How to Become an Optician in New Mexico

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If you want to work in a new field you enjoy, you can consider becoming an optician in New Mexico.

Have a look at the licensing and training requirements for this state.

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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 New Mexico

Opticians aid their clients in choosing the right eyewear for their particular needs and likes.

The job tasks you will have include the following:

  • 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 New Mexico

In New Mexico, you will not have to get a license to get hired as an optician.

However, you should get a license as it will help you find your first job faster.

Most employers prefer hiring opticians who have a license.

The exam opticians take in New Mexico is the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam.

You can also take the exam which is the National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE) exam.

Licenses in New Mexico are released by the New Mexico Board of Optometry.

You will also need to provide some paperwork, which includes:

  • 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 New Mexico

In New Mexico, you have to find a school to train at to get a license.

The schools in New Mexico can be seen in the next table.

Top 1 Schools in New Mexico

School NameAddress
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute9169 Coors Blvd NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87120-310

If you want to enroll in the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, you can choose from a variety of training programs.

They include a certificate and an Associates’ degree, each with a different duration.

To join a program, you need to show the following documents:

  • 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 programs for opticians have varying lengths and go from 7 months up to 4 years.

You will attend classes such as:

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

Optician Certification in New Mexico

Once you complete a program, you will also need to pass some exams.

To sit for the exam, you have to meet one of 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

After that, you will need to take the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) with the ABO.

This license exam has 3 levels of difficulty:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

For the beginner level, the requirements are:

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

You will also have to submit a $200 fee, but usually, the company you work for will pay for it.

In case you want to dispense contact lenses, you have to take the National Contact Lens Examiners.

You will also need to pass the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE).

The Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE) also requires a $200 fee.

Your company will generally also cover this particular fee.

The licensing exam subjects usually are:

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

The paperwork you will need to submit includes:

  • 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 optician license in New Mexico needs to be renewed.

To get it renewed you will have to take 22 extra hours of education.

Optician Employment and Salary in New Mexico

Once you have an optician license, you can find the job easily once you apply to jobs in:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

In New Mexico, the median salary is between $37,000 and $61,000 per year.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in New Mexico

City NameSalary
Las Cruces$40,825
Rio Rancho$44,821
Santa Fe$45,388
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in New Mexico

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Albuquerque, NM330$38,570$18.54$51,670$29,130
Santa Fe, NM30$36,760$17.67$47,840$29,620
* 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 New Mexico

If you need more career resources, you should check out:

  • Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO)
  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
  • New Mexico Academy of Ophthalmology
  • New Mexico Optics Industry Association
  • New Mexico Optometric Association
  • Opticians Association of New Mexico
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