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Career and Education Opportunities for Licensed Dispensing Opticians in Knoxville, Tennessee

There are many career and education opportunities for licensed dispensing opticians in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. There are currently 1,160 working licensed dispensing opticians in Tennessee; this should grow 17% to about 1,350 working licensed dispensing opticians in the state 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. In general, licensed dispensing opticians design, measure, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification.

Income for licensed dispensing opticians is about $15 per hour or $32,230 yearly on average in Tennessee. Nationally, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,810 yearly. Incomes for licensed dispensing opticians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Ophthalmology in Tennessee, and not quite as good as the overall Ophthalmology category nationally. People working as licensed dispensing opticians can fill a number of jobs, such as: eyeglass fitter, contact lens technician, and dispensing optician.

The Knoxville area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Knoxville where you can get a degree as a licensed dispensing optician. 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 Knoxville 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

Roane State Community College - Harriman, TN

Roane State Community College, 276 Patton Lane, Harriman, TN 37748. Roane State Community College is a medium sized college located in Harriman, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 5,531 students and an admission rate of 64%. Roane State Community College has an associate's degree program in Opticianry/Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician which graduated thirteen 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 Dispensing Opticians
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 367-6322
Website: Board of Dispensing Opticians Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

DISPENSING OPTICIAN APPRENTICE

Licensing agency: Board of Dispensing Opticians
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 367-6322
Website: Board of Dispensing Opticians Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee photo by Huntster

Knoxville is located in Knox County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 184,802, which has grown by 6.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Knoxville, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Knoxville are valued at $105,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-one new homes were built in Knoxville, down from six hundred twenty-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Knoxville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 24.6% of Knoxville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Knoxville is 9.0%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Knoxville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 62.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Lincoln Park United Methodist Church, Springhill Baptist Church and Lincoln Park Baptist Church are all churches located in Knoxville. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Knoxville is home to the Eastern State Hospital Farm and the Berry Hall as well as Volunteer Park and Neyland Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Clinton Plaza Shopping Center, Walker Springs Plaza Shopping Center and Northgate Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Knoxville can choose from Homewood Suites Knoxville West, Days Inn and Days Inn Knoxville West for temporary stays in the area.