Becoming an Optician in Massachusetts
If you are thinking of becoming a licensed optician in Massachusetts, you will be transitioning into a rewarding career field in one of the few U.S. states where opticians earn significantly high salaries. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Massachusetts is the top-paying state for this occupation. Opticians can work in private ophthalmic practices or in retail stores that sell eyeglasses and other optical products. If you are a people person with great communication skills, pursuing a career as an optician in Massachusetts can be a rewarding, very stable move.[En Español]
Optician Certification in Massachusetts
The prerequisite for getting certified as an optician in Massachusetts is a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. You must also pass an accredited optician certification program, such as the American Board of Opticianry (ABO). Once you have completed these requirements, you will be eligible to take the Licensing Examination for Opticians in Massachusetts (LEOM) and receive your license. Prior training or experience as an optician is highly recommended but not required to become certified.
Licensing Requirements for Opticians in Massachusetts
Licensure in Massachusetts is granted by the Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians. To qualify to test for an optician license in the state you must fulfill one of the following:
- Graduate from a two-year training program that is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
- Complete one year of an accredited opticianry program in addition to an apprenticeship of no less than 3,000 hours over at least 18 months
- Complete an apprenticeship of no less than 6,000 hours over three years or longer
If you already hold a bachelor’s degree you can enter an accelerated program and complete the course in one year. Before you can enter any formal training program you will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent.
To be eligible for licensure in Massachusetts, applicants must take and pass the American Board of Opticianry’s Certification (ABO) as well as the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) certification exam.
National Contact Lens Examiners Certification Exam for Opticians
The National Contact Lens Examiners Certification exam is a computer-based, pre-registered examination that tests the skills and knowledge of those seeking licensure as a Massachusetts optician. The four sections of the exam include basic optics, contact lens theory, contact lenses: fitting and evaluation, and patient care. After taking and passing the exam you can apply for licensure through the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians.
American Board of Opticianry Certification Exam for Opticians
The American Board of Opticianry (ABO) exam is the most widely accepted certification exam for opticians in Massachusetts. This computer-based, pre-registered examination tests a candidate’s knowledge and skills in basic optics, ocular anatomy, eyeglass frame selection, lens fabrication, contact lenses, ocular disease, and prescription verification. Passing this exam is the first step towards becoming a licensed optician in Massachusetts.
Once you have passed both of these exams, you must complete an apprenticeship program to become a fully licensed optician.
Career progression program for Opticians
As an optician, you can specialize in a variety of fields including contact lens fitting, ophthalmic laboratory technology, and optical management. You may also choose to pursue advanced education or certification in areas such as business administration, optical research, and development, or product promotion.
Regardless of which direction your career takes you, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement and career growth as an optician in Massachusetts. With the right training and dedication, you can quickly move up the ladder within your organization and become an integral part of the business.
Opticians in Massachusetts enjoy a wide range of benefits, including competitive salaries, excellent job security, and access to health care insurance plans. If you have the dedication and commitment to excel in this field, then a career as an optician in Massachusetts can provide you with a rewarding and successful future.
Massachusetts Optician Programs
If you will be attending an optician educational program in the state of Massachusetts, the only on-campus program available is through the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT), located in Boston. BFIT offers a two-year Associate Degree in Optometry during which students will learn:
- How to design, fit and dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses
- How to inspect eyewear for precision, proper fit, and aesthetics
- How to evaluate and troubleshoot optical concerns that patients might have
- How to prepare for local, state, and national licensing
After attending the program, BFIT offers job placement services with a 95-percent success rate. Additionally, 85 percent of opticianry students pass the NCLE certification exam. Alumni have gone on to become apprentice opticians, licensed opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists.
Another option for those in Massachusetts who do not wish to commute or relocate to attend BFIT for their Associate Degree in Optometry is Penn Foster College‘s online Optician Exam Prep Career Diploma program. This program can be completed in as little as seven months, covering topics such as:
- Optical principles, terminology, and anatomy
- Math for opticians
- Business English and professional practices
- Ophthalmic and contact lens dispensing
Optician students will have the opportunity to complete a practicum before graduation. Graduates of the Penn Foster program will be eligible to sit for the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE), the ABO exam, and the NCLE exam.
The Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA) is responsible for the accreditation of opticianry training programs in Massachusetts. The Commission evaluates and monitors academic institutions that offer optometric instruction to ensure they meet the standard of excellence required by the state.
Upon completion of an accredited program, students are eligible to sit for exams administered by the American Board of Opticianry and the National Contact Lens Examiners. With the proper credentials, you can begin your career as an optician in Massachusetts with confidence and security.
Job Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in Massachusetts
The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that roughly 1,220 people were working as certified opticians in Massachusetts in 2020 in addition to 920 ophthalmic medical technicians and 880 optometrists. The number of jobs for opticians in Massachusetts is expected to grow by 16 percent through the year 2030.
Also according to the BLS, Massachusetts is the highest-paying U.S. state for licensed opticians with an average annual wage of $46,470. If you decide you’d like to further your education after becoming an optician that is licensed, optometrists in Massachusetts earn an average annual wage of $128,020.
Salaries in Massachusetts by Occupation
|Profession||Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||1,140||$20.25||$42,130|
|Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians||300||$17.48||$36,350|
Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Massachusetts by Region
|Region||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary||10% Percentile||25% Percentile||Median||75% Percentile||90% Percentile|
|Barnstable Town, MA||**||$28.39||$59,050||$44,570||$49,880||$56,880||$63,230||$76,210|
|New Bedford, MA||30||$25.96||$53,990||$36,640||$50,720||$55,920||$60,960||$65,540|
Working as an Optician in Massachusetts
In a state that is a national leader in healthcare and technology, the future for opticians in Massachusetts is very positive, with opportunities for job openings and career advancement across the state. Additionally, one can expect a salary increase over the next decade, maintaining a 20 percent higher salary than opticians in other states. While an optometry office is the most common workplace for opticians, these professionals are also needed in retail stores, hospitals, clinics, and private ophthalmology practices, so you will likely have no problem landing a great job throughout the state.
41 Berkeley St, Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Opticianry – Associate Program
The Opticianry Associate’s degree program in Opticianry at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is offered at their campus in the city of Boston. This private, not-for-profit college has about 596 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 and the Commission on Technical and Career Institutions. Tuition fees are usually about $17,450 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,000, depending on the program chosen.
179 Longwood Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5896
Optometry – Bachelor Program
The Bachelor’s degree program in Optometry at MCPHS University can be taken at their campus in the city of Boston. This is a full, 4-year private college with 7,074 students, of which 56% are undergraduates. The university is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition is in the order of $32,590 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,172, although this varies from program to program.
New England College of Optometry offers multiple training options, including a Bachelor’s program, a Doctor program, and a Certificate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Boston, MA. This is a full, 4-year private college with 511 students, of which 0% are undergraduates. The college is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition is in the order of $20,319 yearly.
* 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 (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm directly with the college before applying.