Becoming an Optician in Idaho

Becoming a licensed optician in Idaho will pave the way to a stable future where you can expect to receive a competitive salary. There are many opportunities for job advancement as an optician in the state. Idaho is one of 22 states that allow employers to establish their expectations for optician training, education, and certification. Due to this fact, getting a jumpstart in the field isn’t a difficult task.[En Español

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Optician Certification in Idaho

Getting an optician certification in Idaho is the first step toward becoming an optician in the state. To qualify for certification, Idaho requires applicants to have completed a minimum of two years of relevant training and education from an accredited source.

Optician Certification Training Programs in Idaho

There are not many on-campus optician certification training programs in Idaho since licensure is not a requirement to work in the field, but if you would like to further your education in the vision care industry, Idaho State offers an optometry program.

For those interested in learning about opticianry before seeking a job, Penn Foster College offers an online Optician Exam Prep Career Diploma Program that can be completed in as little as seven months. While many places of employment do provide on-the-job training, having a diploma from Penn Foster on your resume will likely place you above other candidates for the same position who have little to no experience in the field. Apprenticeship programs with optometrists and ophthalmologists are also available in the state.

Additionally, opticians in Idaho must pass a written exam administered by the Idaho Board of Optometry Examiners (IBOE). This test ensures that certified opticians possess the necessary knowledge to help patients with their vision needs. The exam covers topics such as optics, contact lenses, anatomy and physiology of the eye, ocular disease identification, instrument operation, visual acuity assessment, frame selection/styling, refraction, and more.

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Penn Foster College – Online Optician Exam Prep Career Diploma

Complete this program in as little as seven months. Format designed by board certified and state-licensed opticians. Opportunity to complete a practicum before graduation. The program will help you prepare for dispensing optician national certification exams, administered by ABO and the NCLE, by providing you with exam prep materials. Call 1-800-851-1819 today.

Licensing Requirements for Idaho Opticians

Like 21 other states, Idaho does not require opticians to obtain licensure or certifications before working in the field. Many prospective opticians throughout the state are hired as optician assistants or retail sales associates in vision chains or private ophthalmic practices and given on-the-job training. Opticians help patients select eyeglass frames and lenses, learn to use new contact lenses, and supply other vision care needs, but opticians in Idaho do not include prescriptive authority.

Upon receiving on-the-job training or taking part in an online diploma program, you will qualify to sit for the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) exam and the National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) exam should you choose to do so. This extra step will provide you with credentials that can help you attain a competitive employment opportunity as an optician.

ABO Certification Exam

In addition to the written exam, certified opticians must also pass the American Board of Opticianry Certification Exam. This consists of three separate exams that cover visual optics and dispensing contact lenses, and vision therapy/low vision rehabilitation. Passing the exam is a requirement for becoming an official optician in Idaho.

National Contact Lens Examiners Exam

Finally, opticians must also pass the National Contact Lens Examiners Exam. This exam consists of both a written and practical component covering topics such as laboratory procedures, contact lens fitting, troubleshooting, eye care patient education, and more. Passing the exam is a requirement for becoming an official optician in Idaho.

Once all three exams are completed, applicants are eligible to receive their optician certification and begin practicing in Idaho. Working as an optician can be a rewarding career that provides the opportunity to help patients improve their vision and overall quality of life.

By completing the necessary steps and obtaining the proper certifications, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a licensed Idaho optician and taking advantage of the numerous job opportunities that await you.

Continuing Education

Board-certified opticians are also able to take continuing education courses in a variety of areas, including ophthalmic dispensing, optical measurements, and contact lenses.

Opticians in Idaho must complete 3 hours of continuing education each year to maintain their license. Continuing education must be approved by the IBOE for it to count toward the maintenance of licensure. Courses are available through organizations such as the American Board of Opticianry (ABO), the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE), and the National Academy of Opticianry (NAO).

Once you have become certified as an optician in Idaho, there are many career opportunities available to qualified professionals. Many of these positions offer competitive salaries and benefits packages that make it a desirable profession for those looking to get ahead in their field. Additionally, opticians in Idaho may choose to specialize in a specific area of vision care, such as contact lenses or pediatric care. Opticians who become certified in a specialized field can expect an even higher salary and more job opportunities.

As an Idaho optician, you will be responsible for providing high-quality customer service and helping patients receive the best possible vision

Outlook and Salaries for Idaho Opticians

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 600 people were working as opticians in Idaho in 2020. Additionally, 220 people were working as ophthalmic medical technicians, as well as 260  people, were employed as optometrists in the same year. By 2030, it is predicted that jobs for licensed opticians in Idaho will grow considerably, up to 23 percent.

The average annual salary for licensed opticians working in Idaho was $78,280 in 2021. Ophthalmic medical technologists earned approximately $38,860 in 2021, and optometrists earned an average of $78,280 in the same year.

Salaries in Idaho by Occupation

ProfessionEmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Wage
Opticians, Dispensing490$16.55$34,430
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians230$15.53$32,300
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians30$21.20$44,110

Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Idaho by Region

RegionTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary10% Percentile25% PercentileMedian75% Percentile90% Percentile
Boise City, ID270$16.90$35,150$21,450$24,030$33,260$44,380$54,320
Idaho Falls, ID50$14.24$29,610$21,530$24,170$28,520$34,390$38,600

Working as an Idaho Optician

The job outlook for licensed opticians in Idaho is good. While job openings for opticians can be found throughout the state, employment opportunities in Boise, Coeur d Alene, and Twin Falls, Idaho, are plentiful. It is not uncommon for the title of Retail Sales Associate and Optician to be interchangeable in Idaho. A majority of these job openings do not require prior experience, so you can secure an optician job in Idaho immediately. Aside from retail vision care chains, opticians can be found working in private optometry and ophthalmic practices, eye clinics, and hospitals.

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