How to Become an Optician in Indiana

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There is a steady demand for opticians in the State of Indiana.

If you want to learn more about this occupation, as well as the steps to take to become an optician in Indiana, read this guide!

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Optician Job Description and Duties in Indiana

Opticians appear to have a very easy job to complete.

They need to help their customers choose the best eyewear based on needs, preferences, and possibilities.

To fulfill this, opticians usually complete these tasks:

  • 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

Other tasks might be assigned to them, based on where they work.

It is however clear these professionals cannot inspect the eyes nor make prescriptions for eyewear.

Optician Job Requirements in Indiana

In Indiana, a license is not needed to work as an optician.

Additionally, not even a high school diploma, nor GED, are mandatory to work as an optician, but it will be difficult

The majority of employers will usually prefer hiring individuals who chose to earn at least a certificate in the field.

Passing the following tests improves your chances of getting hired and opens the doors to a better career:

  • National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE)
  • National Contact Lens Registry Examination (NCLRE)

What employers seek more, are individuals with these attributes:

  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Reliable
  • Clean criminal record
  • Detail-oriented

Optician Education in Indiana

Even if there’s no need to hold a license in Indiana, formal education is needed by those who want to become license.

Therefore, if you want to stand out among other candidates, you better consider enrolling at one of the schools below.

Top 2 Schools in Indiana

School Name Address
Indiana University 107 S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405
Ivy Tech Community College 50 Walnut St, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025

At the Indiana University, students can choose from certificate programs in optometry science or opticianry field.

These programs last for up to 2 years to complete.

The Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington also offers 2 programs, one awarding a certificate and the other awarding an Associates’ degree.

If you want more options, you can always opt for an online training program or even a college from a different state.

The majority of schools offering courses for future opticians could ask for the following upon enrollment:

  • 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

This is what you can expect to study once you’re in the program:

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

It’s also possible to get the position of an apprentice and work for a licensed optician for at least 1 year.

Optician Certification in Indiana

Since there’s no legal need for an optician to hold a license, passing the two exams mentioned earlier, is sufficient.

The American Board of Opticianry (ABO) organizes NOCEĀ  and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) offers CLRE.

The difference between NOCE and CLRE is that the former is for spectacles and the latter is for contact lenses, and usually optional.

Candidates have the option to take the tests in English or Spanish.

The tests are available at the next levels of difficulty:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

These are the areas tested during NOCE:

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

For CLRE you need to know:

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

To pass, you need a score above 70%.

You need to contact a Prometric testing center to take these exams, and to pay around $200 for each test.

Once you get your certifications from these 2 exams, you’ll have to renew them every 3 years.

Usually, a renewal fee and some continuing education classes are required for both certifications.

Optician Employment and Salary in Indiana

Opticians seek employment at this type of businesses:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

In Indiana, a certified optician can earn on average $46925 per year.

The table below shows what your average salary could be, depending on where you work.

Annual Salary Range:
$40K
$46K
$65K

Average Salary of Opticians in Indiana

City Name Salary
Indianapolis $46,733
Fort Wayne $44,807
Evansville $45,396
South Bend $45,287
Carmel $46,675
Fishers $44,380
Bloomington $44,242
Hammond $48,353
Gary $48,353
Lafayette $46,445
* Salary information last updated 2021

Additional Information for Opticians in Indiana

Since Indiana doesn’t have any licensing requirements, there aren’t many organizations to offer help.

You can still use the ones with national coverage, such as:

  • American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE)
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
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