How to Become an Optician in Rhode Island

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You came to the right place if you’re interested in becoming an optician in Rhode Island.

This is not an entry-level job as you might think, and so you might need a bit of guidance before deciding on this career path!

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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 Rhode Island

Opticians are professionals that work with many people who need to improve their vision.

To do this, opticians will usually complete these tasks:

  • 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

What opticians cannot do is perform eye inspections or write eyewear prescriptions.

Optician Job Requirements in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Board of Opticianry oversees this industry and those who work in this field.

According to the Board’s regulations, individuals must obtain a license before being allowed to work.

To obtain a license, it’s mandatory to complete a training program that received approval from the Board.

On top of this, candidates also need to meet the requirements of their future employers.

Some of these are:

  • Being detail-oriented
  • Having good interpersonal skills
  • Having a clean criminal record
  • Being reliable

Optician Education in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a small state and so it comes as no wonder there’s just one school offering a course in optometry.

This school can be seen below.

Top 1 Schools in Rhode Island

School NameAddress
Community College of Rhode Island400 East Ave, Warwick, Rhode Island 02886-1807

The course offered by the Community College of Rhode Island lasts for at least two years.

Graduates earn an Associate’s degree upon completing the program.

If you want more educational options, you can have a look at colleges from out of state, or even at online programs.

You can find courses that last for just a few months, and even postgraduate programs and degrees that take some 4 years to complete.

Students will usually have to meet these prerequisites upon enrolling in 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

Here’s a brief list of classes you’ll attend:

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

Those who wish to train as apprentices will have to seek such opportunities in other states as there are none in Rhode Island.

Optician Certification in Rhode Island

To issue a license, the Board in Rhode Island will ask for:

  • Complete the board-approved training program
  • Pass the ABO-NCLE certification exam
  • Pass the Board-administered practical exam

The ABO-NCLE exams have 3 different levels of difficulty:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

The ABO will test you on:

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

This exam is for working with glasses and if you pass the NCLE exam as well, you’ll work with contact lenses as well.

For the NCLE, you must know:

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

In total, these 2 exams cost $400 and the employer may cover the fees.

You could also be asked for the following documents:

  • Age over 18
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • To fill out an application
  • To pay some fees
  • A clean criminal record

The ABO-NCLE certification has to be renewed every 3 years.

The license issued by the Board has a validity of only 2 years.

To renew these certifications, you must continue your education.

To renew the Board’s license, you must complete 12 hours of clinical continuing education and one of them must cover management and marketing.

All the classes must be approved by the Board.

Optician Employment and Salary in Rhode Island

Being an optician is not a seasonal job, as there will always be a demand for these professionals.

Opticians usually work for:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

On average in Rhode Island, the lowest salary you can earn as an optician is $43,000 per year, while the most you can earn, on average, is $70,000 per year.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in Rhode Island

City NameSalary
East Providence$50,430
North Providence$50,430
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Rhode Island

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA120$55,570$26.72$68,640$32,690
* 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 Rhode Island

It’s possible for you to need more information related to the documents you must provide, or help to find a job.

In that case, these resources are perfect:

  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
  • Rhode Island Optometric Association
  • American Board of Opticianry & National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE)
  • American Optometric Association
  • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
  • National Optometric Association
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
  • State of Rhode Island, Department of Health
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