How to Become an Optician in Connecticut

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The job of an optician is one of the easier ones in the medical field.

If you’re interested in becoming an optician in Connecticut, this article is for you!

We researched the requirements for this occupation as well as the salary, among other things, so read up!

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Get information on Optician Certification Training programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Optician Job Description and Duties in Connecticut

Many people need to use spectacles to help them see better, but each individual has different needs in this regard, no pun intended.

This is where an optician’s part is important, for by completing the following tasks they help people see better:

  • Reading and interpretation of prescriptions
  • Preparing eyewear
  • Fitting and adjusting eyewear
  • Educating customers about eyewear issues and maintenance
  • Keeping sales records
  • Determining insurance co-pays
  • Keeping the inventory
  • Interacting with the labs that make lenses

While helping the clients to choose their eyewear, opticians also need to keep in mind budgets and preferences.

What opticians cannot do is inspect the eyes or make prescriptions for eyewear.

Optician Job Requirements in Connecticut

Connecticut is one of the states where opticians must hold a license from the Connecticut State Department of Health.

To issue a license, the Department asks for:

  • Associate‚Äôs degree or equivalent work experience (4 years or 8,000 hours)
  • Verification of passing the ABO and NCLE exams
  • Verification of the apprenticeship
  • Verification of licensure (if you are already licensed)
  • A clean criminal record
  • An application
  • A recent photo

Optician Education in Connecticut

As you can imagine, getting some formal education s very important if you want to obtain a license as an optician in Connecticut.

Unfortunately, this state doesn’t have many schools offering programs for these professionals, as the table below shows.

Top 2 Schools in Connecticut

School NameAddress
Goodwin College1 Riverside Dr, East Hartford, CT 06118
Middlesex Community College100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, Connecticut 06457-4829

The program offered by Goodwin College awards an Associates’ degree for Vision Care Technology and prepares students for the licensing exams.

The tuition, however, may seem quite steep for some, and the majority of those studying here joined programs with a duration of 4 years.

Middlesex Community College also has an Associates’ degree program, but for Ophthalmic Medical Assisting.

The tuition here is much lower and the majority of the students enrolled in programs that last around 2 years.

These two schools may not have a course that appeals to you.

In this case, you can choose to enroll in an online program or in a college from a different state.

Enrollment prerequisites vary between schools, but you can expect to be asked for the following:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Completing specific classes with a minimum grade of C
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • OAT scores – not older than 5 years
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75

These are some of the topics future opticians need to study:

  • Introduction to Optometry
  • Ocular Anatomy
  • Systems 1: Neuroscience
  • Ocular Microbiology
  • Ophthalmic Imaging
  • Public Health Optometry
  • Glaucoma
  • Physics

Another way of getting an education is actually through apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships have a duration of at least 8,000 hours.

Optician Certification in Connecticut

Once your training or education is complete, you’re ready to pass the licensing examinations.

These are:

  • The National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE), offered by ABO (American Board of Opticianry)
  • The Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE), offered by NCLE (National Contact Lens Examiners)

These exams can be taken in English or Spanish, and the fee for each of them is around $200.

Candidates should know that CLRE is optional and that the passing score is at least 70%.

Each test is offered at 3 levels:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

NOCE is the most important exam to pass, focuses on spectacles, and covers:

  • Reading prescriptions,
  • Fitting and dispensing spectacles
  • Using standard ophthalmic equipment

NOCE is offered twice per year, and ABO has plenty of preparatory materials on its website.

CLRE is for those who want to work with contact lenses and the topics cover:

  • Pre-fitting for lenses,
  • Diagnostic fitting,
  • Dispensing of lenses,
  • Patient education,
  • Delivery
  • Follow-up

When you’re ready to take these exams, you need to contact the nearest Prometric testing center.

Once you pass the exams, you’re ready to apply for your optician license.

The following documents are usually needed:

  • Proof of identity
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • An application form
  • Paying the application fee
  • A clean criminal record
  • Exams scores

The American Board of Opticianry requires license renewal after every 3 years.

This procedure usually involves paying the real fee and continuing your education.

Optician Employment and Salary in Connecticut

In case you’re not really sure of where you could find employment, below are the main places where opticians are needed:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

As far as your salary goes, there are many aspects that affect it, and here’s a list of these aspects:

  • Job title
  • Location
  • Job duties
  • Management roles
  • Sales vs. technician roles

As far as actual numbers go, the table below shows the average salaries in Connecticut’s main cities.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in Connecticut

City NameSalary
New Haven$52,050
New Britain$51,873
West Hartford$51,622
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Connecticut

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT120$67,260$32.34$81,760$47,350
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT190$67,120$32.27$90,180$38,330
New Haven, CT80$61,570$29.6$78,170$38,710
Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI30$66,500$31.97$88,990$32,150
Waterbury, CT40$63,930$30.73$78,130$38,190
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Opticians, Dispensing, OCC Code 29-2081, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information for Opticians in Connecticut

Continuing your education is very important when having to renew your license.

The websites of the following organizations can help with continuing education classes and not only:

  • American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners
  • American Optometric Association
  • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
  • National Optometric Association
  • Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians
  • Connecticut Opticians Association
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