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Career and Education Opportunities for Licensed Dispensing Opticians in Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for licensed dispensing opticians. Currently, 750 people work as licensed dispensing opticians in Mississippi. This is expected to grow by 19% to about 880 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for licensed dispensing opticians are expected to grow by about 13.4%. In general, licensed dispensing opticians design, measure, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification.

Licensed dispensing opticians earn approximately $13 per hour or $28,240 yearly on average in Mississippi. Nationally they average about $15 per hour or $32,810 annually. Earnings for licensed dispensing opticians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Ophthalmology in Mississippi and not quite as good as general Ophthalmology category earnings nationally. People working as licensed dispensing opticians can fill a number of jobs, such as: contact lens technician, optician apprentice, and dispensing and measuring optician.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Gulfport where you can study to be a licensed dispensing optician, among six schools of higher education total in the Gulfport area. Licensed dispensing opticians usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Gulfport include:

  • 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

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College - Perkinston, MS

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, 51 Main Street, Perkinston, MS 39573. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is a medium sized college located in Perkinston, Mississippi. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,215 students. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has an associate's degree program in Opticianry/Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician which graduated one student 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport, Mississippi photo by Charlie Brenner

Gulfport is located in Harrison County, Mississippi. It has a population of over 70,055, which has shrunk by 1.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Gulfport, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Gulfport are valued at $108,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-two new homes were constructed in Gulfport, down from three hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Gulfport are health care, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.1% of Gulfport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Gulfport is 9.3%, which is less than Mississippi's average of 9.5%.

The percentage of Gulfport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Saint Johns Catholic Church, Saint James Baptist Church and Broadmoor Baptist Church are all churches located in Gulfport. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Gulfport is home to the Harrison County Courthouse and the West Side Community Center as well as Cowan Road Field and Harbor Square Park. Shopping centers in the area include Great Southern Shopping Center, Gulf Mart Shopping Center and Hardy Court Shopping Center. Visitors to Gulfport can choose from Best Western Seaway Inn, Crystal Inn and Best Western Seaway for temporary stays in the area.