Average Opticians in the United States make around $14.91 per hour. Cash earnings for Opticians — including $5K in bonuses and $4K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $22K to $50K depending on individual performance. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but years of experience and geography are influential factors as well. While some workers in this profession — approximately two in five — do not have any health coverage, a little less than one-half do receive medical benefits and just under one in three have dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Opticians, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Female Opticians make up most of the survey respondents at 78 percent. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$25,895 - $60,114
(Median)
$26K
$40K
$60K
MEDIAN: $39,920
10%
50%
90%

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$10.36 - $21.61
(Median)
$10
$15
$22
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$25,895 - $60,114  
   
Bonus
$292.90 - $5,208  
Profit Sharing
$479.71 - $4,333  
Commission
$606 - $8,152  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$22,333 - $49,861  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 362
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$10.36 - $21.61  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.50  
Overtime
$15.14 - $31.31  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$292.90 - $5,208  
   
Commission
$606 - $8,152  
Profit Sharing
$479.71 - $4,333  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$22,333 - $49,861  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,272
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Job Description for Optician

Opticians assist customers who require vision tests, prescriptions, repairs, and, in some cases, minor eye surgery; essentially, they helps customers determine which prescription they require and assist with any other questions or needs that they may have. Opticians use a piece of equipment called an phoropter to measure the depth of vision that each customer has, and then they are able to determine exactly which prescription the customer needs. Other equipment is also used, including a tonometer, which injects a small amount of air pressure into the eyeball to test for glaucoma. All opticians should be familiar with this equipment, and some may also be able to operate laser surgery machines for outpatient correction procedures.

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Optician Tasks

  • Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames.
  • Measure patient for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames and optical prescription.
  • Design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses for patient according to written optical prescription.
  • Adjust frame and lens position to fit patient.

Common Career Paths for Optician


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Opticians may progress into high-paying roles like Optometrist, where median compensation is $96K annually. An Optician often moves on to become a Dispensing Optician or a Certified Optician.

Optician Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Optician


Opticians fill the offices of leading firms Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, LensCrafters Inc., Pearle Vision Center, Visionworks, and Sam's Club. Opticians seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Costco Wholesale Company, where the average salary comes to $51K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include U.S. Vision, Inc., The Vision Source, and LensCrafters Inc., where Opticians typically earn around $39K, $37K, or $35K, respectively.

The lowest pay by far can be found at Shopko Eyecare Center — this employer offers a median salary of $21K, less than half of the top paying company's rate. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include National Vision, Inc. at $23K, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc where $26K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Opticians there earn up to $40K.

Popular Skills for Optician


Opticians seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Patient Education, Inside Sales, and Optical Fabrication are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 40 percent, 37 percent, and 14 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Inventory Management. The majority of those who know Customer Service also know Insurance.

Pay by Experience Level for Optician

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $27K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $33K. Opticians see a median salary of $36K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $42K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $32,360

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Opticians, New York provides a pay rate that is 30 percent greater than the national average. Opticians can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+29 percent), Phoenix (+21 percent), Portland (+21 percent), and Denver (+21 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 13 percent south of the national average, can be found in Chicago. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in San Antonio and Austin (7 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

Optician Reviews

What is it like working as an Optician?

Optician in Madison:
"Work Flexibility."
Pros: The people I work with are amazing. I love interacting with patients and helping them pick out glasses.
Cons: The management is really passive and we never know what we are supposed to do.

Optician in Gary:
"Work Flexibility."
Pros: I like that I work a typical 9-5 Monday through Friday schedule. There are NO nights and rare weekends. This is a great "mom" schedule.
Cons: No benefits, not much above minimum wage, everybody does the work of two people, no room for growth/raises, asked to do jobs outside your experience level or area of training.

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Experience Affects Optician Salaries




National Average
$32,000


Skills That Affect Optician Salaries

Patient Education
up arrow 40%

Inside Sales
up arrow 37%

Optical Fabrication
up arrow 14%

up arrow 11%

edging
up arrow 4%

Troubleshooting
up arrow 3%

dispensing
up arrow 2%

Medicaid & Medicare Billing
up arrow 1%

Sales
0%

Billing
0%

National Average
$32,000

Customer Service
up arrow 2%

Insurance
up arrow 2%

Optometry
up arrow 2%

Bilingual
up arrow 2%

Inventory Management
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 335 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 47%
dental benefits
Dental: 29%
medical benefits
Vision: 38%
dental benefits
None: 40%
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