How to Become an Optician in Florida

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It is important to have good eyesight, and many people are going to opticians to get their eyes checked.

This profession is lucrative, but before getting into it, you should have an idea of the requirements.

So, read on for more info regarding training and licensing in Florida

Search Optician Certification Training Programs

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 Florida

Opticians need to ensure their clients receive the right eyewear for their needs and desires.

This is completed by fulfilling tasks like:

  • 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 don’t inspect the eyes and don’t give eyewear prescriptions.

Optician Job Requirements in Florida

In Florida, opticians don’t need to meet specific criteria to get a license.

But, it will be harder for someone without a license to find an optician job in Florida.

Most companies will want to employ people who took the American Board of Opticians (ABO) exam.

Sometimes, the National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) exam is also required, if you will have to work with contacts.

When looking for a job, you will need to provide:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Graduating from a training program or having a formal education
    • An associate’s degree diploma is highly appreciated by employers
  • Good interpersonal skills

Optician Education in Florida

Although Florida doesn’t require specific education, some post-secondary schools provide optician training programs.

Below you can view the schools in Florida providing these programs.

Top 7 Schools in Florida

School Name Address
Broward College 4205 Bonaventure Blvd, Weston, FL 33332
Hillsborough Community College 1206 N Park Rd, Plant City, FL 33563
Miami Dade College 300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33132-2204
Manatee Technical College 6305 State Rd 70 East, Bradenton, Florida 34203
Nova Southeastern University 3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796
Traviss Technical College 3225 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland, Florida 33803
William T McFatter Technical College 6500 Nova Drive, Davie, Florida 33317

Those interested in enrolling at Hillsborough Community College can choose from several programs awarding certificates or Associates’ degrees.

Many colleges offer certificate programs, such as Traviss Technical College, Manatee Technical College, and William T McFatter Technical College.

A Doctorate degree in Optometry can be earned at Nova Southeastern University, as the majority of the students here are postgraduates.

Before you opt for a school, you need to check the requirements for joining the program.

You will need to provide 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

Some schools also offer an externship of 120 hours as part of the training.

Generally, programs last for about 7 months or so.

While in the program, you will get to study subjects such as:

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

Optician Certification in Florida

The license can only be obtained by people who enrolled in a program.

The licensing body in Florida is the State Board of Dispensing Opticians.

The Board provides licenses to those who meet at least one of the below criteria:

  • A license in a reciprocal state
  • At least 3 years of experience
  • Can be an apprenticeship of 3 years in the past 6 years
  • Can be from working as an optician in a state with no licensing requirements
  • Graduate from an approved post-secondary optician program with a year of apprenticeship

You will have to pass the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) through the ABO.

This test has difficulty levels and its focus is only on spectacles:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

The subjects for the beginner level are:

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

Generally, the employers will pay the exam fee of about $200.

Those who wish to dispense contact lenses have to pass an extra exam.

This is the National Contact Lens Examiners and its difficulty levels are the same as for the ABO.

This test is the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE) and requires a $200 fee, which is usually paid by your employer.

The exam covers the next topics:

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

These license exams are available in English or Spanish.

You will have to provide the following paperwork before you can take the exams:

  • Age over 18
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • To fill out an application
  • To pay some fees
  • A clean criminal record
  • Passing the State Practical Examination
  • Proof of completed training, education, or at least 3 years of experience

Opticians in Florida must renew their license once every 3 years.

For that, you need to finish 20 extra hours of education.

Optician Employment and Salary in Florida

Opticians generally work in facilities like:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

Your salary as an optician in Florida will fall between the range of $38,900 to $63,500 a year.

If you live in a big city like Miami or Orlando, you have a higher chance to earn a better salary.

Annual Salary Range:
$38K
$45K
$63K

Average Salary of Opticians in Florida

City Name Salary
Jacksonville $45,523
Miami $46,757
Tampa $45,715
Orlando $45,691
St. Petersburg $45,724
Hialeah $46,397
Tallahassee $43,563
Port St. Lucie $45,331
Fort Lauderdale $46,642
Cape Coral $44,662
* Salary information last updated 2021

Additional Information for Opticians in Florida

Check out some resources for opticians in Florida:

  • American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE)
  • Florida Board of Opticianry
  • Florida Optometric Association
  • National Commission on State Opticianry Regulatory Boards
  • Professional Opticians of Florida
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