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Career and Education Opportunities for Licensed Dispensing Opticians in Tampa, Florida

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for licensed dispensing opticians in the Tampa, Florida area. Currently, 3,900 people work as licensed dispensing opticians in Florida. This is expected to grow 17% to about 4,540 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for licensed dispensing opticians, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.4% over the next eight years. Licensed dispensing opticians generally design, measure, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification.

Income for licensed dispensing opticians is about $18 hourly or $38,810 annually on average in Florida. Nationally, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,810 per year. Licensed dispensing opticians earn less than people working in the category of Ophthalmology generally in Florida and less than people in the Ophthalmology category nationally. Jobs in this field include: optician manager, optician, and licensed optician.

There are fifty-four schools of higher education in the Tampa area, including two within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree to start your career as a licensed dispensing optician. The most common level of education for licensed dispensing opticians is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a licensed dispensing optician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Licensed Dispensing Optician

Licensed Dispensing Optician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, licensed dispensing opticians design, measure, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. They also assist client with selecting frames.

Licensed dispensing opticians verify that finished lenses are ground to given requirements. They also obtain previous records of customers, or verify prescriptions with examining optometrists or ophthalmologists. Equally important, licensed dispensing opticians have to decide on clients' current lens prescriptions, when needed, using lensometers or lens analyzers and clients' eyeglasses. They are often called upon to sell goods such as contact lenses and other goods pertaining to eyes in general. They are expected to instruct clients in how to wear and care for eyeglasses. Finally, licensed dispensing opticians show customers how to insert and care for their contact lenses.

Every day, licensed dispensing opticians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for licensed dispensing opticians to supervise the training of student opticians. They are often called upon to assemble eyeglasses by cutting and edging lenses, and fitting the lenses into frames. They also grind lens edges, or apply coatings to lenses. They are sometimes expected to fabricate lenses to meet prescription specifications. Somewhat less frequently, licensed dispensing opticians are also expected to verify that finished lenses are ground to given requirements.

Licensed dispensing opticians sometimes are asked to maintain records of customer prescriptions and payments. They also have to be able to assist clients in selecting frames in line with style and color, and insure that frames are coordinated with facial and eye measurements and optical prescriptions and heat or bend plastic or metal frames to modify eyeglasses to fit clients, using pliers and hands. And finally, they sometimes have to ready work orders and instructions for grinding lenses and fabricating eyeglasses.

Like many other jobs, licensed dispensing opticians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tampa include:

  • Dietary Technician. Assist dietitians in the provision of food service and nutritional programs. Under the supervision of dietitians, may plan and produce meals based on established guidelines, teach principles of food and nutrition, or counsel individuals.
  • Pharmacist Technician. Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, and record amounts and dosages of medications.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Licensed Dispensing Optician Training

St Petersburg College - Clearwater, FL

St Petersburg College, 14025 58th Street North, Clearwater, FL 33760. St Petersburg College is a large college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,099 students. St Petersburg College has a less than one year program in Opticianry/Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician which graduated two students in 2008.

Hillsborough Community College - Tampa, FL

Hillsborough Community College, 39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, FL 33606-3584. Hillsborough Community College is a large college located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,037 students. Hillsborough Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Opticianry/Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician which graduated eight, two, and twenty-seven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

The National Opticianry Competency Certification: ABO and NCLE certification demonstrates to the public, your co-workers, and the industry that you are qualified and competent.

For more information, see the American Board of Opticianry National Contact Lens Examiners website.

Contact Lens Registry Certification: ABO and NCLE certification demonstrates to the public, your co-workers, and the industry that you are qualified and competent.

For more information, see the American Board of Opticianry National Contact Lens Examiners website.

LICENSES

Dispensing Optician Apprentice

Licensing agency: Fl. Department of Health
Address: Division of Medical Quality Assurance, 1940 N Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399

Phone: None
Website: Fl. Department of Health Division of Medical Quality Assurance

Optician

Licensing agency: Fl. Department of Health
Address: Division of Medical Quality Assurance, 1940 N Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399

Phone: None
Website: Fl. Department of Health Division of Medical Quality Assurance

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.