Becoming an Optician in Nebraska
If you’re interested in helping people find the appropriate products to solve their vision problems, a career in opticianry may be the right choice for you. Opticians have the opportunity to assist patients and customers and work alongside optometrists and ophthalmologists, by filling prescriptions and fitting customers with the styles and types of eyewear that best suit them.[En Español]
Licensing and Certification Requirements for Opticians in Nebraska
Of the 50 states in the U.S., there are 27 that do not require licensing for opticians. Nebraska is one of these states, making it less complicated to enter the field. If you are interested in this career, you’ll want to make the most of any learning opportunities available so you can excel within the trade. Pursuing higher education and gaining real-world experience in opticianry will increase your chances of finding work and can also increase your salary.
National Optician Certification in Nebraska
The American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE) offers a voluntary exam that will grant you national certification as an optician. To take this exam, you simply need a high school diploma or GED. Proper preparation for the exam would include at least two years of hands-on experience within the trade, as well as completion of some vision-related courses.
You can be certified by taking the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) Contact Lens Registry examination.
National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) Contact Lens Registry Examination
This exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions, covering topics like vision science, contact lenses and patient care. You will have two hours to complete the exam and a score of 75 or higher is required to pass. The fee for this exam is $145.
American Board of Opticianry (ABO) Certification Examination
This exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and covers topics like lensometry, ophthalmic dispensing and patient care. You will have three hours to complete the exam and a score of 75 or higher is required to pass. The fee for this certification is $195.
Optician Certification Training Programs in Nebraska
Since the state of Nebraska does not set requirements for people looking to enter the opticianry field, you can choose not to go to school and still be able to find work. However, going to school to gain additional knowledge and expertise will set you apart from other applicants. Although there are no on-campus opticianry programs in Nebraska, below is an online schooling option to consider.
- Penn Foster College offers an Optician Exam Prep Career Diploma Program that can be completed in less than one year. With three payment options, enrollment will cost between $999 and $1,179. This program offers the freedom and flexibility of setting your schedule and completing courses at your own pace. Enrollment information and other resources can be found on their website.
Continuing education is also important for opticians. It helps you stay up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques, as well as remain current with trends.
Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in Nebraska
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that about 640 opticians were working in Nebraska in 2020. By 2030, employment for opticians is expected to increase by 16 percent in this state alone. This is growth to look forward to for aspiring opticians. In 2021, the BLS also reported that opticians typically earned an average of $14.66 per hour in this state, which equals $30,500 annually.
Salaries in Nebraska by Occupation
|Profession||Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||410||$16.33||$33,960|
|Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians||110||$16.31||$33,930|
Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Nebraska by Region
|Region||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary||10% Percentile||25% Percentile||Median||75% Percentile||90% Percentile|
|Grand Island, NE||60||$13.92||$28,960||$19,700||$22,820||$29,730||$35,170||$38,050|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||350||$17.38||$36,160||$22,100||$27,680||$36,550||$44,960||$49,660|
|Sioux City, IA-NE-SD||70||$16.30||$33,890||$24,260||$27,570||$33,480||$39,770||$46,840|
Working as an Optician in Nebraska
Where you choose to work will determine the amount of money you’ll make as an optician in Nebraska. The highest-paying cities for opticians in this state include Lincoln, Omaha, and Sioux City.
You will excel in this field if you enjoy working with people and providing great customer service. When you are just starting, you might expect to work in a retail eyewear store. As you gain experience and increase your knowledge within the field, you will likely be able to find work in a more intimate setting, like an optometry office or ophthalmology clinic.
Dispensing opticians are very important members of the eye care team, and they must have excellent communication skills to be successful.
Numbers show that the job market for opticians in Nebraska will only increase over time, so now is as good a time as any to begin your journey as an optician.