Becoming an Optician in Delaware
As an optician in Delaware, you will work closely with customers to help select, fit, measure, and adapt eyeglass frames and contact lenses based on any prescriptions or specifications provided by the doctor. Because a large portion of the job is customer service, licensed opticians usually are naturally outgoing individuals who enjoy helping others, especially when it comes to making the ideal decision regarding their eyewear for eye health, vision, and, of course, style. Dispensing opticians can be found working in hospitals, private optometry, ophthalmic practices, vision care chains, and clinics.[En Español]
Optician Certification in Delaware
In Delaware, the Board of Examiners in Optometry is responsible for certifying and regulating opticians. To become an optician in Delaware, you must hold a valid certification from the board. The requirements to obtain this certification include completing an approved course of study in dispensed optics, passing both written and practical exams administered by the board, and holding a valid state license to practice optometry.
In addition to this, you must also pass a criminal background check, pay the necessary fees, and complete any continuing education requirements required by the board. Once certified, you will be responsible for keeping your certification up to date and adhering to all of the rules and regulations set forth
Delaware Optician Certification Training Programs
As of now, there are no on-campus optician certification training programs offered in Delaware. Many individuals opt instead for on-the-job training opportunities or online courses to obtain the training necessary to sit for the licensing exams.
Penn Foster College offers an online Optician Exam Prep Career Diploma Program that can be completed in just seven months. While many places of employment do provide on-the-job training, having a diploma from Penn Foster will allow you to take licensing exams before seeking employment.
Continuing education is also important for opticians in Delaware. Taking courses, attending seminars, and reading up on the latest advances in eyewear technology can provide you with a better understanding of your field and how it’s progressing over time. Continuing education can also provide you with the opportunity to network with other members of the optical community who may be able to provide assistance or advice in the future.
Licensing for Opticians in Delaware
Similar to other states, Delaware does not have any laws that govern the licensing and certification of opticians. This often means that optical employers are left to determine their requirements regarding hiring and employing new apprentices and/or opticians. That said, many opticians gain knowledge of the field during on-the-job training.
Since some employers require certification, licensing is a good idea even if it isn’t a requirement for the state. Obtaining your license before seeking employment will help you stand out from the crowd, but to do so you will need to take some classes to get a better understanding of the job and its requirements. At a minimum, study the information that’s available on the Delaware chapter of the American Optometric Association website.
Once you have studied, completed a certification course, or trained on the job, you can take the necessary exams including the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) exam and the National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) exam. These exams are offered at three levels: beginner, advanced, and master. So, for example, if you’re new to the field and studied at home, you might want to start with the beginner’s exam and work your way up. Each exam costs $225, but if you’re employed and receiving on-the-job training, it is not uncommon for employers to pay exam fees.
Outlook and Salaries for Delaware Opticians
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were about 360 people employed as Opticians in Delaware in 2020. Additionally, 240 people were working as ophthalmic medical technicians, and approximately 100 optometrists working in the same year. The BLS predicts that jobs for licensed opticians in Delaware will grow considerably, up to 17 percent by 2030.
As of May 2021, the average salary for Delaware licensed opticians was $38,240. Ophthalmic medical technologists earned approximately $48,080 in 2021, and optometrists earned an average of $105,060 in the same year. Those who are working as unlicensed opticians can expect to earn considerably less to start, sometimes as low as $23,310 per year. This is another reason why obtaining licensure will better your career as an optician, providing you with more financial stability.
Salaries in Delaware by Occupation
|Profession||Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||190||$18.30||$38,070|
Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Delaware by Region
|Region||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary||10% Percentile||25% Percentile||Median||75% Percentile||90% Percentile|
Working as an Optician in Delaware
The job outlook for opticians in Delaware is great, with many job opportunities throughout the state, especially in the cities of Wilmington and Newark. Opticians in the state of Delaware are frequently hired to work in private ophthalmic practices and vision chains, but opticians can also be found employed in local hospitals or clinics. Additionally, it is not uncommon for experienced opticians to be promoted to Optical managers of private optical groups or optical retail chains.