Becoming an Optician in Rhode Island

If you’ve been thinking of a career change or have thought about becoming an optician in the past, becoming an optician in Rhode Island can be a rewarding career move. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Rhode Island is one of the top-paying states for this occupation, which means that you will be transitioning into a career that can provide a financially stable future. Opticians are hired to work in private ophthalmic practices, retail stores that sell eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as hospitals and clinics.[En Español]

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Licensing for Opticians in Rhode Island

Licensure in Rhode Island is granted by the Rhode Island Board of Opticianry. In order to qualify to test for an optician license in the state, you will need to complete a board-approved training program. Once you have met this requirement, you will then qualify to take the American Board of Opticianry’s Certification (ABO) as well as the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) certification exam.

In addition to the above, candidates are required to take a board-administered practical exam. This exam is given twice a year, in May and November. Otherwise, you may choose to complete a two-year apprenticeship program. However, Rhode Island does not currently offer apprenticeship programs, so you would need to seek apprenticeship in another state.

Rhode Island Optician Programs

If you plan to attend an optician program in Rhode Island, the only board-approved training course in the state is through the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), one of just two optician programs among the New England states, with the other through the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, located in Boston. CCRI offers a two-year Opticianry Program that incorporates classroom and lab prep with clinical practice for students to learn the skills required to become an optician.

To be accepted into the CCRI program, students will need to enroll and pass a math and science curriculum including algebra, trigonometry, biology and physics as prerequisite courses. Once the prerequisites are met, students can apply to attend the CCRI Optician Program. The classroom and laboratory theory courses in the Optician Program are offered in a distance learning format, which means students can work independently to complete the coursework within a specific timeframe. With this, however, some onsite participation is required.

If you are not local to CCRI, Penn Foster Career School‘s Online Optician Career Diploma program might be a great alternative. This program can be completed in as little as seven months, covering topics such as math, optical principles, terminology and anatomy, as well as business English and professional practices.

Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in Rhode Island

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that there were roughly 340 people working as certified opticians in Rhode Island as of May 2018, in addition to 50 ophthalmic medical technicians and 150 employed as optometrists. While this might seem like a small number of people working as opticians in the Ocean State, jobs for certified opticians in Rhode Island are expected to expand by 3 percent through the year 2028.

According to the BLS, Rhode Island is the fourth-highest-paying U.S. state for licensed opticians, with an average annual wage of $45,220. If, after you begin working as an optician, you decide you’d like to further your education, optometrists in Rhode Island make an average salary of $103,330.

Salaries in Rhode Island by Occupation

ProfessionEmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Wage
Opticians, Dispensing290$23.10$48,040
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians60$17.20$35,780
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians170$17.30$35,980
Optometrists150$49.29$102,520

Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Rhode Island by Region

RegionTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary10% Percentile25% PercentileMedian75% Percentile90% Percentile
Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI**$20.16$41,940$24,560$32,560$40,790$53,470$60,300
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA350$23.33$48,520$33,660$38,180$50,720$58,250$62,610

Working as an Optician in Rhode Island

Most opticians in Rhode Island work under optometrists in private optometry practices, filling vision prescriptions, fitting customers for new eyeglass frames and helping them learn more about their prescriptions and contact lenses. Opticians in Rhode Island can also be found working in retail stores, clinics and hospitals, providing you with plenty of career opportunities where you can experience growth and advancement in the coming years.

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College Programs

Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA Area

Community College of Rhode Island

400 East Ave, Warwick, Rhode Island 02886-1807
(401) 825-1000
Opticianry – Associate Program

The Opticianry Associate’s program in Opticianry at Community College of Rhode Island is offered at their campus in the city of Warwick. The majority of of the school’s 16,195 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition is broadly in the order of $4,564 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,200, depending on the 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.

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