Becoming an Optician in Kansas

A career as an optician is a great choice if you enjoy working with and helping people and are looking for a quick path into the healthcare industry. In Kansas you can become an optician without any special education or licensing. You’ll work hands-on with patients to help them pick out frames, to measure them for glasses, and to fill prescriptions and teach them about their lenses. By landing an entry-level job in an optometry practice, you can quickly begin working as a dispensing optician.[En Español]

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Training to Become an Optician in Kansas

About half of all states in the U.S. license opticians, but Kansas is not one of them. You do not have to have any particular degree or diploma or be licensed through the state to start working in this industry. There are two paths you can take to become an optician here. One is to seek out an entry-level job with an optician, optometrist or physician who will train you on the job. Another is to take courses in opticianry before seeking a job.

There are no optician programs at colleges in Kansas, but there are online programs that will provide you with all the information you need to be ready for a job. One great option is the Penn Foster online optician diploma. This program includes 10 courses and will prepare you to pass the exams for national licensing in opticianry and contact lenses. This is an easy way to access an education from anywhere in the state and to become a more desirable candidate for open positions.

National Certification for Opticians in Kansas

One of the benefits of completing a series of courses in optician studies is that it will prepare you to get a passing score on national certification exams. The American Board of Opticians examination and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) Contact Lens Registry examination are not required in Kansas for opticians, but many of the employers who hire opticians want to select candidates who hold these certifications. If you do not choose to go to school first, you can learn on the job and take the exams later.

Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in Kansas

Right now is a good time to start planning your career as an optician in Kansas. The field is growing at a rate of 12 percent, which is faster than average job growth. To illustrate the potential for jobs in this industry in the future, there were 1,020 opticians working in the state in 2014, but there are expected to be enough positions for 1,150 qualified opticians by 2024.

The salary for opticians can vary, but the average income in 2020 for those working in Kansas was $33,200 per year and $15.96 per hour. With more experience and national certification, salaries may increase. Related careers in the state include ophthalmic technicians, who assist ophthalmologists and who earned an average of $37,570 in 2020, and optometrists who go through much more training, are licensed by the state, and earned an average of $106,240 that year.

Salaries in Kansas by Occupation

ProfessionEmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Wage
Opticians, Dispensing840$14.35$29,840
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians670$15.72$32,690
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians260$15.18$31,580
Optometrists500$53.68$111,650

Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Kansas by Region

RegionTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary10% Percentile25% PercentileMedian75% Percentile90% Percentile
Kansas City, MO-KS580$15.39$32,000$24,000$27,230$31,510$36,560$39,920
Lawrence, KS30$15.34$31,910$25,600$28,110$32,720$36,370$38,560
Manhattan, KS**$15.23$31,680$22,570$26,120$31,250$37,010$40,940
Topeka, KS70$12.25$25,480$20,610$22,060$24,500$28,690$31,530
Wichita, KS180$14.12$29,370$22,690$26,150$29,300$33,030$37,200

Working as an Optician in Kansas

Most opticians in the state work for optometrists, who examine patients and write prescriptions for lenses. Opticians may also be hired by ophthalmologists and by other types of medical practices. They may work in hospitals, retail stores that sell glasses, clinics and medical laboratories. If you are ready to start working in this exciting healthcare career, consider trying an online program or contacting optometry practices in Kansas to look for an office hiring and training new opticians.

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Neighbor States

Residents of Kansas may also wish to review their options in Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma and Colorado.