How to Become an Optician in Louisiana

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The medical industry has many fields in which a person can find a good job, as the demand for trained personnel is strong.

If you live in Louisiana and want to become an optician, then read this article!

We’ll tell you what you need to do, the needed education, as well as the average salaries for this occupation!

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Optician Job Description and Duties in Louisiana

As people age, their sight gets poorer and poorer, though some people are born with poor eye vision.

An optician needs to help these folks find the best eyewear based on their needs and preferences.

This goal is achieved by completing 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

Of course, various employers can assign additional tasks, so the list is not complete.

The following are not part of an optician’s duties:

  • Eye inspection
  • Eyewear prescription

Optician Job Requirements in Louisiana

Opticians in Louisiana are overseen by the Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners.

It’s possible for some jurisdictions to mandate it, and it is even more likely for employers to ask for some form of certification.

The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam is one that awards one of the certifications highly regarded in Louisiana.

As the name implies, this test is recognized all across the country, not just in Louisiana.

Companies looking to hire opticians want personnel that meets the criteria below as well:

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

Optician Education in Louisiana

In Louisiana, there’s just one school that offers formal training to future opticians and is shown below.

Top 1 Schools in Louisiana

School NameAddress
University of New Orleans2000 Lakeshore Dr, New Orleans, LA 70148

The program at the University of New Orleans is actually one that prepares for a degree in optometry.

On its own, this course doesn’t award any degree or certificate, but it is a good starting stepping stone.

If you’re searching for a certificate or degree program, you’ll have to search either online or in a different state.

Certificate programs last from several months to a year, while a degree will take at least 2 years to complete.

It is common for schools to have these requirements for their optometry programs:

  • 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 classes below are commonly taught to future optometrists:

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

If a formal education path doesn’t sound appealing, you can also consider an apprenticeship.

Louisiana mandates that those who consider becoming apprentices need to register with the state’s Workforce Commission first, then find someone to sponsor them.

Optician Certification in Louisiana

In this state, passing the National Board of Examiners in Optometry¬†(NBEO) exam means you’ll earn a certification the state recognizes.

This exam is organized once per year, and if the candidates fail their first attempt, they need to wait at least 6 months until they can sign up again for it.

This exam has 3 parts, and NBEO mandates that in Louisiana, for certification, you must pass the following pasts:

  • Part 1 – Applied Basic Science
  • Part 2 – Patient Assessment & Management
  • Part 3 – Clinical Skills
  • Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease

You must renew this license every year.

However, individuals can also take the NOCE, organized by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO), and even the CLRE offered by the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE).

These are 2 tests with recognition all across the nation as well.

The CLRE is an exam that focuses on contact lenses, and despite it not being mandatory, many opticians choose to take it.

The NOCE and CLRE have 3 levels of difficulty:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

NOCE tests on:

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

CLRE tests on:

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

NOCE and CLRE cost around $200 each and the minimum passing score is 70%.

Prometric testing centers organize these 2 exams, and their certificate must be renewed every 3 years.

Optician Employment and Salary in Louisiana

You’ll see opticians work in places like:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

It’s impossible to know exactly your future income, as these factors will influence it:

  • Job title
  • Location
  • Job duties
  • Certification(s)
  • Management roles
  • Sales vs. technician roles
  • Experience

What you should know, is that the minimum salary in this state is around $39,300 per year while the highest reaches about $64,100 per year.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in Louisiana

City NameSalary
New Orleans$47,513
Baton Rouge$44,658
Lake Charles$43,524
Bossier City$44,159
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Louisiana

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Alexandria, LA50$29,380$14.13$35,000$21,420
Baton Rouge, LA200$33,800$16.25$43,980$23,500
Houma-Thibodaux, LA50$31,380$15.09$37,830$22,270
Lafayette, LA100$31,410$15.1$43,680$22,120
Lake Charles, LA40$32,700$15.72$45,260$22,690
Monroe, LA30$29,590$14.23$37,680$21,630
New Orleans-Metairie, LA210$34,700$16.68$47,840$23,420
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA90$31,560$15.17$41,760$22,060
* 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 Louisiana

It’s highly possible you’ll need help when searching for either an apprentice position or an actual job.

These are good resources to get you started in this regard:

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