Becoming an Optician in Vermont

Opticians can be found working in vision center chains, hospitals, clinics and private optometry and ophthalmology practices, helping customers fill vision prescriptions and pick out new frames, educating them on vision care options and even cutting and fitting frames and lenses in the lab, depending on the employment location. Due to the customer-focused nature of the job, opticians are usually outgoing and genuinely enjoy customer service as well as helping others.[En Español]

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Licensing for Opticians in Vermont

Licensing in Vermont requires prospective opticians to meet certain training and exam criteria. The Vermont Office of Professional Regulation offers two ways for individuals to become a licensed optician. To become licensed, you will need to either:

  • Take and pass an associate’s degree program in Opticianry or Vision Care Technology
  • Complete a three-year apprenticeship under a licensed optician

Those who opt for the apprenticeship route will first need to register with the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation. Upon completing a degree program or three-year apprenticeship you will be ready to take the the National Optician Competency Examination (NOCE) offered through the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation in addition to the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) exam and National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) exam.

Optician licenses in Vermont will need to be renewed every two years. Additionally, licensed opticians are required to complete at least 10 continuing education credits every two years.

Vermont Optician Programs

The New England area does not offer many post-secondary educational programs for opticians, so many people in Vermont opt for a three-year apprenticeship under a licensed optician. Before becoming an apprentice, you will need to fill out an Optician Training Application and submit the required $50 fee along with the application.

While there are no on-campus optician program offerings in Vermont, the Penn Foster Career School offers an online Optician Career Diploma Program that can be completed in as little as seven months. While this particular program will provide you with the skills necessary to become a licensed optician, you will still need to complete an apprenticeship under a licensed optician.

Outlook and Salaries for Opticians in Vermont

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 70 people employed as opticians in Vermont in 2018. Additionally, there were 180 people working as ophthalmic medical technicians and 120 employed optometrists in the same year.

In 2020, the average salary for licensed opticians in Vermont was $47,180 per year. Ophthalmic medical technicians made approximately $44,560 annually, while optometrists earned an average of $122,300 in the same year.

Salaries in Vermont by Occupation

ProfessionEmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Wage
Opticians, Dispensing80$21.31$44,330
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians260$20.32$42,270
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians90$24.71$51,390
Optometrists100**

Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Vermont by Region

RegionTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary10% Percentile25% PercentileMedian75% Percentile90% Percentile
Burlington-South Burlington, VT**$22.72$47,260$33,650$38,290$49,080$56,710$61,190

Working as an Optician in Vermont

While there were not many people working as licensed opticians in Vermont in 2018, job opportunities for opticians in the state will continue to flourish, especially in the Burlington, Essex, Colchester and South Burlington areas. Opticians can be found working in a variety of locations, but it’s most common for licensed opticians to be employed in private ophthalmic practices or retail vision chains such as Costco Vision Center and Walmart.

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Neighbor States

Residents of Vermont may also wish to review their options in New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts.