How to Become an Optician in North Carolina

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If you’re one of the many people considering becoming an optician in North Carolina, then you have to read this article!

We gathered information related to the type of training you need for this occupation and not only, so grab a drink!

Search Optician Certification Training Programs

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 North Carolina

Opticians seem to have an easy job as they have to help customers choose the right eyewear for their needs and not only.

Having a look (no pun intended) at their duties, their jobs might seem less easy:

  • 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

Opticians aren’t qualified to inspect the eyes nor to prescribe eyewear.

Optician Job Requirements in North Carolina

Individuals from North Carolina who want to become opticians in this state need to undergo formal training and receive a license.

Licenses are issued by the North Carolina State Board of Opticians.

Those are not the only requirements that you’ll need to meet.

Employers will also expect you to:

  • Have good interpersonal skills
  • Be reliable
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Be detail-oriented

Optician Education in North Carolina

If you’re interested in which schools in North Carolina offer courses for future opticians, you can see them below.

Top 1 Schools in North Carolina

School NameAddress
Durham Technical Community College1637 E Lawson St, Durham, NC 27703

Durham Technical Community College offers at least 2 types of diplomas:

  • A certificate
  • An Associates’ degree

The Associates’ degree program has a duration of a minimum of 2 years.

You can also choose to enroll in a program at a college from a different state as well.

You’ll have to pay attention to its accreditation though.

Colleges have rather high expectations when accepting new students in their optometry programs, such as:

  • 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 just a few of the classes you’ll be attending:

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

Your education as an optician is not complete without an internship.

Regardless of the diploma you earn, you’ll need to enroll in an internship approved by the Board and that has a duration of at least 6 months.

Optician Certification in North Carolina

You can become licensed as soon as you complete your training, including the internship.

The licensure exam takes place twice every year.

The Board has a list of documents needed for the license, on its website.

This license has to be renewed every year.

Many individuals choose to pass the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) through the ABO as well.

Candidates usually start  with the easiest of  the 3 levels of difficulty that NOCE has:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Here are the subjects for the beginner level:

  • Read prescriptions,
  • Fit and dispensing spectacles
  • Use standard ophthalmic equipment

This exam is for working with glasses, and if you want to work with contact lenses as well, you’ll need to pass the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE), offered by the National Contact Lens Examiners.

This exam also has 3 levels of difficulty, and its topics are:

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

You’ll need to pay some $400 in total for both these tests, but employers usually cover this cost.

You should know these certificates expire every 3 years, and you should continue your education to renew them.

Optician Employment and Salary in North Carolina

When it comes to finding a job, try at these locations first:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

The minimum salary in North Carolina that you can earn as an optician is around $39,000 per year.

$63,000 annually is the most you can get on average as an optician in North Carolina.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in North Carolina

City NameSalary
Winston Salem$46,013
High Point$46,176
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in North Carolina

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Asheville, NC110$45,640$21.94$68,010$29,400
Burlington, NC40$45,510$21.88$68,640$28,560
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC560$48,520$23.33$70,860$30,310
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC90$54,650$26.27$73,650$33,270
Fayetteville, NC70$45,590$21.92$68,990$29,130
Goldsboro, NC30$48,080$23.12$76,250$29,310
Greensboro-High Point, NC130$48,440$23.29$70,860$29,420
Greenville, NC30$40,770$19.6$62,810$24,330
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC50$51,720$24.86$77,780$28,230
Jacksonville, NC30$47,590$22.88$72,800$27,210
Raleigh, NC340$47,370$22.78$70,480$30,050
Rocky Mount, NC100$38,690$18.6$56,870$28,260
Wilmington, NC80$49,640$23.87$71,240$29,230
Winston-Salem, NC140$43,670$21$68,340$29,260
* 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 North Carolina

The following organizations can offer further help especially when it comes to finding a job:

  • American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE)
  • North Carolina Opticians Association
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
  • North Carolina Optometric Society
  • North Carolina State Board of Opticians
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