Becoming an Optician in North Dakota

Optometrists and ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in vision care. Their responsibilities include examining eyes for vision and health problems, diagnosing and treating eye-related diseases, and writing prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. As an optician, you may find yourself working directly with these doctors to help patients improve their vision. Otherwise, you will certainly work closely with customers and clients by filling their prescriptions and helping them find the right products for their needs.[En Español]

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Licensing Requirements for Opticians in North Dakota

You may choose to work as an optician in a state that requires licensing or in a state that does not set this requirement for people looking to enter the field. If you are looking to practice opticianry in North Dakota, you will not need to meet any state-mandated requirements before getting started. While this could be something to look forward to, it’s best not to pass up the educational options available to you. Taking advantage of higher education in opticianry will show potential employers that you take your career seriously.

Opting to earn national certification through the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE) will exemplify your expertise and interest in advancing within the trade. Your high school diploma or GED, along with at least two years of hands-on experience and completion of opticianry courses, will likely set you up to pass this certification exam with flying colors. If you choose to earn this certification, you can expect to qualify for jobs that require more complex knowledge and skill sets, which can result in higher pay.

Optician Certification Training Programs in North Dakota

With Nebraska being one of the U.S. states that does not require opticians to be licensed, there are currently no on-campus opticianry programs in the state. But online schooling options are a great choice for those seeking specialized training in this area.

  • Penn Foster College offers an Optician Exam Prep Career Diploma Program, which can be completed entirely online in as few as seven months. You can enroll for a total cost of $1,179 or less, and you will be in control of when you take your courses as well as how soon you complete them. This flexibility allows you to learn on your own time and at your own pace. Request enrollment information to learn more.

National Optician Certification In North Dakota

If you are interested in pursuing a career as an optician in North Dakota, obtaining your national certification will open the door to more job opportunities. The process of earning this credential involves passing a two-part exam. You must complete the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) exams separately and score at least 75% on both tests in order to receive your certification. The ABO certification exam consists of 120 questions, and the NCLE exam is composed of 30 questions. Upon successful completion of both exams, you will become an ABO-NCLE Certified Optician and can add this credential to your résumé.

Once you have earned your certification, it is important to maintain it. You will need to recertify every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education or passing either the ABO or NCLE exam. With accepted national certifications, you can transition quite easily into positions throughout North Dakota and beyond.

North Dakota Jurisprudence Examination

Regardless of whether you choose to pursue certification through the ABO-NCLE, you may need to take a North Dakota Jurisprudence Exam if your job requires it. This exam tests your knowledge about the laws and regulations that govern opticians in North Dakota. You will be given two hours to complete this 75-question test, which is available for free online. Once you have successfully passed this exam, you will receive a certificate of completion to provide your employer as proof that you are qualified to practice in the state.

Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in North Dakota

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides some encouraging data for aspiring opticians in North Dakota. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 370 people employed as opticians in 2020. By 2030, that number is expected to increase by 11 percent, which is 7 percent higher than the national growth expected for opticians within this same timeframe. This is goof for future opticians.

Entry level position in the industry can expect to make an median salary of $37,130 while those with more experience and/or certifications can earn upwards of $47,210. With higher credentials comes a wider range of job opportunities and better money-making potential.

Salaries in North Dakota by Occupation

ProfessionEmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Wage
Opticians, Dispensing390$15.68$32,620
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians240$18.47$38,420
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians50$16.44$34,200

Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in North Dakota by Region

RegionTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary10% Percentile25% PercentileMedian75% Percentile90% Percentile
Bismarck, ND120$15.75$32,760$25,030$27,180$30,450$36,260$43,470
Fargo, ND-MN110$15.81$32,890$25,260$27,990$32,560$37,210$41,840
Grand Forks, ND-MN70$13.72$28,550$21,560$23,840$27,750$31,860$37,470

Optician Employment in North Dakota

Cities like Fargo and Bismarck will provide the highest salaries for opticians in North Dakota. There will be jobs available in retail eyewear environments, which will require employees to have at least basic knowledge in the field.

Opticians should know multifocal lens considerations, corrective eye care solutions and eye care practices.

If you are interested in working in a more specialized setting, like an ophthalmology practice or optometry office, you’ll want to be sure you have the expertise that will help you qualify. The more knowledge and insight you can share with your customers, the more likely they are to return or spread the word about your excellent service. This will make you a valuable asset to any opticianry team.

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Neighbor States

See options in MontanaSouth Dakota, and Minnesota.