How to Become an Optician in Missouri

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If you want to become an optician in Missouri but you don’t really know what to do or where to start, hopefully, this guide will show you the way!

We collected information related to the training you need and even salary-related data, so read on!

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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 Missouri

People who need to improve their vision need the help of opticians.

Opticians help these folks choose one of the following eyewear to improve their eyesight:

  • Glasses or spectacles
  • Contact lenses

They can’t offer the help above without completing the actions listed here:

  • 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

Depending on the employer, additional tasks could be assigned to them.

What’s for sure, is that opticians won’t inspect eyes nor will they make eyewear prescriptions.

Optician Job Requirements in Missouri

In Missouri, there’s no need for opticians to obtain a license.

However, the Board of Optometry will issue one to those who want better career opportunities, higher chances of getting hired, and a better paycheck.

These are some good characteristic to have, in the eyes of most employers:

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

Optician Education in Missouri

As far as specialized training goes, Missouri has a couple of schools offering optometry-related courses.

These can be seen below.

Top 2 Schools in Missouri

School NameAddress
Three Rivers Community College2080 Three Rivers Blvd, Poplar Bluff, Missouri 63901
University of MissouriOne University Boulevard, Saint Louis, Missouri 63121-4400

If you want a shorter program, you should consider the Associates’ degree offered by the Three Rivers Community College.

The tuition is not high as this is a public college, and the program lasts for 2 years.

For more career options, you’ll need to consider the Doctorate program in optometry offered by the University of Missouri.

This degree program has a duration of 4 years.

Keep in mind that the tuition here is a bit higher, despite this being a public college as well.

Online learning and colleges from other states are also acceptable ways to train as an optician.

The majority of the schools accept only the candidates that can meet these criteria:

  • 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 training courses have many classes, and below you can see a handful of the ones you’ll be attending:

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

There is a considerable amount of people who choose to become apprentices instead of going through a formal educational path.

Apprenticeships in Missouri will last for around 2 years.

Optician Certification in Missouri

Even though there are no laws to force individuals to become licensed, they can still obtain a certification recognized throughout the state.

It is issued by the Board of Optometry, and those interested in it need to:

  • Graduate from an approved optometry training program
  • Pass the Missouri Optometric Law
  • Have certification for using pharmaceutical agents
  • Pass the ABO and NCLE exams

The passing score for the law exam is 75% and the test results can’t be older than 12 months.

The ABO and NCLE exams cost around $200 each and are available at 3 levels of difficulty:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

The subjects by the ABO exam cover:

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

The NCLE tests candidates on:

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

Candidates must score at least 70% to pass the ABO-NCLE tests.

Optician Employment and Salary in Missouri

You should know that the demand for opticians will never go down, so this is a good time to consider this as a possible career path!

In Missouri, these are the place where you can find a job as an optician, once you are certified:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

Not all opticians earn the same amount of money, as not all of them have the same:

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

Thanks to our research, we found the average salaries in Missouri’s largest urban settings, and you can see the numbers below!

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in Missouri

City NameSalary
Kansas City$47,103
St. Louis$47,290
Lee's Summit$46,924
St. Joseph$46,687
St. Charles$47,034
St. Peters$46,932
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Missouri

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Cape Girardeau, MO-IL40$38,420$18.47$66,370$28,810
Columbia, MO60$38,000$18.27$61,830$30,940
Joplin, MO50$36,670$17.63$48,510$29,870
Kansas City, MO-KS530$39,490$18.98$49,300$30,760
St. Louis, MO-IL750$39,190$18.84$50,320$29,690
Springfield, MO120$37,120$17.84$61,040$30,110
* 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 Missouri

Perhaps you need some help to find additional courses, apprenticeship positions, or even a job.

Opticians in Missouri can use the following resources for these purposes:

  • 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
  • Missouri Assistive Technology
  • Missouri Optometric Association
  • Missouri Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons

Many employers are willing to cover the costs of the certification exams.

Additionally, the certifications must be renewed every 3 years and the Board requires individuals to continue their education for this purpose.

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