How to Become an Optician in Kentucky

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Do you want to start a new career in a field you might love?

If you want to become an optician in Kentucky, there are some aspects you will need to know first.

So, check out this article for more info on the subject.

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 Kentucky

Opticians have to make sure that they provide the right eye-wear to clients, in a style that they like.

Once you start this career, you will have many tasks to complete every day.

Some of these can be viewed below:

  • 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

Remember that you are not allowed to inspect people’s eyes or write eye-wear prescriptions.

Optician Job Requirements in Kentucky

In Kentucky, unlike in many other states, you do need to have a license in order to work.

Getting a license will also help you find a job faster.

The main exam you need to take is the American Board of Opticians (ABO) exam.

But, you may have to pass the National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) exam as well.

You will also have to provide the following documents:

  • 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 Kentucky

In order to meet the education criteria and get a license, you have to join a but many post-secondary schools.

Many of these schools offer optician training programs.

Kentucky has no schools offering programs for future opticians.

Such programs can be found either at school out of state or online.

Each school has its own training requirements, which generally includes:

  • 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

The programs for opticians can be shorter or longer.

For example, you can take a 7-month program but also one that lasts for 4 years.

Graduate programs take longer to finish, so you will have to study for around 4 years.

The training programs for opticians feature classes such as:

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

Optician Certification in Kentucky

After you complete the training program, you will also receive your license.

The licensing body in this state is The Kentucky Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers

To get an optician license, you have to fall under 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

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

This exam has three difficulty levels:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

The topics for the NOCE beginner level are the following:

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

The test generally costs $200, and the fees are covered by the company you work for.

Those who want to dispense contact lenses have to take an additional exam.

This is the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE) offered by the National Contact Lens Examiners.

The fee for this exam is $200, but your employer will cover these fees.

The exam topics are:

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

The exams can be taken in either English or Spanish.

The documents you need to submit before you take the exam are:

  • 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

Your license will expire after some time, and thus will need to get renewed.

You will be able to renew it once you take 8 extra hours of education.

Optician Employment and Salary in Kentucky

An optician license will allow you to work in the following facilities:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

The median salary for opticians in this state ranges from $37,700 and $49,200 per year.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in Kentucky

City NameSalary
Bowling Green$43,478
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Kentucky

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bowling Green, KY70$34,790$16.73$44,230$24,070
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY30$40,090$19.28$65,050$24,450
Lexington-Fayette, KY110$43,830$21.07$64,560$26,870
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN310$39,060$18.78$56,850$28,120
Owensboro, KY40$36,170$17.39$50,230$27,940
* 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 Kentucky

The resources below might help you in your quest with a new optician career:

  • American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE)
  • Kentucky Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers
  • Kentucky Optometric Association
  • National Practical Optician’s Examination
  • Opticians Association of Kentucky
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