Becoming an Optician in Oklahoma
If you enjoy working with people and helping improve their vision, becoming an optician could be the perfect career choice for your interests. While ophthalmologists and optometrists test vision and write the necessary prescriptions for vision correction, opticians use these prescriptions to help patients find the correct eyeglasses, contact lenses and other vision improvement products to fit their needs.[En Español]
Licensing for Opticians in Oklahoma
While some states in the U.S. require opticians to be licensed before becoming employed, Oklahoma is not one of them. This means the requirements you must meet in order to become an optician in Oklahoma will be set by your employer.
Though there are no official licensing requirements for this state, it is a good idea to learn as much as possible if you’d like to advance in this career field. You can become a nationally certified optician through the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE). Aside from a high school diploma or GED, there is no formal education required to take the ABO-NCLE exam. However, in order to prepare for the test, it is recommended that you have two to three years of hands-on experience or complete an opticianry program.
The ABO-NCLE certification can result in higher pay and faster career advancement. This voluntary certification will show that you are qualified to work as an optician and are serious about your career. Without this certification, you can still become an optician in Oklahoma by following the requirements set by your desired employer.
Optician Programs in Oklahoma
Since there are no official licensing requirements for opticians in Oklahoma, there aren’t many schools offering on-campus opticianry courses. There are several undergraduate programs as well as entire schools dedicated to education for optometrists and ophthalmologists, but aspiring opticians do not require the same kind of in-depth knowledge in order to be successful. Below are a couple of educational options that Oklahoma opticians can consider:
- Tulsa Technology Center offers a vision care program that currently costs a total of $3,735. The program grants students a certificate upon completion and will allow you to assist ophthalmologists with patient procedures and perform various vision/diagnostics tests. This program takes one year for high school students to complete and can be completed by adult students in as few as five months.
- Penn Foster Career School is another option for opticians in any state, because the program is entirely online. You can complete the Optician Career Diploma Program in just under seven months. Customized payment plans allow you to complete this program at a total cost of $1,179 or less.
Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in Oklahoma
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2017 opticians earned an average of $30,950 for the year, which breaks down to $14.88 per hour. During the same year, the BLS shows that ophthalmic medical technicians made $33,700, or $16.20 per hour.
Salaries in Oklahoma by Occupation
|Profession||Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||690||$16.20||$33,700|
|Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians||270||$15.13||$31,480|
Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Oklahoma by Region
|Region||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary||10% Percentile||25% Percentile||Median||75% Percentile||90% Percentile|
|Fort Smith, AR-OK||50||$19.75||$41,090||$20,840||$29,090||$36,440||$46,460||$58,140|
|Oklahoma City, OK||390||$16.09||$33,470||$22,930||$27,670||$33,010||$38,120||$46,320|
In 2016, there were 840 opticianry jobs in Oklahoma, and by 2026 there are expected to be a total of 900 positions within the field. This career also sees an average of 70 new job openings per year in this state alone. This large number of annual openings is something to look forward to if you are thinking about entering the field.
Working as an Optician in Oklahoma
This job field in Oklahoma is expected to grow by 6.8 percent in the 10-year period from 2016 to 2026. You can take your career as far as you would like by choosing to go above and beyond in your endeavors to learn as much as possible about being an optician. You can also expect to receive the highest pay in the cities of Fort Smith, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, respectively. Opticians can find work in a variety of environments, including retail eyeglass stores, optometry and ophthalmology offices and clinics, and anywhere else that provides eye-related medical care.
- Fort Smith, AR-OK
- Lawton, OK
- Northeastern Oklahoma Nonmetropolitan Area
- Northwestern Oklahoma Nonmetropolitan Area
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Southeastern Oklahoma Nonmetropolitan Area
- Tulsa, OK
600 N Grand, Tahlequah, Oklahoma 74464-2399
Optometry – Doctor Program
The Optometry Doctor’s program in Optometry at Northeastern State University can be taken at their campus in the town of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Of the 8,251 students, about 15% are postgraduates. The university is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees are, as a rough guide, around $6,327 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,260, although this varies from program to program.
* Tuition fees and colleges’ accredition 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 college before applying.