How to Become an Optician in Wisconsin

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If you are considering a job as an optician in Wisconsin, you will need some info on this.

This article has been compiled to help you with info on training and licensing.

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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 Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, an optician offers eye-wear based on the clients’ preferences and needs.

You will not be allowed to write prescriptions for glasses.

The most common job tasks you will have 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 Wisconsin

A license is required for opticians in Wisconsin.

In addition, there are several benefits to applying for a license, like an increased salary.

To get a certification, there are several steps you have to take.

The first is to pass the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam.

Another test to take is the National Contact Lens Examiner’s (NCLE).

In Wisconsin, optician licenses are issued by the Wisconsin Optometry Board.

You will also need to show:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Reliability
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • A clean criminal record
  • A license

Optician Education in Wisconsin

Many candidates train by joining a training program for opticians.

The table below shows the schools in Wisconsin that offer optician training programs.

Top 2 Schools in Wisconsin

School NameAddress
Madison Area Technical College1701 Wright St, Madison, WI 53704
Milwaukee Area Technical College700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233

You can earn an optometric technician diploma from the Madison Area Technical College.

This program can be completed in about a year.

The program at the Milwaukee Area Technical College is for optician and vision care studies.

This program has 27 credits.

For more educational programs you can have a look at the schools found in other states.

Online training can also be accepted, under certain conditions.

To enroll in a program, you need to provide:

  • 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

Keep in mind that the school you may want to enroll in could have its own requirements.

If you are wondering how long a program lasts, you should know it depends.

If you join a diploma program, you can complete it in about 7 months.

But, if you enroll in a graduate program, you will only finish it after about 4 years.

However, a longer program will give you better credentials for a future job.

The training programs feature theory as well as hours of practice.

Some of the classes you will attend include:

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

Optician Certification in Wisconsin

To receive an optician license in Wisconsin, you need:

  • To graduate from an accredited optometric college
  • To pass the NBEO exam
  • To pass the Wisconsin law exam

You can re-take the law exam until you can pass it if you fail the first time around.

After you get your diploma or degree, you will take the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) offered by the ABO.

The NOCE has 3 levels:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

These are the subjects for the NOCE exam:

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

The exam itself costs $200, which is usually covered by the employer.

If you choose to take the Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE), you will be able to become a lens dispenser.

The test topics for lens dispensers are:

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

Optician licenses in Wisconsin expire after 2 years.

After this period, you will have to renew your license.

To get it renewed, you will have to take 30 extra classes.

Optician Employment and Salary in Wisconsin

After you have a license, you will be able to find a job in:

  • Stores
  • Offices
  • Optometry practices
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

In Wisconsin, the optician salaries depend on the region where you live.

For example, Milwaukee offers salaries ranging from $37,000 and $48,000 per year.

In Madison, you will earn between $36,600 and $47,800 per year while working as an optician.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Opticians in Wisconsin

City NameSalary
Green Bay$46,075
Eau Claire$44,781
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Wisconsin

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Appleton, WI60$40,780$19.61$53,110$29,520
Eau Claire, WI60$41,010$19.72$49,880$29,640
Green Bay, WI100$38,700$18.61$48,680$30,160
Janesville-Beloit, WI40$39,990$19.22$47,900$30,130
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN40$39,930$19.2$49,740$30,380
Madison, WI190$44,730$21.5$58,250$32,460
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI320$42,710$20.54$56,370$29,810
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI50$41,030$19.73$49,920$30,510
Racine, WI40$39,600$19.04$49,180$29,930
Sheboygan, WI30$39,430$18.96$48,100$30,560
Wausau, WI60$41,410$19.91$52,000$30,160
* 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 Wisconsin

Have a look below for additional job resources for opticians:

  • American Academy of Optometry
  • American Optometric Association
  • Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE)
  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
  • Wisconsin Optometric Association
  • Wisconsin Optometry Board
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