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]
Licensing for Opticians in Vermont
A prerequisite for starting a career as an optician is a high school diploma or equivalent. Most employers also prefer some postsecondary education, so opticians may want to consider taking courses in areas such as anatomy and physiology, optics, contact lenses, math, business communications, and accounting.
After high school or college graduation, opticians must then complete an apprenticeship that is at least one year long with a licensed optician. This involves working with experienced opticians and learning the basics of fitting and dispensing eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Finally, opticians in Vermont must obtain a license from the state as an ophthalmic dispenser before they can legally practice in this field. Applicants must pass a written exam on topics ranging from optics to vision care products
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 licensed opticians. 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.
National Optician Certification in Vermont
Upon completing a degree program or three-year apprenticeship you will be ready to take 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.
ABO Certification Exam
The American Board of Opticianry’s certification exam is a computer-based test (CBT), administered at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. It tests your knowledge of optometric terminology and the ability to assemble frames and lenses correctly. The exam consists of three modules: Visual Acuity; Lensometry; and Frame Adjustment/Assembly. To pass the exam and become ABO certified, you must achieve a score of 75% or higher on each module. Upon passing, you will receive your certification card in the mail.
National Contact Lens Examiners Exam
The NCLE exam is administered exclusively online and consists of five sections: Contact Lens Design, Care and Handling, Clinical Application, Patient Assessment and Selection, and Regulatory Issues. You must pass each section with a score of 75% or higher to be awarded your certification. The NCLE will also mail you your certification card upon passing the exam.
Once you have completed the necessary training, and exams and received certification, you will be ready to pursue a career as an optician in Vermont.
Optician Certification Training 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, Penn Foster College offers an online Optician Exam Prep 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 2021. Additionally, 170 people were working as ophthalmic medical technicians, and 110 employed optometrists in the same year.
In 2021, the average salary for licensed opticians in Vermont was $47,000 per year. Ophthalmic medical technicians made approximately $45,720 annually, while optometrists earned an average of $121,070 in the same year.
Salaries in Vermont by Occupation
|Profession||Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||260||$20.32||$42,270|
|Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians||90||$24.71||$51,390|
Certified Dispensing Optician Salaries in Vermont by Region
|Region||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary||10% Percentile||25% Percentile||Median||75% Percentile||90% 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 2020, job opportunities for opticians in the state will continue to flourish, especially in the Burlington, Essex, Colchester, and South Burlington areas.
Future opticians should know corrective eye care solutions and multifocal lens considerations,
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.
Residents of Vermont may also wish to review their options in New Hampshire, New York, and Massachusetts.