Oregon is one of only twenty-two states that have no optician training, certification, and licensing requirements. These states typically leave the decision as to optician hiring expectations to optical employers. Employers may have a wide range of requirements depending on the type of business that they operate and the tasks that they deem important for opticians to perform. It is important for opticians to advocate for their own comprehensive training. Not every employer is concerned about thoroughly training opticians.
Some employers run very large businesses that have opticians focus primarily on retail sales and eyeglass fitting. In these offices, opticians are usually trained by other more experienced opticians. It is important to understand that opticians who work in these types of businesses may not receive the kind of comprehensive training that other optical employers prefer. Employers who operate smaller businesses may require opticians to perform a wider variety of tasks and may encourage opticians to voluntarily seek certification by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE). These employers may offer to pay the exam fees and reimburse for any review materials that they need to purchase.
All opticians, regardless of where they work, should consider certification. Credentialed opticians are typically able to command higher salaries because they require less training. Optical employers also prefer to hire certified opticians because they know that many customers prefer to be helped by individuals who can demonstrate that they have met national standards. This can be extremely important in establishing customer satisfaction. Employers also use optician certification as a marketing advantage over their competition. This can have an important impact on the financial performance of the business.
Credentialed opticians also have more job opportunities available to them. Certified opticians can be licensed in almost every regulated state by reciprocity; whereas, opticians who have not been certified may be required to complete a degree, apprenticeship, or the ABO and NCLE exams before they can be licensed. This is an extremely important consideration for opticians who may decide to move at some point in their career.
State Contact Information:
State Association: Opticians Association of Oregon