Becoming an Optician in Puerto Rico
An optician is a professional who works with patients and clients of optometrists and ophthalmologists. They fill prescriptions for lenses, fit people for frames, help them select frames and provide valuable education regarding frames, lenses and contacts. A career as an optician is a great choice for anyone who likes working with people and wants to be in an exciting part of the healthcare industry that is growing and that pays a good salary. [En Español]
How to Become an Optician in Puerto Rico
The law in Puerto Rico requires that opticians must be licensed, which helps to ensure that people working in this field are true professionals with the education and training needed to do the job correctly. The Colegio de Ópticos de Puerto Rico can help individuals interested in becoming opticians learn the steps they need to take to qualify. Opticians must be trained and educated and must pass the appropriate exams for licensing.
Those who have been trained or completed a post-secondary educational program in opticianry should be prepared to pass exams for national certification. Achieving these certifications can help you to be in a great position to get hired, as they prove that you have all the knowledge necessary to be an optician. The exams are the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) Contact Lens Registry Examination and the American Board of Opticians examination.
Puerto Rico Optician Programs
To become an optician you can seek out an entry-level job with a licensed optician or optometrist and get training while you work up to the position of optician, or you can choose to enroll in and complete a post-secondary certificate or degree program in opticianry or a related field:
- Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. The Ponce campus of Inter-American University offers students an associate degree program in optical technology. This two-year degree program prepares students to work as an optician or in related technical fields working with lenses and in laboratories.
- Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. This school also offers a two-year associate degree program in opticianry. There are two campuses to choose from, at Arecibo and Mayagüez. The coursework will prepare you to become an optician, to meet requirements for licensing and to pass the certification examinations.
Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in Puerto Rico
Like many locations throughout the U.S., the growth in jobs available for qualified opticians in Puerto Rico is strong. The overall national growth is 15 percent, but in Puerto Rico it is 22 percent. While in 2014 there were 620 employed opticians here, by 2024 there are expected to be 760. The new positions that will open up will need to be filled by people training in opticianry right now.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2017 the average annual salary for opticians working in Puerto Rico was $21,780. Opticians with more experience and more credentials can expect to earn more. It is also important to know that since Puerto Rico has been under austerity restrictions, pay for all professions has decreased. The BLS statistics may not be fully accurate for this reason.
Salaries in Puerto Rico by Occupation
|Profession||Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||**||$14.08||$29,280|
|Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians||800||$10.65||$22,150|
Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Puerto Rico by Region
|Region||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary||10% Percentile||25% Percentile||Median||75% Percentile||90% Percentile|
|San Juan-Carolina-Caguas, PR||**||$10.56||$21,970||$16,250||$17,440||$19,430||$26,840||$29,920|
Working as an Optician in Puerto Rico
Opportunities for qualified opticians in Puerto Rico are numerous and are expected to continue to grow in number in the upcoming years. Opticians mostly work in optometry offices and practices, helping patients on the floor with prescriptions, lenses and frames. Other areas of employment for opticians may be at retail stores that sell glasses, ophthalmologists’ offices and other medical settings. While the greatest number of jobs will be in and around San Juan and món, the biggest population centers, opticians are needed throughout the island.
Carretera 662 KM 2.3, Arecibo, Puerto Rico 00614-4045
(787) 881-1212 x6000
Óptica – Associate Program
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico’s Associate program in Óptica is offered at their Arecibo campus in Arecibo in Arecibo County. This is a full, 4-year private college with 1,035 students, of which 0% are undergraduates. The university is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The cost of tuition is around $5,268 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,655, depending on the program chosen.
104 Turpeaux Industrial Park Rd1, Mercedita, Puerto Rico 00715-1602
Tecnología en Ciencias Ópticas – Associate Program
The Tecnología en Ciencias Ópticas Associate’s degree program in Tecnología en Ciencias Ópticas at Inter American University of Puerto Rico is based at their Ponce campus in Mercedita in Ponce County, PR. This is a full, 4-year private college with 5,497 students, of which 0% are undergraduates. The university is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition are broadly about $5,872 per year, while study materials may cost around $1,372, although this will depend on the program.
482 Sur Calle Ramon Emerito Betances, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00680-1713
(787) 834-5151 x5027
Óptica – Associate Program
The Associate’s program in Óptica at Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico can be taken at their Mayaguez campus in the city of Mayaguez, PR. This is a full, 4-year private college with 1,505 students, of which 0% are undergraduates. The university is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition are about $5,268 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,655, depending on the program chosen.
* 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.