The fact that you are reading this article means that you have stumbled upon one of the best kept secrets in the job market. Dispensing opticians enjoy one of the most interesting and exciting careers available today. Opticians are in very high demand around the world and have many options when selecting where they would like to live, work, and play. The information that follows will outline important details on how to become an optician.
The first (and probably most important) point to understand, when exploring how to become an optician, is that there are only 23 states that require some form of optician licensure. If you are planning on practicing opticianry, in a state that does not regulate the profession, then you will need to contact employers directly to find out what their internal requirements are. Click your state below to find out if you will be required to complete a training program and obtain licensure where you want to work.
You will find that there is a great deal of variability among states when it comes to educational requirements. Nearly all states require a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED). Some states require that you complete the equivalent of an Associates Degree in Opticianry along with national examinations and on-the-job training. Other states will only require examinations and/or experience. This can make the task of figuring out how to become an optician a time consuming and frustrating process.
If you click on your state above, you will find that we have provided links to opticianry programs in your state (if they exist), national examination websites, and forms for applying as an apprentice. Remember, there are only 23 states that regulate the optician industry and your state may very well be one that has no optician training requirements. The specifics on how to become an optician in your state can be found on the state-specific page of this site.
Once you have completed all of the requirements set by the state and your employer, you should be able to be employed as an optician. You should keep in mind that some states will also require that you complete continuing education each year and maintain a current license. Continuing education requirements are generally not very difficult to satisfy and you should not let them stand in your way. The time and effort you invest in your ongoing education will help to insure that you are up-to-date on current trends and practices.
The Benefits of Credentials and Training:
As you learn more about how to become an optician, you may discover requirements that make you question your desire to enter the profession. We encourage you to view these hurdles as an opportunity to distinguish yourself. Employers often favor opticians who have education and training. Credentials also allow an individual to select a state where they want to live and work as opposed to one that has no laws. Though some of the requirements may be a challenge, we can attest to the fact that the hard work does pay off.
Optician Program Resources: