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Career and Education Opportunities for Licensed Dispensing Opticians in Cambridge, Massachusetts

If you want to be a licensed dispensing optician, the Cambridge, Massachusetts area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,420 working licensed dispensing opticians in Massachusetts; this should shrink 1% to about 1,400 working licensed dispensing opticians in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for licensed dispensing opticians are expected to grow by about 13.4%. Licensed dispensing opticians generally design, measure, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification.

The income of a licensed dispensing optician is about $22 hourly or $45,890 yearly on average in Massachusetts. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,810 annually on average. Earnings for licensed dispensing opticians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Ophthalmology in Massachusetts and not quite as good as general Ophthalmology category earnings nationally. Licensed dispensing opticians work in a variety of jobs, including: optometric technician, optical assistant, and optician apprentice.

There are 149 schools of higher education in the Cambridge area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cambridge 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 training to become 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 Cambridge 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.
  • Optometrist. Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.
  • 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

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology - Boston, MA

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, 41 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is a small school located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 535 students. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology has an associate's degree program in Opticianry/Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician which graduated four students 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

Licensing agency: Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians
Address: 239 Causeway Street, Boston, MA 02114

Phone: (617) 727-3093
Website: Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.