How to Become an Optician in South Carolina

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South Carolina offers many career options for opticians.

If you feel this career course is the right one for you, check out the licensing and training requirements in this state.

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 South Carolina

Opticians aid their clients in choosing the correct right eyewear.

But, opticians do not give prescriptions for glasses, nor does he inspect the eyes.

The job duties you will usually have are:

  • 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 South Carolina

In South Carolina, opticians are overseen by the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Opticianry.

This means you’ll also have to attend a formal educational course as well and earn a diploma.

You will also have to take the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam.

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

Employers may also request proof of the following:

  • 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
  • Detail-oriented
  • Reliability
  • Clean criminal record

Optician Education in South Carolina

The easiest method to train is to attend a training program at a specialized college.

Unfortunately, South Carolina doesn’t have any such schools.

Instead, you can consider either North Carolina or any other school from any other state.

Online programs can also be accepted if they meet the licensing prerequisite.

You will also need to fulfill the criteria set by the school before joining a program.

This can include the following requirements:

  • 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

Finishing an optician training program can last between 7 months and 2 years.

This will include an apprenticeship period.

During training, you will attend classes or theory as well as practice.

The subjects you will take include the following:

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

Optician Certification in South Carolina

The Board in South Carolina has the following licensing requirements:

  • Complete a training program either at the certificate or Associate’s degree level


  • Complete a 2-year apprenticeship under a licensed optician

You will additionally have to pass the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) through the ABO.

The exam has 3 levels:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

The first level entails:

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

There is also a required $200 fee which is usually paid for by the employer.

To work as a lens dispenser, keep in mind you must pass the National Contact Lens Examiners.

So, you have to take the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE).

This exam also requires a $200 fee which is paid by the company that hired you.

The exam topics are:

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

The paperwork you will have to submit include:

  • 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

South Carolina requires opticians to get their license renewed once every 3 years.

You will have to take 8 additional hours of class before renewing it.

Optician Employment and Salary in South Carolina

Once you have all the credentials, you can start looking for a job.

Some of the places you can get a job include:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

The salary for an optician working in South Carolina is between $37,000 and $50,000.

This depends on the area you live in and how much experience you have.

For example, in a big city like Greenville, you will be paid more.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in South Carolina

City NameSalary
North Charleston$45,611
Mount Pleasant$45,611
Rock Hill$47,276
Goose Creek$45,544
Hilton Head Island$44,840
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in South Carolina

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Charleston-North Charleston, SC130$48,200$23.17$67,030$30,100
Columbia, SC160$43,500$20.92$63,630$29,530
Florence, SC50$44,100$21.2$59,800$28,540
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC180$45,100$21.68$67,110$30,290
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC40$51,190$24.61$62,810$35,290
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC140$45,940$22.09$66,400$28,830
Spartanburg, SC50$47,120$22.65$63,540$29,640
* 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 South Carolina

Some additional career resources that might help include:

  • American Board of Opticianry Examination (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examination (NCLE)
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA)
  • South Carolina Board of Governors in Opticianry
  • South Carolina Association of Opticians
  • South Carolina Optometric Association
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