How to Become an Optician in Georgia

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If you want to become an optician in Georgia, you should first know what the requirements are.

For that, all you need to do is read out the article and you will learn more about licensing.

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Optician Job Description and Duties in Georgia

Opticians need to ensure that people receive the eyewear they need, in a style they like.

This is done by completing 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 check the eyes and will not offer eyewear prescriptions.

Optician Job Requirements in Georgia

In Georgia, opticians don’t have to follow specific criteria to receive a certification.

But, if you want to find your first job fast, you do need to get a license.

Many companies prefer to employ those who took the American Board of Opticians (ABO) exam.

Sometimes, the National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) exam is needed, if you need to work with contacts.

When trying to get hired, you need to submit the following:

  • 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 Georgia

Although this state doesn’t have any education criteria, there are a few post-secondary schools offering optician training programs.

You can check below in order to see the schools that provide these programs in Georgia.

Top 3 Schools in Georgia

School Name Address
Georgia Piedmont Technical College 495 N Indian Creek Dr, Clarkston, GA 30021
Ogeechee Technical College 1 Joe Kennedy Blvd, Statesboro, GA 30458
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College 0929, 4089 Val Tech Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602

Most of the programs at these schools last for at least 2 years and they award Associates degrees.

There are several certificate programs available at the Georgia Piedmont Technical College.

Before you choose any school, you have to check the requirements for attending the program.

You will need to submit 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 provide an externship of 120 hours.

Generally, programs for opticians have a duration of 7 months or so.

While you are enrolled in the program, you will study subjects like:

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

Optician Certification in Georgia

The license is only available to those who joined a training program.

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

The Board offers licenses to people who meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • 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 also need to pass the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) through the ABO.

This test has several difficulty levels and focuses on spectacles:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

The topics 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.

You will have to take the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE).

This exam costs about $200, but the cost is usually covered by the company that hired you.

The exam has the following 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 send in 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 Georgia have to renew their license after 2 years have passed.

To be able to renew it, you need to finish 10 extra hours of education.

Optician Employment and Salary in Georgia

Opticians work in facilities like:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

Your salary will vary between $39,700 and $51,800 a year.

This is especially true if you reside in a large city such as Atlanta.

Annual Salary Range:
$39K
$46K
$64K

Average Salary of Opticians in Georgia

City Name Salary
Atlanta $47,511
Augusta $44,946
Columbus $43,682
Macon $44,813
Savannah $45,131
Athens $47,174
Roswell $47,331
Warner Robins $44,678
Albany $44,150
Alpharetta $47,264
* Salary information last updated 2021

Additional Information for Opticians in Georgia

Read below for resources for opticians in Georgia:

  • American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE)
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
  • Georgia Optometric Association
  • Georgia State Board of Dispensing Opticians
  • Opticians Association of Georgia
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