How to Become an Optician in South Dakota

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Let’s find out more about how you can become an optician in South Dakota.

If you want to start a career in the field, you will have to train and also pass an exam.

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Optician Job Description and Duties in South Dakota

Opticians advise their clients in choosing eye-wear that fits their style and face.

Keep in mind that you will not be offering glasses prescriptions.

The job responsibilities of an optician include:

  • 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 Dakota

Opticians in South Dakota are under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Board of Examiners in Optometry.

The Board requires these professionals to meet the minimum educational prerequisites as well as to earn a license.

The first step is taking the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam.

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

Most employers will prefer candidates with:

  • 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 abilities
  • Reliability
  • Clean criminal record

Optician Education in South Dakota

The fastest method to finish your training is to join a training program nearby your location.

The post-secondary schools offering optician programs in South Dakota are listed next.

Top 2 Schools in South Dakota

School NameAddress
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology501 E St Joseph St, Rapid City, SD 57701
South Dakota State University1451 Stadium Rd, Brookings, SD 57007

Both of these schools offer a pre-optometry program.

Such a course prepares students for the Doctorate degree in optometry.

These are not your only options for formal education, as you can opt for a school in a different state or for an online program.

Completing an optician training program can vary in duration.

Usually, it will last between 7 months and 2 years.

You will also have to fulfill the criteria set by the school.

This can include the below 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

The training program will feature hours of theory but also practice.

The subjects you will attend include:

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

Another option for you to get trained is to receive on-the-job training after getting hired.

Optician Certification in South Dakota

When the time for you to become licensed comes, you’ll need to:

  • Pass the NBEO exam, especially Parts I, II, III, and the TMOD section
  • Pass the South Dakota Law and Ethics exam

This license has to be renewed every 3 years after completing 45 hours of continuing education.

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

The test has 3 levels:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

The first level requires:

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

Your employer will also have to pay the $200 fee.

To become a lens dispenser, you have to take and pass the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE).

The test subjects are:

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

You will also have to submit some documents, which 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

The NOCE and CLRE credentials also need to be renewed every 3 years after completing some hours of continuing education.

Optician Employment and Salary in South Dakota

The good news with becoming an optician is that this is a job that will always be in high demand.

Having an optician license will allow you to get a job in facilities such as:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

In South Dakota, the salary will be getting depends on where you live.

In Sioux Falls, for example, you will be making about $43,000 per year.

Generally, in this state, opticians earn median salaries between $35,000 and $57,000 per year.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in South Dakota

City NameSalary
Sioux Falls$43,116
Rapid City$41,685
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in South Dakota

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD50$34,660$16.66$42,690$29,890
Sioux Falls, SD170$37,980$18.26$48,660$30,450
* 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 Dakota

Some extra career resources that you may find helpful are:

  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
  • South Dakota Board of Examiners in Optometry
  • South Dakota Department of Health
  • South Dakota Optometric Society
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