How to Become an Optician in Massachusetts

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As people age, their eyesight deteriorates, though there are plenty of folks who are born with poor vision.

This aspect can only mean one thing, and that is that the demand for opticians will never diminish.

Read this article if you want to learn how to become an optician in Massachusetts!

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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 Massachusetts

Opticians work mostly with spectacles and they help those visiting their office, find the best pair for their needs.

These professionals have many duties to complete during a day at work, and these include:

  • 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

Optician Job Requirements in Massachusetts

To work as an optician in Massachusetts, you’ll need to obtain a license first.

The license is issued by the Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians.

Only those who undergo specialized training or graduate from a formal educational program can become licensed.

In addition to having a license, employers also seek candidates that meet these criteria:

  • Good interpersonal skills
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Reliable
  • Clean criminal record
  • Detail-oriented

Optician Education in Massachusetts

To become licensed, usually, some type of formal education is needed.

In the table below you can see the schools in Massachusetts that have some programs for aspiring opticians.

Top 3 Schools in Massachusetts

School NameAddress
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology41 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116
MCPHS University179 Longwood Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5896
New England College of Optometry424 Beacon St, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology offers an Associates’ degree in opticianry and this program usually lasts for around 2 years.

Most students at this institute are enrolled in programs that last for 4 years.

The MCPHS University offers a Bachelors’s degree in optometry, and this one takes 4 years to complete.

Only the New England College of Optometry offers more training options, as well as several credentials, including a certificate and a Doctorate.

It’s very common for these institutions to have regulations as far as admissions go.

It’s quite common to be asked for the following when enrolling:

  • 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

Those interested in formal education can also search for schools in other states or online programs.

They need to make sure the program they choose is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation.

These are some of the subjects you’ll attend during your formal studies:

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

Apprenticeships are another way of entering this field.

The apprenticeship has to meet one of the following prerequisites:

  • At least 6,000 hours in at least 3 years
  • At least 3,000 hours in at least 18 months along with an accredited opticianry program

Optician Certification in Massachusetts

Passing the American Board of Opticianry’s Certification (ABO) and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) certification exam is mandatory before becoming licensed.

These 2 tests cost, each, about $200 and employers can often cover the fee.

These exams can be taken at these levels of difficulty:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

For the ABO test candidates must know:

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

The ABO exam is for glasses and the NCLE, the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE), is to dispense contact lenses.

For this exam, you’ll need to know:

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

The candidates can choose to take the tests in either English or Spanish, at any Prometric testing center.

Once you score at least 70% for each exam, you’ll get your certifications that need to be renewed every 3 years.

The passing scores along with other documents need to be submitted to the Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians.

The license needs to be renewed after every 2 years by completing 12 contact hours of continuing education.

Optician Employment and Salary in Massachusetts

If you don’t know where you can work as an optician in Massachusetts, this is a list of such places:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

It’s impossible to say exactly how much you’ll earn once you get hired, however, this next table can be a hint.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in Massachusetts

City NameSalary
New Bedford$50,623
Fall River$50,623
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Massachusetts

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Barnstable Town, MA50$67,420$32.41$82,450$50,430
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH740$67,280$32.35$89,440$37,120
Leominster-Gardner, MA40$60,640$29.15$76,330$40,190
New Bedford, MA30$64,240$30.88$74,600$47,790
Springfield, MA-CT130$65,040$31.27$79,940$45,760
Worcester, MA-CT110$63,960$30.75$78,120$45,530
* 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 Massachusetts

When searching for an apprenticeship or even a job, the following resources can be helpful:

  • American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE)
  • Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry
  • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
  • Board of Registration in Optometry
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
  • Division of Professional Licensure Board
  • Opticians Association of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Optometry and Contact Lens Service
  • Massachusetts Society of Optometrists
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