How to Become an Optician in Mississippi

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The demand for opticians in Mississippi is steady, therefore it could prove a good career choice for someone who wants to work in the healthcare field.

Read this guide if you want to know the path opticians in Mississippi take, to get hired!

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Optician Job Description and Duties in Mississippi

Opticians help people choose the best eyewear for their needs and likes.

There are just 2 types of eyewear currently available:

  • Glasses or spectacles
  • Contact lenses

These tasks help them achieve their goal mentioned above:

  • 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

One should keep in mind that different employers can assign additional tasks to the ones mentioned here.

There are two things that opticians cannot do, and these are making prescriptions for eyewear and inspecting the eyes.

Optician Job Requirements in Mississippi

Currently, Mississippi doesn’t have any rules that require opticians to be licensed.

However, getting hired without some certification can be difficult.

The majority of employers seek personnel with these characteristics:

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

Optician Education in Mississippi

Even though there are no state-wide regulations as far as opticians are concerned, many individuals choose to undergo training.

Below you can see the schools in Mississippi offering programs for those who want to become opticians.

Top 3 Schools in Mississippi

School NameAddress
East Mississippi Community College1512 Kemper St, Scooba, MS 39358
Northeast Mississippi Community College101 Cunningham Blvd, Booneville, MS 38829
Northwest Mississippi Community College4975 Hwy 51 N, Senatobia, Mississippi 38668-1714

The East Mississippi Community College offers a program in ophthalmic technology that awards an Associates’ degree.

The good news is that tuition here is quite low compared to many other schools.

The Northwest Mississippi Community College offers 2 programs one for optometry and the other for pre-optometry.

Both these programs are at the Associates’ degree level.

If you want more options, you can even check schools in other states or online programs.

Normally, only candidates that meet these prerequisites are accepted into these courses:

  • 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

These are some of the usual classes you’ll be attending in such a program:

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

Becoming an apprentice is another option for this profession.

Optician Certification in Mississippi

To become certified in this state, you’ll need to:

  • Graduating from an optometry training program
  • Completing an apprenticeship
  • Passing the ABO and NCLE exams

The exams have 3 levels of difficulty and cost around $200 each:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

This is what you’ll be tested from on the ABO exam:

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

The subjects covered by the NCLE are:

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

These exams are available in both English and Spanish and the minimum passing score is 70%.

What you should know is that many employers are willing to pay for these tests.

ABO-NCLE requires their certifications to be renewed after every 3 years have passed.

This process usually involves attending additional related classes and paying the associated renewal fees

Optician Employment and Salary in Mississippi

This is where you can find a job once you obtained your certification:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

Salaries are not set in stone, and these factors will influence how much an optician in Mississippi will earn:

  • Job title
  • Certification
  • Location
  • Job duties
  • Management roles
  • Sales vs. technician roles

For a clear idea of how much you could earn as an optician in this state, have a look at the next table!

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in Mississippi

City NameSalary
Olive Branch$44,330
Horn Lake$44,420
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Mississippi

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS90$30,740$14.78$40,240$27,040
Jackson, MS80$34,580$16.63$48,400$25,920
* 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 Mississippi

There are certain aspects of the optician job that you may need help with.

The following list has some useful resources:

  • 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
  • Mississippi Association of Dispensing Opticians
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