Becoming an Optician in New Hampshire
If you have been thinking of making a career change, job growth for opticians in New Hampshire is considerably strong and is expected to maintain its stability for years to come. This means that you will experience more than just a rewarding career—you will have many opportunities for advancement over the years. Opticians in New Hampshire are often hired to work in private ophthalmic practices but are also employed in retail stores that sell eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as in hospitals and clinics.[En Español]
Licensing for Opticians in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is one of the U.S. states that does not mandate certification for opticians; however, practicing opticians are free to obtain their national certification from the American Board of Opticianry’s Certification (ABO) as well as take the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) certification exam. While these credentials are not required, being nationally certified will improve your earning potential and support your professional development. Once you obtain ABO-NCLE qualifications, you will need to maintain an active status and become recertified every three years.
The New Hampshire Board of Optometry regulates the issuing of licenses to practicing opticians throughout the state. To become a licensed optician, you will need to complete a two-year board-approved program in optometry. After successfully completing the program, you will be eligible to take the written exam by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO). To obtain your license, you will need to earn a passing score of at least 75 percent on the exam and pass a clinical proficiency exam administered by the Northeast Regional Clinical Optometric Assessment Testing Service (NERCOATS).
Other licensing requirements in New Hampshire include proof of CPR certification and two recommendation letters from practicing optometrists who have professional knowledge of the applicant.
New Hampshire Optician Programs
Unlike other states that require licensure, New Hampshire does not enforce technical skill training or examination requirements. This also means that there are no official campus programs in New Hampshire for opticianry.
However, if you are interested in acquiring formal optician training, the Penn Foster Career School offers an online Optician Career Diploma Program that will provide you with all of the coursework and knowledge needed to begin working as an optician. Upon completion of the program you will be eligible to sit for the above mentioned ABO and NCLE certification exams.
Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in New Hampshire
The outlook for optician careers in New Hampshire is very good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 550 people employed in New Hampshire as opticians in 2017 as well as 300 people employed as ophthalmic medical technicians. In the same year, there were approximately 150 optometrists working in New Hampshire. Jobs for opticians in the state are expected to expand by 24 percent through 2024.
Opticians in New Hampshire earned, on average, $39,740 annually in 2017, according to the BLS. If you are interested in furthering your education, related vision care careers in New Hampshire also come with great salaries. In 2017, ophthalmic technicians earned an average of $41,840 annually, while optometrists earned an average of $135,860 in the same year.
Salaries in New Hampshire by Occupation
|Profession||Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||300||$20.12||$41,840|
|Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians||110||$17.74||$36,890|
Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in New Hampshire by Region
|Region||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary||10% Percentile||25% Percentile||Median||75% Percentile||90% Percentile|
Working as an Optician in New Hampshire
The majority of opticians in New Hampshire work under optometrists in private practices, but there are plenty of these offices in the state that will need qualified opticians in the coming years. Opticians can also be found in retail stores, local hospitals, clinics and chain eyeglass shops. Regardless of the setting you choose to work in, you can expect plenty of opportunities for growth. To keep up with job openings, the New Hampshire Opticians Society often lists vision care positions that are available throughout the state.