Many people take their eyes’ health for granted for most of their lives, though usually aging usually comes with poorer sight.
Becoming an optician in Delaware means you get to help those who need to see clearer, regardless of age.
Read on if a career in this medical field is of interest to you!
Optician Job Description and Duties in Delaware
Opticians need to complete a series of actions and tasks to satisfy the desires of their customers.
This list shows the main tasks and actions to achieve this goal:
- 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
Opticians also must take into consideration the budget and preferences of the patient, not only the doctor’s prescription.
Opticians are not trained to inspect the eyes nor to make prescriptions for vision correction eyewear.
Optician Job Requirements in Delaware
Delaware is one of the states that doesn’t have regulations set up for opticians.
The Delaware chapter of the American Optometric Association is the institution with the most information related to this field in this state.
It is up to the employers to set requirements for the opticians they’ll hire.
These prerequisites could be:
- Associate’s degree or equivalent work experience (4 years or 8,000 hours)
- Verification of passing the ABO and NCLE exams
- Verification of the apprenticeship
- A license
- A clean criminal record
- An application
- A recent photo
Optician Education in Delaware
Not only there are no laws or official requirements for future opticians in Delaware, but there are also no schools that offer formal education for these professionals.
However, those interested in special courses have options at their disposal:
- Enroll in an apprenticeship program
- Sign up for an online training course
- Enroll in a program at a college in a different state
As it happens, the schools usually have requirements as far as enrollment in an optician program goes:
- 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
If you qualify for formal education and get accepted, expect to study these topics among others:
- Introduction to Optometry
- Ocular Anatomy
- Systems 1: Neuroscience
- Ocular Microbiology
- Ophthalmic Imaging
- Public Health Optometry
Depending on the program you choose, your education can last from a minimum of 7 months and up to at least 2 years, if not more.
Again, the duration of your program will dictate the type of credential you’ll earn, before the license.
Generally, the short programs award certificates or diplomas while those with a minimum duration of two years award Associates’ degrees.
Since there are no regulations regarding the formal education of an optician in Delaware, there’s no minimum requirement at the state level regarding how long the apprenticeship should last.
The American Board of Opticianry recommends accumulating at least 2 or 3 years of experience before attempting to take the licensing exam.
Optician Certification in Delaware
As mentioned, in Delaware you don’t need a license to work as an optician.
Being licensed will increase not only your chances of getting hired but also your salary and career options.
There are 2 exams you can pass to work as an optician:
- 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)
Both the NOCE and CLRE are available in English and Spanish, they cost about $200 each, they can be taken on a computer and have a duration of 2 hours.
CLRE is an optional exam usually, that allows individuals to work with contact lenses.
The passing score is 70% and the exams are proctored by Prometric.
Both exams have 3 levels of difficulty:
NOCE is the main exam, focuses on spectacles, and the topics are:
- Reading prescriptions,
- Fitting and dispensing spectacles
- Using standard ophthalmic equipment
The Board has plenty of materials to help you prepare for these exams.
For the CLRE, you need to know:
- Pre-fitting for lenses,
- Diagnostic fitting,
- Dispensing of lenses,
- Patient education,
You might need to submit these documents with the Delaware Chapter of the American Optometric Association:
- Proof of identity
- A high school diploma or GED
- An application form
- Paying the application fee
- A clean criminal record
- Exams scores
Both the ABO and the NCLE diplomas have to be renewed every 3 years.
The renewal process requires individuals to continue their education and pay some additional fees.
Optician Employment and Salary in Delaware
Opticians usually get hired by facilities such as these:
- Optometry practices
The following aspects will influence how much you’ll earn:
- Job title
- Job duties
- Management roles
- Sales vs. technician roles
For a better picture of the actual salaries in Delaware, have a look at the table below!Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Opticians in Delaware
Additional Information for Opticians in Delaware
For resources with apprenticeship options and continuing education, check the list below:
- 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
- Delaware Chapter of the American Optometric Association