Opticians, also known as dispensing opticians, design, measure, fit and adapt lenses and frames for clients according to written optical prescriptions or specifications; assist clients with selecting frames; and measure customers for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. They also prepare work orders for optical laboratories containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames; verify the exactness of finished lens spectacles; adjust frame and lens position to fit clients; and may shape or reshape frames.
Twenty two states require a license to work as an optician. On average, these laws force aspiring opticians to pay $449 in fees, demonstrate nearly two years (714 days) of education and experience, and pass around two exams—the 11th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. However, because less than half of states license opticians, the occupation ranks as the 63rd most widely and onerously licensed.
While almost every state requires a minimum age of 18 years and at least a high school diploma, other license requirements vary greatly. (Duties also vary by state—see Appendix B for details.) Education and experience requirements vary from none in California and New Hampshire to more than three years (about 1,118 days) in Nevada. Similarly, exam requirements vary from none in New Hampshire to four in Connecticut, and fees range from $110 in New Hampshire to $943 in Florida.
|Burden Rank||State||States Licensed||Fees||Estimated Calendar Days Lost||Education||Experience||Exams||Minimum Grade||Minimum Age|
|1||Nevada||22||$900||1118||2 years||1 years and 100 clock hours||3||12||18|
|4||Rhode Island||22||$255||1095||2 years||1 years||2||12||18|
|5||North Carolina||22||$225||912||2 years||6 months||1||12||18|
|6||New Jersey||22||$420||851||2 years||4 months||2||12||17|
|7||Florida||22||$943||731||6 clock hours and 2 years||3||12||18|
|12||South Carolina||22||$545||730||2 years||2||12||18|
|14||Washington||22||$200||731||2 years and 4 clock hours||3||12||18|
|16||New York||22||$333||730||2 years||2||12||18|
|19||Alaska||22||$550||420||1800 clock hours||1||12||18|