$46,210$55,520$65,160$73,000$77,700
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT190$21.57$44,870$26,440$31,820$42,150$57,670$67,640
New Haven, CT220$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
Springfield, MA-CT160$23.45$48,770$31,560$38,420$47,050$57,100$68,800
Waterbury, CT**$18.23$37,920$21,020$27,470$37,820$46,430$52,730
Worcester, MA-CT**$21.81$45,370$27,830$32,990$46,170$57,540$62,370

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.

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College Programs

Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT Area

Goodwin College

One Riverside Drive, East Hartford, Connecticut 06118
(860) 528-4111
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.

Middlesex Community College

100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, Connecticut 06457-4829
(860) 343-5701
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’ accreditation status are, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics ( Confirm directly with college before applying.

Neighbor States

Residents of Connecticut may also wish to review their options in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island.