Opticians are eye wear professionals who operate in national retail chains, optometry offices, and ophthalmology clinics. Their main work would be to help customers find the perfect pair of prescription eyeglasses and make sure they can fit comfortably. In order to perform the job of the optician well, you have to obtain specific skills and knowledge.
In states that require an optician to be licensed, it is fairly common for individuals to complete either a two-year degree program or an apprenticeship. Because there are relatively few opticianry degree programs available, many opticians choose to go the path of an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship basically includes supervised practicing a specified period of time. Once the apprentice has fulfilled the necessary hours, they typically develop a state licensing exam.
States vary in terms of the licensing exam they require opticians to ensure that you pass. Some states have their own exam while some simply require that opticians take the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) Exam and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) Exam. The ABO and NCLE exams are nationally acknowledged as the conventional type of optician competence assessment plus they can offer some very positive advantages to opticians who've passed them.
In states that don't have any optician licensing requirements it is generally left to employers to determine whether they will require opticians to accept ABO and NCLE exams. During these states, some employers will expect opticians to accept exams while others won't. No matter employer expectations it's a good idea for opticians to voluntarily complete the exams.
The first benefit that ABO and NCLE credentialing brings is an rise in optician salary. Most employers, no matter state requirements, would rather hire credentialed opticians. The opportunity to communicate to customers that a business hires only competent opticians is much simpler if those opticians have been certified. This establishes rapport with customers and puts them at ease understanding that they're being assisted by competent professionals.
Another advantage that ABO and NCLE certification offers is the ability to transfer credentials between states. This dramatically increases the quantity of potential occupations open to an optician. Since some states require opticians to be certified, it can make things much easier to curently have those credentials prior to relocating to a regulated state. Otherwise, an optician might be forced to go back to school for 2 years or develop a long apprenticeship.
The last advantage of as being a certified optician is always that the optician recognizes that they've met national standards for optician competence. Opticians who operate in unregulated states are generally trained to only understand what they have to know to do the duties that the specific employer has deemed important. The opportunity to pass the ABO and NCLE exams needs a thorough knowledge of opticianry and is a sign that the optician truly understands the well.